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WASHINGTON—The Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals awarded its President's Medallion to Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), June 21. The medallion is the highest membership honor presented by the Catholic Academy.
The medallion was presented at a luncheon during the annual Catholic Media Conference, held this year in Denver. Sally Oberski, president of the Catholic Academy and director of communications and public relations for the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, said this year's award is a "long overdue recognition to someone who has served for many years and continues to serve in an outstanding manner."
Sister Mary Ann Walsh is a member of the Northeast Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She holds a master's degree in English from the College of St. Rose and a master's degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola College of Maryland.
She began her journalism career with The Evangelist diocesan newspaper in her native Albany, New York, before serving as a correspondent for Catholic News Service in Rome and Washington. She served as director of communications for World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 and then began her work in media relations for the U.S. bishops.
She has prepared media relations programs, spoken on media topics and written for publications including America, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and USA Today. She also blogs regularly at http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com. She is the producer of the award-winning video, Five Extraordinary Days and editor of books that include profiles of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. She coordinated the media efforts of the U.S. cardinals during both the 2005 and 2013 papal transitions.
Keywords: Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Sisters of Mercy, U.S. bishops, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, media relations, Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals, President's Medallion
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