Bishops hire leader for NCC

Hired nearly one year ago as associate director for Pro-Life and Family at the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC), Tom Venzor now will take over as executive director.

Archbishop George J. Lucas announced Aug. 25 that Venzor was hired after a nationwide search to replace Greg Schleppenbach, who left in June to become associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.

Venzor, a 31-year-old attorney from Schuyler who spent three years studying for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha, also has provided legal aid to immigrants, served as a legislative aid to a Nebraska state senator and directed a parish youth ministry program.

"Tom possess a deep understanding of the Catholic faith and of the opportunities to share the light of the Gospel to build up the common good in Nebraska," said Archbishop Lucas, president of the NCC.

The archbishop and Bishops James D. Conley of Lincoln and Joseph G. Hanefeldt of Grand Island picked Venzor, who will represent the bishops’ public policy interests on a broad range of issues in the Nebraska Legislature and elsewhere.

Directing the pro-life and family arm of the NCC since Sept. 14, 2015, Venzor managed a network of parish pro-life coordinators and directed programs for all three dioceses against abortion, euthanasia and other threats to human life and dignity. His duties also included lobbying at the state and national level.

"I am deeply humbled and honored that Nebraska’s bishops have selected me to represent their public policy interests," Venzor said. "I look forward to bringing the church’s rich tradition of social teaching to the public policy issues that we face on a daily basis as Nebraskans."

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