WASHINGTON (January 23, 2006) — Sixteen new members have been added to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Advisory Council, a 63-member body which meets semi-annually to review documentation and offer recommendations concerning matters before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Joining the Council from the membership of the USCCB Administrative Committee for a three-year term are Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, AZ, and Bishop David Zubik, Bishop of Green Bay, WI. They join Bishop Joseph Pepe, Bishop of Las Vegas, and Bishop James Murray, Bishop of Kalamazoo.
Deacon Everett Doxtator of DePere, WI, joins the Council in the Deacon category which was established in 2003, requiring the Council to have at least one or two deacons, but does not preclude deacons serving in other categories.
From the fourteen regions of the Conference, those having regional elections in 2005 have announced the following new lay men and women representatives who will serve a four-year term: Region 2: Rudy Vargas IV of Staten Island, NY, and Aba Hinds of Albany, NY. Region 3: Tracey Battles of Newark, NJ, and Catherine Bazan-Arias of Pittsburgh, PA. Region 7: Armando Medina-Romero of Aurora, IL. Region 8: Deacon Naokao Yang of Oakdale, MN, and Veronica Valandra of Rapid City, SD. Due to resignations in the regional layman representative category, Region 1 is now being represented by Maurice Theriault of Lewiston, ME, and Region 4 is being represented by Daniel Barr of Greenville, DE.
In the At-Large category, at-large members are appointed by a selection committee of the National Advisory Council from names proposed by the bishops of the 195 dioceses. These individuals are selected to provide an occupational, age, gender, ethnic and regional balance to the Council. New at-large members to the Council are: Charlene Harris, Sacramento, CA; Sylvia Mendivil Salazar, West Covina, CA; V. Sueli Tovar, Harlingen, TX; Catherine Lan Tran, Berkeley, CA.
The 2006 officers of the Council are Dr. Daniel Otero, Cincinnati, OH, Chairperson; Dr. Marie Hilliard, Canton, CT, Chairperson-Elect; Reverend Richard Vega, Lompoc, CA, Secretary; Deacon Jesus Espinoza, Portland, OR, Internal Affairs; Ms. Leslie Young, Columbus, OH, Reactive Chairperson; Reverend William D. Hammer, Bardstown, KY, Proactive Chairperson. The Past Chairperson of the Council is Sister Linda Werthman, RSM, Silver Spring, MD.