BOSTON -- A familiar face has been chosen to temporarily lead the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) until a permanent director can be found.
On Sept. 20, the MCC's Board of Governors named Gerald D'Avolio executive director of the organization, which is the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops.
D'Avolio succeeds the late Edward Saunders, who passed away Aug. 28.
"We are pleased that Gerry D'Avolio has again accepted the call to serve the Church," the MCC stated. "He is an experienced, knowledgeable and respected Catholic who knows well the legislative process from his many years as executive director. Gerry brings a steady and reassuring presence to the position and we look forward to his leadership at this time."
"I am honored to assist the bishops," D'Avolio said. "Due to the most unfortunate and sudden death of attorney Ed Saunders, the former executive director of the Catholic Conference, this appointment as executive director on an interim basis is necessary to carry on the day-to-day function, policies and programs of the office. I will seek to serve the cardinal and the bishops to the best of my ability as the search for a permanent successor moves forward."
"I am blessed to be able to once again work with a well qualified and dedicated staff, and I welcome their assistance as we carry on the mission of the Church throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," D'Avolio continued.
D'Avolio was previously the MCC's executive director from 1976 until his retirement in 2004.
The MCC was established in 1969 to assist the bishops of Massachusetts' four Catholic dioceses -- Boston, Fall River, Worcester and Springfield -- in applying Church teaching to public policy. The MCC speaks on specific legislative proposals and administrative procedures, as well as reflects on the major human and social moral issues of the day.