We had another roller-coaster ride in 2013, witnessing many impressive victories, and enduring some recalcitrant anti-Catholic offenders. As usual, we were forced to move quickly, jumping from one fire to another. But that’s the fun part of working here: we never have a dull moment; we must constantly keep on our toes.
Many of the veteran staff members were back. Bernadette Brady is still steering the ship, and Alex Mejia, Tom Arkin, Mary Ellen Kiely, and Suzon Loreto are still managing our processing department; all of them make me proud. Don Lauer and Michael O’Halloran were back, helping out in a myriad of ways. We also picked up the youthful and talented services of Katelynn Schmitterer, John Mulvey and Matt Bartlett. Helping us out occasionally was Rick Hinshaw; his keen editing eye has been a blessing. I completed 20 years as president and CEO on July 1.
Most people I meet are surprised that we don’t have more staff members. I firmly believe that one of the reasons we succeed is our small size: the Catholic League is not a think tank—it is a media-driven, civil rights, advocacy organization that must be able to move at lightning speed, and juggle many issues at the same time.
Father Philip Eichner, the chairman of the board of the Catholic League, completed his 21st year. He is a very strong proponent of keeping the league lean; he has seen what happens when size becomes sclerotic.
The annual report is not dispositive of all we do, but it does give evidence of why we exist. Anti-Catholicism is sadly tolerated at a time when much progress in curbing bigotry has been made by other demographic groups. The reasons for this condition are complex, but they are unacceptable regardless. Our job is to continue the fight: at least we know that our effort is on the side of the angels.
William A. Donohue, Ph.D.