Executive Director of Massachusetts Catholic Conference named

BOSTON, MA -- The Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) Board of Governors, after an extensive search process, has announced the appointment of James F. Driscoll as the Executive Director. Mr. Driscoll succeeds Interim Executive Director Gerald D. D'Avolio, Esq. who assumed the position following the death of Edward F. Saunders in August 2010. Mr. Driscoll most recently served as General Counsel in the Office of the State Auditor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The MCC Board of Governors includes Cardinal Seán O'Malley (Archbishop of Boston), Bishop George W. Coleman (Bishop of Fall River), Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell (Bishop of Springfield), and Bishop Robert J. McManus (Bishop of Worcester). Since 1969, the MCC has served as the public policy arm of the four Catholic dioceses in the Commonwealth. The MCC speaks not only to specific legislative proposals and administrative procedures, but reflects also on the major human and social moral issues of the day.

The Bishops said, "We are pleased to welcome Jim Driscoll as Executive Director. He is an experienced professional and dedicated Catholic who shares our common belief regarding the important role and mission of the Church. The Catholic Church in Massachusetts plays a pivotal role across a wide landscape that intersects secular society and the ministry of the Church. We seek to reach common ground on many issues, while working to advance the important positions of the Church in the areas of life, human dignity and social justice." The Bishops also thanked Gerry D'Avolio for serving as Interim Executive Director since September 2010. "We extend our deep gratitude to Gerry D'Avolio for his steady and experienced leadership these past many months and for his commitment to MCC over many years. He has spent much of his life working on behalf of the Church and we are blessed by his dedication."

Mr. Driscoll said, "I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Cardinal O'Malley, Bishop Coleman, Bishop McDonnell, and Bishop McManus for having the faith and confidence in my ability to represent them in such an important role. I look forward to working with the outstanding staff at the Massachusetts Catholic Conference as it continues to advance the mission and message of the church in the many moral, social and economic issues facing the Commonwealth. I also look forward to building upon the existing relationships the Conference has with the Legislators on Beacon Hill. As I will strive to articulate the perspective of the Catholic Church on important public policy issues of the day, my goal is to have an open line of communication with our public officials and to work with them as they consider often complex issues. In addition, I extend my sincere gratitude to Gerry D'Avolio for his gracious welcome and willingness to provide for a smooth and effective transition."

"I want to thank the Bishops for the opportunity to serve the Church these past many months," said Mr. D'Avolio. "It has been an honor and privilege to work with the tremendous staff and to continue the good work of the Church. In Jim Driscoll the Bishops have chosen a gifted public servant who is experienced and dedicated to the good works of the four dioceses. I also wish to thank Bishop Coleman and the members of the search committee for their thorough and extensive process in selecting Jim for this position."

Mr. Driscoll has served in the Office of General Counsel in the Office of the State Auditor as Associate General Counsel since 2007 and as General Counsel since 2009. His previous public service was as General Counsel and Assistant Executive Director for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission beginning there in 1984. He began his career as legal counsel in the Office of the State Treasurer in 1983.

A 1973 graduate of Xaverian Brothers High School, Westwood, and a 1977 graduate of Providence College, he earned his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University in 1981.

A resident of Scituate, Massachusetts and father of four children, he has served as a lector at Saint Mary of the Nativity in Scituate since 1990. He has also served on the Scituate Knights of Columbus and as a Board Director and coach with the Scituate Youth Center.

Mr. Driscoll begins his duties on Monday, April 25, 2011.