Diocesan News

State’s bishops hire leader for public policy organization

OMAHA (SNR/NCC) – Archbishop George J. Lucas announced Aug. 25 that Tom Venzor will take over as executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) Sept. 1.

After conducting a nationwide search for the conference’s next leader, Venzor was picked by Nebraska’s three Catholic bishops – Archbishop Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Bishop James D. Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln and Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt of the Diocese of Grand Island.

“Tom possesses 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, who serves as president of the NCC.

Venzor is currently the NCC’s associate director for Pro-Life and Family.  For the last year, he has coordinated and directed pro-life programs for Nebraska’s three dioceses, focusing primarily on countering threats to human life and dignity such as abortion and euthanasia. He has managed a statewide grassroots organization and lobbied on behalf of pro-life legislation at the state and federal levels.

“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.”

A former legislative aide, Venzor, 31, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. He is replacing Greg Schleppenbach, who was appointed executive director of the NCC in 2014. Schleppenbach left in June to become associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington D.C.

The Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC) is the statewide association operated jointly by the Archdiocese of Omaha, Diocese of Grand Island, and Diocese of Lincoln. 

Located in Lincoln, the NCC represents the public policy interests of Nebraska’s three Roman Catholic bishops before the Nebraska legislature, the Nebraska delegation in Congress, and state agencies. The public policy issues addressed by the NCC include institutional concerns of the Catholic Church as well as issues related to Catholic moral and social teaching, human dignity, and the common good.

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