Msgr. McCoy to lead PNAC's $25 million campaign
For about the last eight years, Msgr. Kevin McCoy of the Diocese of Sioux City has served at the North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome. On Dec. 12, the college's board of governors announced that Msgr. McCoy would move to Washington to direct the college's $25 million capital campaign.
The diocesan priest first served as the director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the Pontifical North American College. That is a position he held from 1998 to 2000. From 2000-2001, he was named vice rector for administration. For the last four years, Msgr. McCoy has served as rector of the North American College.
"Over the almost eight years that I have served the college, I have had opportunities to interact with so many different facets of priestly formation be it the formation of seminarians for priesthood or overseeing the continuing formation of priests," he said. "In all of it, I can see the Lord at work in the lives of these men as well as in mine. The college afforded me the opportunity to come to know a goodly number of priests who returned to Rome for graduate study and of the newly ordained priests during this past decade - most of whom are now serving throughout North America."
Msgr. McCoy said the best part about serving at the college was the people. He loved the opportunity to work with and for the seminarians and priests.
"I love the Italian and American personnel who make the life of the seminary and graduate house run so smoothly," he said.
The diocesan priest mentioned that leading the seminary family is an awesome responsibility.
"I don't think most people would think of it in these terms but some days it is apparent that you have about 160 23- to 29-year-old sons - one is elated, another hurting, another just struggling to know God's will for him - and there is no better thing to do than to listen to them, offer a challenging word, or just love them through it all," said Msgr. McCoy, who served as chancellor of the Diocese of Sioux City prior to the appointment in Rome.
He added that the seminary family isn't just the seminarians and priests, but is also the Italian personnel - secretaries, cooks, domestic staff, maintenance workers and so forth - who have regarded him as the father of the house. Whether they are dealing with a sick child, the death of a loved one or another family problem is weighing them down, they look for care and compassion.
"They appreciate receiving it; and they return it," said Msgr. McCoy. "My twin brother, Mark, died just some seven weeks ago. His death is a painful loss, but the consolation that the Lord provided through the prayerful support of the PNAC community - well it defies description, but it reaffirms one in faith."
In his new duties for PNAC, as executive director of the campaign, he will coordinate the energies of the alumni volunteers, lay volunteers, professional fundraising counsel and the board of governors to garner support for the college.
He explained the significance of the college with its three programs - seminary, graduate department and sabbatical programs - and the impact it has on the Catholic Church in North America.
"At almost any one time across these three programs, you have priests or seminarians representing more than 100 of the approximately 190 dioceses across our country," said Msgr. McCoy. "This institution, therefore, impacts the pastoral and missionary efforts across our nation by producing not only future parish priests but also leadership for the new evangelization. So, my work is to tell the story of one of the Catholic Church's best kept secrets - the Pontifical North American College."
While he will be based in Washington, DC, Msgr. McCoy anticipates a great deal of travel with the new job.
"The campaign funds are destined for major capital improvements on both campuses and to increase the endowment for the college," he said.
Some of the funds will go for the maintenance and repair of graduate house, which is over 400 years old. The seminary property, he noted, is in great need for new windows.
"The main chapel, where the men gather for prayer communally three times a day, lacks any heat," said Msgr. McCoy. "Given our damp winters here in Rome, a dry, sub-zero Iowa day can seem warmer than when one kneels to adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in our Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. Of course, there are computer and library technologies that need updating, flooring that needs to be replaced, a sports field to be refurbished - the list goes on."
In addition, the board of governors would also like to increase PNAC's endowment.
Msgr. James Checchio, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., who has served as vice rector for administration at the seminary since 2003, will succeed Msgr. McCoy as rector of North American College.