Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Vote's Wake, Kicanas Gets "Relief"

To succeed the now President-elect at the helm of the Stateside church's humanitarian arm, as foreseen here last night, a vintage Dolan move: the departing USCCB vice-president and runner-up for the bench's top post has been named chairman of Catholic Relief Services.

Here, the Mothership release:

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, has been appointed chairman of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors. Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, outgoing president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), made the appointment with the full support of USCCB president-elect Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York during the executive session of the USCCB’s annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.

Bishop Kicanas, the outgoing vice president of the USCCB, succeeds Archbishop Dolan as CRS chairman. Archbishop Dolan vacated the CRS position upon his election as the new president of the USCCB November 16.

“I am particularly pleased that Bishop Kicanas has been selected as chairman of the Board of CRS,” said CRS president Ken Hackett. “Bishop Kicanas is well known to us and has been a good friend to CRS for many years, both in our work overseas and in the U.S. We have collaborated on a range of issues, and Bishop Kicanas has made it a point to visit many of our CRS offices in his overseas travels. We have been inspired by his commitment to the poor and vulnerable throughout the world. We look forward to his leadership at this important moment in CRS history.”

At their meeting, the bishops also elected four bishops to the CRS board: Bishop William Callahan, OFM Conv., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City. Archbishop Sheehan and Bishop Wester were reelected to a second term.

Among other tasks -- not least of them promoting the agency (something Dolan accomplished with, unsurprisingly, a particular effectiveness) -- the new CRS chair will inherit two particularly pressing matters at its Baltimore headquarters: overseeing its significant efforts in Haiti following January's cataclysmic earthquake and a recent cholera outbreak, and leading the national search for a new CRS president -- the office's longtime chief, Ken Hackett, has announced his retirement from the post at the end of 2011.