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Covering the USCCB



variety of other issues related to Catholic elementary and secondary education

throughout the diverse system of parish, diocesan and privately run Catholic

schools. On internal church matters, it deals with standards for Catholic

higher, secondary and elementary education in many areas. These range from

the “


” (episcopal authorization for Catholic theologians to teach in

Catholic colleges and universities) to college campus ministry, from responsi-

bilities of Catholic educators to the roles of Catholic schools in sexual educa-

tion, from curriculum issues to bishops’ responsibilities over the educational

institutions in their dioceses.

The national staff serving the committee forms the USCCB Office of

Catholic Education. The Office of Catholic Education works collaboratively

with other USCCB secretariats and departments, as well as with national, state

and local organizations that participate in the service of the Church’s educa-

tional, catechetical and world missions ministries. The office’s executive direc-

tor is Dominican Sister John Mary Fleming.

Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations

This committee is responsible for matters ranging from priestly life, deacons

and ministry, to the religious life of men and women in religious orders, to

programs encouraging the development of vocations to the ordained or reli-

gious life. It also handles bishops’ relations with Catholics who are members

of what the church calls

secular institutes

—Catholics who are not members of

religious orders but who make special vows committing themselves to lives of

poverty and chastity while making their living in the secular world in a vari-

ety of professions.

Fr. Ralph O’Donnell is the executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of

Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

Committee on Communications

The committee oversees the USCCB’s media relations and publications and

the church’s engagement with film, broadcast, print and digital media. Helen

Osman is the USCCB secretary of communications. Her Office of the Secretary

of Communications oversees the following:

• The

Office of Public Affairs

, through which the USCCB releases state-

ments, makes official announcements and responds to inquiries from

news media. James Rogers is its executive director.