Former public servant to head Bishops' Commission for Pastoral Life

Bruce Ryan, a lifetime public servant with experience in policy and program development and in implementation of social policy was this week appointed as the new executive secretary for the Bishops' Commission for Pastoral Life (BCPL).

Announcing the appointment, Commission chairman Bishop Eugene Hurley said he looked forward to working with Mr Ryan (pictured) to enhance the participation of all the faithful in Church life.

According to the Australian bishops' media release, the Commission is charged with fostering the participation of the faithful in the life of the Church and has a particular focus on issues including marriage and the family, disability, migrants and refugees, and pro-life initiatives.

The Commission was formerly known as the Committee for the Family and for Life and the name change is part of the Australian bishops' restructuring plans announced in May.

"Bruce will be building on some wonderful work being undertaken in this vitally important aspect of the Church's mission," Bishop Hurley said.

"I warmly welcome him, wish him well and assure him of my prayers and support."

Mr Ryan is married with five children and one grandchild. After an initial three years studying for the priesthood, he embarked on a 35-year career in government administration. His experience is chiefly in policy and program development and implementation in social policy areas such as aged care, disability and youth.

Mr Ryan said he was looking forward to joining the staff of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

"I feel privileged to have this opportunity to assist the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life in its work of improving access and participation for all Australian Catholics in the development and practice of their faith, including such groups as older Australians, young people and people with disabilities," he said.

"I hope that my experience as a Catholic, and in policy and program work over many years, will help to support the important work of the Commission."

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (Media Release, 7/8/06)

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Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

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9 Aug 2006