Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
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Bishop Skylstad honored by National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy
the Inland Register
(From the March 16, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)
From left: Father Mark Hession, president of the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC), Msgr. Douglas Doussan, Bishp Skylstad, and Bishop John Kinney, Episcopal Liaison for NOCERCC. The organization gave Bishop Skylstad its President’s Distinguished Service Award for 2006. (IR photo from NOCERCC)
One hundred and eighty directors of ongoing formation and other church leaders in the formation community participated in the 33rd annual national convention of the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC) in Scottsdale, Ariz., last month.
On the first day of the convention, Bishop Skylstad was presented with the 2006 Nocercc President’s Distinguished Service Award, presented to a person whose service of the Gospel and the Church exemplifies NO-CERCC’s mission and goals.
The award is intended to bring the priesthood and the value and importance of ongoing formation for priests and Religious to the center of positive attention. Recipients are people who support NOCERCC, contribute to its work, and champion its mission and goals in the religious and secular media.
The award honors Bishop Skylstad’s dedication and commitment, which have had a great impact on the Catholic Church and the larger community. In the late 1990s, as chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Policy, he took strong stands against capital punishment, including the case of Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building. Under Bishop Skylstad, the committee also issued statements opposing welfare cutbacks and supporting a higher minimum wage.
He has also been co-chairman of the U.S. Catholic-Methodist theological dialogue, encouraging ecumenical and religious dialogue at the national and local levels.
He has been a bishop since 1977, when he was installed as head of the Diocese of Yakima. In March of 1990, he was named to head the Spokane Diocese. In 2004, he was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Bishop John Kinney, bishop of St. Cloud, Minn., and Episcopal Liaison to NOCERCC, spoke of Bishp Skylstad as a “great pastor for the church. We have been bishops together in the conference for many, many years. I have been very grateful for his pastoral leadership. He is a wonderful bishop for the people and has a special love for the priests.”
Founded in 1973, NOCERCC is a network of diocesan and religious directors of presbyteral continuing education/formation. By keeping abreast of contemporary pastoral needs and movements, and by sponsoring research on issues and concerns of the presbyterate, NOCERCC seeks to educate its constituencies, promote the ongoing formation of the presbyters, and motivate them toward more effective ministry in the Church.