Leader of Catholic Relief Services emphasizes efforts to aid poor
At the recent spring meeting of the U.S. bishops, Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, highlighted the work that the charitable agency is doing around the world on behalf of the Church.
“We serve wherever there is a need,” she told the U.S. bishops, who were gathered at their spring general assembly in Atlanta, Ga., June 13-15.
Woo’s address marked the first time that she had spoken to the bishops’ conference since becoming the head of the charitable organization on Jan. 1, 2012.
In her presentation, Woo explained that Catholic Relief Services strives to serve the “common good” with “uncommon excellence.”
She told the bishops that the organization is “always innovating” and “always improving to make sure that our work is good.”
Founded in 1943, Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S. It reaches more than 100 million people in over 100 countries, providing both disaster relief and long-term development aid.
The agency works closely with local institutions to serve all those in need, regardless of their religion, race or nationality. It serves a broad range of needs, responding to emergencies, promoting education and health, fighting disease, and supporting peace and justice in societies throughout the world.
In addition, it engages Catholics in the U.S. to live in solidarity with those who are impoverished and suffering across the globe.
The organization is governed by a board of directors that consists of clergy – primarily bishops – as well as religious and Catholic laity.
Woo explained that Catholic social teaching is the “foundation” of the agency’s mission as it works to uphold the dignity of all human life, foster justice and serve those in need.
The agency serves those in the poorest nations, she noted, adding that “when a country becomes rich, we leave.” [More]