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WASHINGTON –Father Andrew Small, 42, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, has been named National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The appointment was made March 4, by Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and became effective immediately. Father Small succeeds Msgr. John E. Kozar, who is completing his second five-year term.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the announcement and said that “Father Andrew’s appointment is great news for the Church in the United States and around the world. I pray he will be inspired by the example of one of his predecessors, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.”
Archbishop Dolan also paid tribute to Msgr. Kozar for his ten years of service to the United States and Vatican.
“Msgr. Kozar deserves all our thanks, especially for his diligence and perseverance,” Archbishop Dolan said. “He successfully urged U.S. Catholics to give generously for the work of evangelization.”
Father Small currently heads the USSCB Office for the Church in Latin America, overseeing the national collection and administering a $7 million grant program for the region. Previously, he was the bishops’ policy advisor on international economic development. He joined the USCCB in 2004. Before that, he worked in pastoral ministry in Houston and in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’m humbled by the responsibility entrusted to me,” Father Small said. “I look forward to working with the great mission family in the United States, whose love for the Church is both wide and deep.”
Father Small entered the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1989. He was ordained priest in 1999. He holds law degrees from Sheffield University, England and Georgetown University Law Center where he is adjunct professor of international law. He also holds a doctorate in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America. A native of Liverpool, England, he is a U.S. citizen.
The Pontifical Mission Societies consist of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. Their purpose is the promotion of a universal missionary spirit among all baptized Catholics. These four Societies each received the title “pontifical” in 1922 to indicate their status as official instruments of the pope and of the Universal Roman Catholic Church.
The National Director heads the four societies in the United States and oversees the World Missions Sunday Collection, which is taken up on the third Sunday of October each year. For more information see www.onefamilyinmission.org
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