Diocesan News

Retired Catholic Conference director honored with pro-life award

LINCOLN (SNR/NCC) – James Cunningham, who recently retired after nearly 40 years as executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, was presented with the 2015 Gospel of Life Award at this year’s bishops’ pro-life banquet and conference. 

The award was initiated in 2007 by the state office of the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities, to honor Catholic individuals for exemplary efforts to promote the Gospel of Life. 

The award, which includes a papal blessing, was presented to Cunningham at the annual conference banquet Oct. 30 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. The award was presented by Greg Schleppenbach, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

“Over his nearly 40 years as head of the Conference, Jim had a hand in nearly every piece of pro-life legislation that was introduced,” Schleppenbach said. “Jim advocated passionately for the unborn, for the marginalized and poor, for the elderly, the imprisoned and the immigrant.

“In all of his advocacy, Jim always recognized that the right to life is pre-eminent among our human rights and made sure that it was pre-eminent in the priorities of the Conference,” Schleppenbach added.

“Beyond his exemplary pro-life advocacy in the Legislature, in his overall role as a lobbyist representing the Catholic Bishops in Nebraska, Jim was a faithful disciple of Christ,” Schleppenbach said.

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