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Contact: Patricia Cole

Leading Hope Researcher, Catholic Relief Services CEO to Keynote
2015 Catholic Charities USA Annual Gathering
Three-day conference will focus on “Harvesting Hope in the Heartland,” living out Pope Francis’ call to strengthen families

Alexandria, Va. (June 24, 2015) – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), whose members helped more
than nine million individuals in need on their journey out of poverty last year, announced today that
Dr. Shane Lopez, author of “Making Hope Happen,” and Dr. Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of
Catholic Relief Services, will serve as keynote speakers at CCUSA’s 2015 Annual Gathering
September 10-12 in Omaha, Nebraska.
“As our nation prepares to welcome Pope Francis this September, the Catholic Charities network is
eager to engage in substantive discussions concerning support to families in need. Certainly these
crucial conversations will continue throughout the Annual Gathering, the Holy Father’s visit and
beyond,” said Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA. “The Annual
Gathering is a wonderful opportunity for our members to share best practices as well as to honor
persons who have helped so many who struggle in the face of poverty to reclaim hope and dignity.”
Sister Markham will deliver her first address to the network as president of CCUSA to open the
session on Thursday, September 10. She will be followed by Dr. Lopez, a senior scientist at Gallup,
Inc., and one of the world’s leading researchers on the power of hope. Dr. Woo, who has served
since 2012 as president of Catholic Relief Services, the international humanitarian agency of the
Catholic community in the United States, will deliver the closing address on Saturday, September 12.
The three-day event will also include interactive workshops and institutes that focus on topics such
as Food Access, Poverty Reduction, Financial Empowerment and Veterans’ Services. A special
highlight of the national conference will include a performance on the life of Monsignor John
O’Grady, the founder of Catholic Charities, on Friday, September 11.
“I am looking forward to meeting our members across the network and delighted to welcome to
exemplary speakers we have on our agenda,” remarked Sister Markham. “This conference promises
to be a source of inspiration, shared learning and hope as we move forward together.”
Additional information about this year’s Annual Gathering can be found by visiting:
About Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide.
Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 9 million people a
year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please
visit our website at