WASHINGTON (September 30, 2005)— The Task Force of Bishops and representatives of leading Catholic charitable organizations, established by the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to address the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, met in Atlanta on Tuesday, September 27, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galvston-Houston.
The Task Force heard first-hand the needs and priorities of the bishops of the region.
The discussion revolved around the coordination and communication necessary to meet these needs and priorities most effectively, the specific missions of each of the organizations, and what needs to be done to enhance the collaboration between the various agencies and the affected dioceses.
Bishops from the region in attendance were New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes, Biloxi Bishop Thomas J. Rodi, Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench, and Shreveport Bishop William B. Friend.
Describing the meeting, Archbishop Fiorenza said, "It was a good first step in the work of the Task Force, setting the stage for future efforts by all involved."
Besides Archbishop Fiorenza, members of the Task Force are Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, and Pensacola.Tallahasee Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ.
Participating organizations, almost all of which were represented at the meeting, are: the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Charities, USA, the Catholic Church Extension Society of the USA, the Catholic Communication Campaign, Catholic Health Association, Catholic Relief Services, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of Peter Claver, the National Catholic Educational Association, the National Religious Retirement Office, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services, and the USCCB Secretariat for Home Missions.
Executive Director of the USCCB Committee and Office on the Diaconate, Deacon Bill Ditewig, Ph.D. serves as staff to the Task Force.