Media CenterDr. Carolyn Woo to Join Pope Francis in Rome to Release Encyclical

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Paul Eagle
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]

Michael Hill
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MD, June 16, 2015 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) president Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo will be among those at the Vatican on Thursday speaking at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si'; on the care of our common home.”

“It is an honor to be included in this important event,” Woo said. “Pope Francis recognizes that caring for God’s creation and caring for the poor are closely linked.”

Widely anticipated as a definitive statement on the need to reverse climate change, the encyclical is also expected to address the need for all to care for those suffering from its effects. Its title, translated as “Praised Be”, is a quotation from the 13th century Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi.

“With my background, I want to reach out to members of the business community, asking them the same question we all must answer; ‘What kind of world do we want to leave our children?’” said Woo, who came to CRS from the University of Notre Dame where she was dean of the Mendoza School of Business.

“While there are businesses which are threatened by this message and probably many do not do enough on this issue – and I include humanitarian organizations like CRS in that – we must acknowledge that there have been extensive actions by business on climate change, easily overshadowing the efforts by the development community,” she said.

CRS, the official overseas humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, works in more than 100 countries around the world, touching the lives of 85 million people, many of them affected by climate change. Its experts, both in its Baltimore headquarters and around the world, can speak to these issues with specific examples such as:

  • Changing rainfall patterns that lead to hardships among small farmers in West Africa.
  • Rising temperatures that make traditional crops no longer viable in Central America.
  • More powerful storms taking different routes, hitting areas unprepared for their effects, in Asia.

“Climate change is not an abstract notion for those of us at CRS,” said Joan Rosenhauer, CRS’ head of U.S. Operations. “We work every day with the people who have done the least to despoil God’s gift of creation but are suffering the worst from that degradation. We know we must strive to bring these changes under control, but just as importantly we must help those suffering the consequences.”

For more information on how CRS is responding to climate change, visit The Church Teaches That Creation Is a Gift…


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit or and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief and @CRSnews, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

Michael Hill

Senior Writer

Michael Hill
June 16, 2015

Based in Baltimore, MD

As Senior Writer, Michael is responsible for much of the editorial production of the Communications Unit: press releases, op-eds, speeches, etc. He also is a supervisor in the department overseeing the work of three communications staff in Asia, Africa and the United States.

Before joining CRS is 2008, Michael had a 35-year career at the...More