18-September-2012 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Denver Catholic Charities President Named USCCB Justice Department Director

Jonathan Reyes Chosen To Oversee U.S. Bishops Efforts in Domestic and International Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 18, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has named Jonathan J. Reyes, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Denver as executive director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.

He succeeds John Carr, who retired from the USCCB in late August after almost 25 years of service. He is currently a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, focusing on the links between faith and public life.

Reyes, who has served as director of social ministry for the Denver Archdiocese simultaneously with his Catholic Charities position, oversees an organization that serves 45,000 persons annually and includes five homeless shelters, six child care centers and 22 affordable housing properties, among dozens of other charitable programs.

Among other contributions to the Church's social mission, Reyes also founded Christ in the City, a national volunteer and formation program for college students. In its third year, it has had over 200 participants. He also oversaw the creation of Regina Caeli Catholic Counseling Services and Lighthouse Women's Care Center and completed the Guadalupe Community Assistance Center in Greeley, Colorado.

Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, General Secretary of the USCCB, cited Reyes' experience in charity work and with young adults as a main reason for his appointment to head the department, saying that he is "a proven administrator." "Jonathan has the ability to inspire people to embrace the Church's social teaching and carry it out in their daily lives," he said.

"I feel confident that his knowledge of the many issues facing the Church in our nation and world, combined with his practical experience and dedication, will promote effectively the outstanding and critical work of the USCCB Justice, Peace and Human Development Department."

Reyes voiced both sadness and anticipation at his appointment. "Although I am sad to leave Catholic Charities and the community of northern Colorado, I am excited and honored by the opportunity to serve the Church in this capacity," he said. "I look forward to working with the excellent staff of the USCCB."

Reyes will oversee USCCB efforts in domestic and international affairs and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishops' anti-poverty program. He will assume his position at the U.S. bishops' conference in December.

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