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James McCann named to new position by bishops

Jesuit priest becomes executive director of Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe

04/09/03

Associate professor of political science and director of the University’s peace and justice programs James M. McCann, S.J., has been named the new executive director of the Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He will assume his responsibilities on July 1. The Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe is charged with helping to restore the Church's pastoral capacity in that region. Initiatives include the formation and training of priests and religious, the development of catechetical materials and teachers, the establishment of mass media and communications apostolates and the support of the Church's charitable works. A national collection that is overseen by the office is used by the bishops to fund numerous critical projects in the region. "I regret that I'll be leaving Xavier, if only temporarily,” says McCann. “The post in Washington, though, provides an extraordinary fit between my background and the needs of many people in a wide variety of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union." "The wealth of personal, professional and pastoral experience Fr. McCann brings to the Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe from having lived there and traveled there as well as having studied and taught about the region are assets which will serve him well in his new responsibilities," says Msgr. William P. Fay, USCCB General Secretary. Prior to joining the faculty at Xavier in 1997, he was an assistant professor of political science at Loyola University in his native Chicago. He was an instructor in politics at Princeton University from 1981 to 1986, and has taught Russian and French.