WASHINGTON (July 25, 2005) – Father Carlos Quintana Puente was appointed today Executive Director of the Secretariat for the Church in Latin America at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Father Quintana is currently the general treasurer of CELAM, the Latin American bishops' council.
From 1983 to 1991, Father Quintana worked in several Wall Street investment companies. After his ordination to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1996, he joined the staff of the archdiocese's vicar for administration where he managed the investment portfolio and was responsible for a number of budget and accounting functions. He has had ongoing involvement, to the present, with the archdiocese's economic committee, as well as with the Prevision Social del Clero Secular de Puerto Rico, where he oversaw the first island-wide church collection and supervised the organization's pension plan.
In 1999, Father Quintana became the general treasurer of CELAM, the regional council which represents 22 national bishops' conferences across Latin America and the Caribbean, and which has a long-standing relationship with the USCCB. As treasurer, Father Quintana managed the organization's investment portfolio, oversaw the budget, and restructured its treasury department. He acquired vast knowledge on the programs and pastoral needs of the bishops' conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Father Quintana graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., in 1983, with a degree in business administration. He earned degrees in philosophy and theology, and graduated cum laude, from the Universidad de Navarra, in Spain, in 1996.
Monsignor William P. Fay, USCCB General Secretary, made the announcement.
"Father Quintana is particularly well suited for this work, given his experience of the Church in both the United States and Latin America," said Msgr. Fay. "I believe his presence here will mark a new beginning for the Secretariat as he travels through the United States giving witness to the reality of the Church in Latin America, and if that results in greater awareness and support it will yield great benefit to the dioceses and parishes throughout Latin America. We have asked the Archdiocese of San Juan to make a great sacrifice in providing Father Quintana for this work, and we are deeply grateful. Through this sharing of his gifts with the Church in the north, may the life of the Church in the south be ever more blessed."
The Secretariat for the Church in Latin America staffs the bishops' Committee on the Church in Latin America. It serves as a liaison between the church in the United States and in Central and South America and the Caribbean; coordinates the annual national collection for the Church in Latin America taken up in parishes across the United States; and distributes the funds as grants for various church needs in Latin America. The secretariat also has responsibility for initiating activities to raise the consciousness of U.S. Catholics about the reality of the church in Latin America.
Father Quintana's appointment is effective October 1, 2005. He succeeds Daniel Lizárraga, who will become the Southwest regional representative for Catholic Relief Services in his native Texas.