Diocesan News

Cunningham retiring from Nebraska Catholic Conference

LINCOLN (SNR) – Jim Cunningham, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference since January 1977, has announced that he will be stepping down from that position no later than September 1 this year, but most likely as of June 30.  He will remain employed by the Conference for another year to assist in the transition to a successor and will retire as of June 30, 2015

The Nebraska Catholic Conference is a state-level office operated jointly and cooperatively by the Archdiocese of Omaha, the Diocese of Lincoln and the Diocese of Grand Island. It represents and serves the mutual interests and concerns of the dioceses, primarily in the realm of public policy, under the guidance of the three diocesan bishops. The 2014 session of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature is the 38th consecutive at which Cunningham has represented the Nebraska Catholic Conference as a registered lobbyist. CATHOLIC CONFERENCE – Jim Cunningham, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, was part of a pilgrimage to Rome last October with almost two dozen state Catholic conference directors from around the U.S.  As the longest-tenured state conference director, he was chosen by the association’s executive committee to represent the group in meeting Pope Francis at his Wednesday general audience at St. Peter’s. Also pictured with the Holy Father and Cunningham are Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton. Penn., and Scranton vicar general Father Thomas Muldowney.  (Courtesy photo)

In addition to his administrative, research and representative responsibilities, Cunningham is a regular columnist in the three diocesan Catholic newspapers: the Southern Nebraska Register of the Diocese of Lincoln, the Catholic Voice of the Archdiocese of Omaha, and the West Nebraska Register of the Diocese of Grand Island. He has written more than 1,250 “Capitol Correspondent” columns in this capacity.

Cunningham is a native of York and a graduate of St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minn., and the University of Nebraska College of Law. He and his wife have two adult children and seven grandchildren. They have been members of St. John the Apostle Parish in Lincoln for 37 years.

Cunningham is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and the National Diocesan Attorneys Association and is the senior member of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors, of which he is also a past president. He is a past board member of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

“Jim Cunningham’s service to the Church is known across the country,” said Bishop James Conley.  “Jim’s work in the Legislature has helped to bring the Gospel to the way our laws are formed.  We all need to bring Christ to the public square, and Jim is a wonderful example of that commitment.”

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Executive Director, Nebraska Catholic Conference

The Nebraska Catholic Conference is seeking an experienced professional to serve as an executive leader of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.  This position acts in accordance with the authority and direction of the three Diocesan Bishops serving in Nebraska. The executive director is professionally responsible for administration of the programs and activities of the shared-cost arrangement conducted by the three dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nebraska, known as the Nebraska Catholic Conference. 

In this role, the executive director represents, and is an advocate with respect to, the mutual interests and concerns of the dioceses on matters involving public policy, regarding both the Church as a societal institution and also application of Catholic moral and social teaching to temporal issues in pursuit of human dignity, social justice and the common good.   

Education and Experience Required:
Bachelor Degree or equivalent relevant experience
3-5 years previous experience as a Lobbyist
5 years previous experience as an executive leader

If interested in applying, please send résumé to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Résumés will only be accepted via this email address. Deadline for submission is May 16, 2014.

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