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New Catholic Relief Services leader pledges to foster Catholic identity

CWN - July 08, 2011

Carolyn Woo, the dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, has been named president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the relief agency founded by the US bishops. She will replace Ken Hackett, who has led the agency since 1993.

Asked by Our Sunday Visitor whether promoting the agency’s Catholic identity will be a “key factor,” Woo replied:

Absolutely. We are the Catholic Relief Services, and I applaud the fact that we are often in countries that are not Catholic. We serve those countries not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic. And we draw on funding agencies that are not explicitly Catholic. We're glad about that, too, because we need partners of all kinds to participate in these works of mercy and these works of friendship.

But in the end, the deep foundation and the fountain from which we draw our own inspiration to do this work is Christ's teaching that "I am the vine, you are the branches." These branches need to be connected to the vine, and that's our mission.

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