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WASHINGTON (December 16, 2010)— Yves Lacourcière has been appointed as the first director general of the newly established architecture and engineering unit of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Haiti Advisory Group of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, confirmed the appointment made by the Haitian Conference of Catholic Bishops (Conférence Épiscopale d’Haïti) on December 16.
The building unit Proximité Catholique avec Haïti et son Eglise, PROCHE, (translated as “closeness to Haiti and its Church“) is a new department of the Haitian Conference. The Haitian bishops formed this department with the assistance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other international Catholic organizations helping to rebuild Church structures in Haiti that were destroyed in January’s earthquake.
The appointment comes after a global search and recruitment process by the Haitian Bishops’ Conference in collaboration with other church donors that included bishops’ conferences from the United States, Germany and France.
Lacourcière has more than 30 years of experience in construction, project management and economic development. Most recently he was the director of two major urban regeneration projects near his hometown, Quebec. In addition to his work for the Canadian Government, Lacourcière has overseen building projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Qatar. Between 2000 and 2004, he was part of the United Nations team responsible for overseeing engineering projects and business transformation in Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia.
“We are very pleased to have Yves Lacourcière join us and begin to put in place the team needed to rebuild Church structures in Haiti that will respond to the needs of every Haitian,” said Archbishop Louis Kébreau, SDB, of Cap-Haitien and president of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference. “This is an important step forward in putting the necessary structures in place that will ensure that such a tragic loss of life can be avoided in the future,” he added.
Archbishop Wenski added, “Haiti remains in a precarious position as we all know too well. This appointment keeps the momentum moving in the right direction. It’s still a long road ahead, and Haiti will continue to need our closeness and our prayers for many years to come.”
Yves Lacourcière is a civil engineer and also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Quebec and has completed a doctoral thesis in ethnology from the University of Laval. A native of Quebec, he is married to Sherly Saint-Jean, who was born in Haiti, and they have a daughter. He speaks French, Spanish and Creole.
After the Haitian earthquake, Catholics in the United States raised $83 million in a special collection that was taken up in parishes across the country, 40 percent of which was designated for Church rebuilding and pastoral purposes while 60 percent went towards the work of Catholic Relief Services.
For more information on the One Church response to Haiti, visit www.usccb.org/haiti or www.crs.org.
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