"Passion, vision, energy and commitment", in a simple message to staff these were the words used to sum up Julian Filochowski who today announced plans to stand down as Director of CAFOD.
Mr Filochowski has held the post of Director at CAFOD for 20 years and has seen the agency grow from a small organisation spending less than two million pounds a year on development projects overseas, to an organisation with an annual income of over £25 million.
CAFOD is now one of the leading development agencies in the UK.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, wrote immediately to Mr Filochowski to thank him for all his work. In his letter of appreciation he noted that CAFOD had: "established a reputation as one of the most respected development agencies in Britain, indeed internationally". The Cardinal added: "For what you have achieved in your 20 years as Director of CAFOD you have the grateful thanks and appreciation of the Catholic community in England and Wales".
Bishop John Rawsthorne, Chairman of CAFOD's Trustees, said: "Julian has been a wonderful leader and Director throughout his years at CAFOD. His vision and his passion for CAFOD's work have won deep respect and gratitude not just in the parishes and dioceses of England and Wales but worldwide. We will miss him immensely when he steps down".
While Director of CAFOD, Mr Filochowski, has travelled to some 40 countries outside Europe in connection with CAFOD's work. In 1982 he took Cardinal Basil Hume to Ethiopia during the famine. Most recently he has visited Iraq, Rwanda and Palestine.
CAFOD will begin recruiting a new Director in the coming months. Mr Filochowski will stay in post until the new Director starts work.
Julian Filochowski joined CAFOD in September 1982. He was previously Education Co-ordinator at CIIR (Catholic Institute for International Relations), after a period of work in Latin America. Originally from Leeds, he studied Development Economics at Cambridge. During his years at CAFOD, he has held many leadership positions in international Catholic networks, including President of CIDSE from 1986-89, Chairperson of Caritas International AIDS Task Force since 1988, membership of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum from 1989-94. He has also been a member of the Board of Christian Aid and a Trustee of CASC (Catholic Agency for Social Concern).
He has been a member of the Bishops' Conference Department for International Relations since the mid-eighties and is presently a member of the Board of Caritas Europa and the Executive Committee of Caritas International. In 1998, he was awarded the OBE for services to International Development.
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