How to Cover the Catholic Church
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Formed by the U.S. bishops in 1943 to serve World War II survivors in
Europe, CRS is the official international relief and development agency of the
U.S. Catholic community. With a staff of 5,000 around the globe, it serves
more than 80 million impoverished and disadvantaged people in more than
100 countries. It serves people based solely on need, regardless of their race,
religion or ethnicity, following the Gospel call to work for charity and justice
by alleviating suffering and aiding in the development of people. Its program
areas include emergency relief, HIV and AIDS, health, agriculture, education
and peace building.
The CRS board of directors is chaired by a bishop, and the majority of its
members are bishops. The president is Carolyn Woo. The headquarters is in
Baltimore, Md. Its Internet site,crs.org ,
includes contact information for com-
munications personnel in Baltimore and for regional information directors
around the world. The phone number for Paul Eagle, the director of commu-
nications, is 410-951-7361.
National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO)
With offices at the USCCB headquarters, NRRO assists religious communi-
ties that face an aging membership without enough funds to meet their rap-
idly rising living and health care costs. In a 2006 report the office said that
three years earlier, according to an actuarial study, U.S. religious orders had a
gap of $8.7 billion between their retirement investments and their retirement
liabilities, and that the gap would grow to about $20 billion by 2023 if noth-
ing was done.
Besides direct financial grants, the office’s services include helping orders to
develop and administer retirement plans andmake the best use of their resources.
Grants come from a national collection for the needs of aging religious that raises
about $30 million a year. Sponsored jointly by the USCCB, CMSM, LCWR and
CMSWR, the retirement office oversees the collection and distribution of the
funds. Precious Blood Sister Janice B. Bader is executive director of the office.
The phone number is 202-541-3215. The Web site iswww.usccb.org/nrro .
Catholic Legal ImmigrationNetwork, Inc. (CLINIC)
Formed by the USCCB in 1988 as a legally distinct subsidiary, CLINIC is a
nonprofit public interest legal corporation that supports a network of com-
munity-based immigration programs. It has coordinated some of the largest
programs in the nation for asylum, detained immigrants, immigration appeals