USCCB News Release
March 19, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Father Bransfield Tapped to Coordinate Bishops' Strategic Plan
WASHINGTON—Father J. Brian Bransfield, executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, has been named Assistant General Secretary for the USCCB.
The appointment will become effective March 23. Father Bransfield will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the USCCB's strategic plan over the next 18 months. The bishops have identified five priorities to guide their pastoral mission to the Catholic Church in the United States through 2011. The priorities are: Strengthening Marriage, Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life, Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice, the Life and Dignity of the Human Person, and the appreciation of Cultural Diversity. After a period of research, assessment and consultation, the bishops have affirmed a series of goals and objectives in each priority area. They are in the process of identifying activities which concretely advance the priorities. The bishops will be asked to approve the entire plan in November 2009. Preparation for the implementation phase of the strategic plan is the next crucial step in the process.
Father Bransfield said, "The bishops of the United States have identified pastoral priorities on vital issues confronting the Church and society. The bishops have developed a comprehensive and unified strategic plan which harmonizes efforts across Conference committees. I am honored to serve the bishops as they effectively exercise their mission to advance dedicated pastoral efforts in this very important process."
Msgr. David Malloy, USCCB General Secretary, expressed his gratitude to Father Bransfield for his willingness to serve the USCCB in this new role.
"In his time at the USCCB, Father Bransfield has shown his talents in many areas," Msgr. Malloy said. "As the lead staff for the Task Force on Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice, he has provided strong, collaborative leadership."
Father Bransfield, 41, was ordained a priest in 1994. After having served for several years as an associate pastor and theology high school faculty in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he studied moral theology with a specialty in marriage and family at The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, and continued studies at its Washington campus, where he received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 2003, and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology with a specialization in the theology of Marriage and Family in 2005.
Father Bransfield served on the faculty of the moral theology department of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, 2005-2007, where he taught Introduction to Sacred Theology, Sexuality and Marriage in Catholic Teaching, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Practical Theological Concepts, Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, The Theological and Moral Virtues, and a seminar class on The Nuptial Mystery. He taught in both the college and theologate divisions of the seminary as well as the Religious Studies Division, The Catechetical Institute, and The Theological Institute for Priests.
In December 2007, Father Bransfield joined the USCCB to work as a specialist in Evangelization and Catechesis. He has written and spoken regularly on issues related to evangelization and catechesis, including the Theology of the Body, Faithful Citizenship, the call of the Second Vatican Council for the renewal of moral theology, and the nature of the New Evangelization.