Catholic Leadership Institute Announces 2014 Recipient of the Outstanding Catholic Leader Award

WAYNE, PA, December 2, 2014 
Catholic Leadership Institute is pleased to announce the 2014 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley - Archbishop of Oklahoma City.

Archbishop Coakley was selected for his leadership during this critical period in the American Catholic Church. In 2010, Coakley was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the fourth Archbishop of Oklahoma City, making him the second-youngest archbishop in the United States. He was one of the first Archbishops in the United States to invite Catholic Leadership Institute to assist him in proclaiming a mutually shared vision in Oklahoma City known as  "Go Make Disciples" which includes a major initiative to respond to the pastoral needs of a growing Latino community. 

The Holy Spirit opened a new door for him to share the Gospel in 2013, when he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Last month, he led a CRS mission trip to Gaza and Iraq to assess the needs of displaced Christian families and war-torn communities. His leadership as Chairman of the Board of CRS has won widespread acclamation and praise.

In September, he received world-wide recognition for his leadership against a planned "Black Mass" in his Archdiocese. He responded to this challenge with steadfast determination, as he and the faithful in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City stood together against the "Black Mass" being held at the City Civic Center. His main weapons were a very effective peaceful procession and holy hour prayer service. In the weeks leading up to the event, Archbishop Coakley's voice was a rallying cry for his community and for the nation - a voice of truth and strength, but also one of unwavering hope in Christ's victory over Satan. He also prayed for mercy, calling upon Catholics to trust in the power of the Lord's grace and to pray for the conversion of those involved. 

Through faith, Archbishop Coakley has done amazing work for the Lord. He said, "To me faith is really like the air I breathe, the light that illuminates all of my life. It determines the way I look upon the world and understand the world in light of God's love. Certainly there have been moments of conversion, but my journey of faith has been for the most part not so dramatic, but quite ordinary, and I suspect that is the way most people live their faith and have grown in their faith. Faith has been more like a seed sown quietly, silently, in a very hidden way that has deepened, grown and matured through the years, and please God has born some fruit and please God will continue to bear fruit. I'm so grateful for the gift of faith. And so what does faith mean to me? It means everything. It's a tremendous gift, a gift for which I'm profoundly grateful."

Catholic Leadership Institute developed the Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership in 2000 to recognize outstanding leaders in the Catholic Church whose exemplary leadership in the family, workplace, community and Church. "Catholic Leadership Institute is blessed to honor these outstanding Catholic leaders and Christian witnesses, like Archbishop Coakley for their commitment to living and sharing the Gospel values with passion and humility." said Timothy C. Flanagan, Founder of Catholic Leadership Institute.