Declan Murphy Named Director for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe

December 13, 2010 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2010)—Declan Murphy, Ph.D, has been named associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of National Collections and director of the Collection for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Murphy previously served as president of the Eurasian Cultural Fund, a foundation that supported faith-based civil society initiatives in Russia and Eastern Europe, deputy director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Smithsonian Institution and Russia and Eastern Europe special projects manager at the Library of Congress.

“Dr. Murphy will be an excellent addition to the Office of National Collections staff,” said Patrick Markey, executive director of the USCCB Office of National Collections. “It will not be easy to replace Father Jim McCann, but Dr. Murphy has deep knowledge of the history and culture of the region, especially the former Soviet Union and the Balkan Peninsula. He also has a great love for the Church in the region, which the USCCB is dedicated to supporting. We are looking forward to the vision and direction he will bring to our work.”

Last May, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father James McCann, SJ, to be rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. During his seven years of service to the USCCB, Father McCann greatly increased the quantity and the quality of the grant program.

The USCCB Office of National Collections manages eight of the national collections held in Catholic parishes throughout the year. The Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe received over $7.6 million dollars in donations from 147 U.S. dioceses in 2009. The bishops’ Subcommittee on Central and Eastern Europe approved 320 grants for 28 countries in the region for a total of $6,563,486.

Murphy holds a Ph.D. in Russian history from Princeton University, and a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He comes to the bishops’ Conference from the University of Sacramento where he was dean of the College of Business Administration. He is fluent in Russian and speaks Serbo-Croatian. Murphy will begin his new position December 13, 2010.

As director of the USCCB work for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Murphy will be responsible for the bishops’ grant initiative for the Church in the region, which includes the former Soviet Union. His responsibilities include supervising the grant making process, assessing the needs of the grantees, and maintaining effective relationships with the appropriate Church leadership in those countries. For more information on the USCCB’s work in this region, visit