Tuesday, November 07, 2006

From the Pro-Life Desk

Well, the archbishop of Washington has another slot to fill in his central administration. It's been announced that Tom Grenchik, director of the DC archdiocese's Pro-Life Office, is moving across town to become executive director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, the USCCB's most prominent policy wing.

From the release:
Tom Grenchik is the founding director of the Pro-Life office of the Archdiocese of Washington, which is charged with promoting a greater respect for all human life. The office deals with such issues as end of life issues, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, cloning, abortion, contraception, youth outreach, pornography, crisis pregnancy assistance, maternity housing, post-abortion counseling, health care, assisted suicide, capital punishment, and other issues.

He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Maryland where he majored in Architecture. He has also studied at the National Catholic Bioethics Center and is currently pursuing a Certification program in Health Care Ethics.

In his service to the Archdiocese of Washington and through his staff, Mr. Grenchik launched such initiatives as the Annual Rally for Life and Youth Mass, which now draws over 20,000 young people to Washington each year; the first statewide Catholic prayer vigil outside of a prison before a scheduled execution; the Birthing and Care program which provides prenatal care to more than 1,200 mothers each year; the first archdiocesan-wide seminar for service providers on domestic violence; the Gabriel Project, parish-based, direct-service programs in over 80 churches; abortion awareness month in the Hispanic and Black communities; and explored parish-based outreach to the disabled, elderly, sick and dying.
Mr. Grenchik has provided workshops and talks to parish groups and organizations and has coordinated various marches, rallies, prayer efforts, programs and seminars. He has been involved in special projects with youth ministry, Family Life, Social Concerns, Development, Office of Black Catholics, Office of Hispanic Affairs, and other archdiocesan offices. In the past he has served on the Archdiocesan Seminary Admissions Board, the Centro Tepeyac Board, the archdiocesan Religion Textbook Review Committee, and the archdiocesan Sex-Ed Lesson Plan Committee.

He was Chair of the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress 2000, Youth Track Planning Committee, and co-chair of the Archdiocesan Convocation 2000, Youth Track Planning Committee. He was President and founder of Catholics United for Life of District of Columbia/Maryland.
Grenchik's appointment augurs another, more public, change of the pro-life face of the church in the US. In January, Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore will end his second term as chair of the bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities. He'll be succeeded by Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, who won the chairmanship at last year's November meeting.