Bishops name new head to Latin America office

by Dennis Coday

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Press Release from U.S. bishops' conference:


WASHINGTON -- Trinitarian Father Juan J. Molina has been named associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of National Collections and director for the Church in Latin America. Father Molina is currently serving as policy advisor for Latin America and Global Trade in the Office of International Justice and Peace at USCCB and previously served as advocacy program coordinator in the Southwest regional office of Catholic Relief Services.

“Father Molina’s qualifications and skills made him a perfect choice for this position,” said Patrick Markey, executive director of the USCCB Office of National Collections. “Father Molina’s knowledge of the region, his existing relationships with the Church in Latin America, and his deep knowledge and broad experience in the work of the Church will help him transition well into a program that is already recognized for the excellent work Father Andrew Small did to support the USCCB’s commitment to the Church in Latin America, especially regarding Haiti.”

In March, the Vatican appointed Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Andrew Small as national director of the Pontifical Missions Societies, based in New York City. During his two years of service as director for the Church in Latin America, Father Small oversaw the grant making program and the development of plans to help the reconstruction of the Church in Haiti in the wake of last year’s earthquake.

As director of the USCCB effort to support the Church in Latin America, Father Molina will be responsible for the bishops’ grant initiative for the Church in the region, including the work to support the Haitian bishops’ Partnership for Reconstruction of the Church in Haiti (PROCHE by its acronym in French).

Father Molina is a priest of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitarians). He holds a Ph.D. in economics and a master’s degree in international political economy and development, both from Fordham University. He also received a Master of Arts degree in spirituality from the Washington Theological Union in Washington and speaks several languages.

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 Latin America received over $7.1 million in donations from 150 U.S. Dioceses in 2010. The bishops’ Subcommittee on Latin America approved grants for 22 countries in the region totaling $7,563,961 that year. The special appeal for the Church in Haiti received over $84 million, of which 60 percent was committed for aiding the victims of the Earthquake and 40 percent has been committed for church

For more information on the USCCB’s work in Latin America, visit

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