News Release: Catholic Bishops Choose New Leader of Minnesota Catholic Conference

Jason Adkins hopes to build common ground among Catholics and across party lines

ST. PAUL, MINN. (March 28, 2011)—Minnesota’s Catholics have a new voice at the State Legislature and in the public square.

The State’s Roman Catholic bishops have appointed attorney Jason Adkins to lead the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) as its executive director.  The MCC is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.  It advocates for policies and programs that support the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death.

“On behalf of the Board of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, I am pleased to welcome Jason Adkins as our new executive director,” said Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  “My brother bishops and I believe that the combination of Jason’s theological training, knowledge of public policy, and legal experience will serve us well as he advocates on behalf of the Church and for the common good of all Minnesotans.  Jason brings a freshness and dynamic energy to this work, and we look forward to his service.” 

“I am humbled by the trust the bishops have placed in me; it is a privilege to serve,” said Adkins.  “As Catholics, we believe that every human being is created in God’s image and, without exception, possesses dignity and value.  The MCC will continue to vigorously defend the sanctity of life, lift up the poor and vulnerable, and work for the common good. I will reach out to Catholics and all people of good will to advance these goals.” 

Minnesota’s Catholic bishops have also made protecting traditional marriage between one man and one woman a high priority this legislative session.  “The institution of marriage is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” said Adkins.  “The Legislature should put a constitutional amendment protecting marriage in front of the voters.  The people of Minnesota have the right to safeguard marriage before others try to redefine it in the courts.” 

Prior to joining the MCC, Adkins served as a civil rights attorney with the Institute for Justice Minnesota Chapter where he fought eminent domain abuse, defended free speech, and promoted economic and educational opportunity.  He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor.  After law school, Adkins clerked for state and federal appellate judges.  He did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of St. Thomas, and has also worked as a teacher and journalist. 

Adkins took up his new responsibilities Monday, March 28th and succeeds Rev. David McCauley, who has completed his service as interim executive director.  

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