The Leadership Roundtable honors The Cristo Rey Network and Dr. Francis J. Butler

Cristo Rey
The 2011 Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Award for Innovation in Catholic Education was presented to The Cristo Rey Network. Geoffrey Boisi, far left, chair of the Leadership Roundtable, presented the award with Kerry Robinson, far right, executive director. Accepting the award on behalf of Cristo Rey is BJ Cassin, second from left, president of the Cassin Educational Foundation; Robert Birdsell, center, president and CEO of Cristo Rey; and Rev. John Foley, SJ, second from right, executive chair.

WASHINGTON, DC--The National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management presented two 2011 Leadership Roundtable Best Practices Awards at its 2011 Annual Meeting last night, honoring The Cristo Rey Network for its commitment to innovation in Catholic education, and Dr. Francis J. Butler, president of FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities), for his lifetime of exemplary lay leadership and service to the Catholic Church.

Geoffrey T. Boisi, chair of the Leadership Roundtable, and Kerry A. Robinson, its executive director, presented the awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The event was part of a conference constructing models to sustain Catholic educational systems in the United States.

“Cristo Rey schools are hopeful examples of what Catholic education can achieve when people and institutions pull together, both intellectually and financially, to support students and the communities where they live,” said Robinson. “The Leadership Roundtable honors both the Cristo Rey Network’s commitment to embrace innovation, and in a special way, its dedication to support urban students who have limited access to adequate college preparation.” Accepting the award for The Cristo Rey Network were Rev. John Foley, SJ, executive chair, and Robert Birdsell, president and CEO.

The Cristo Rey Network of schools was founded in 2001, and educates over 6,500 students, representing a wealth of faiths, in 17 states and the District of Columbia, all of whom earn acceptance into a two- or four-year college or university. Students of color comprise 95% of Cristo Rey’s student population, and students come from households with an average annual income of $36,000.

In recognizing Dr. Butler, Robinson said, “Frank’s professional contribution and service to the Church over the entire course of his adult life is a powerful testament to the extraordinary difference one person can make toward advancing the mission of the Church.  He is a model of lay leadership and a personal inspiration to all those who know him and have had the privilege of working with him.”

Dr. Butler has directed FADICA for 31 years, an organization that plays an influential role in developing and forming a community of philanthropists who share a vision of charity, justice, and human dignity. Prior to this, he was domestic policy director at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops where he served for 8 years following two years of service on committee staff of the US Congress. He is a frequent commentator on the world of religious philanthropy and has played a leadership role in the founding of several charitable organizations in the US, including Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR), the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University, the Catholic Program of Aid to the Church in Eastern and Central Europe, and The National Religious Retirement Office. Dr. Butler has served as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Laity of the Vatican.

The Leadership Roundtable honors individuals and organizations who have made a valuable contribution to the Catholic Church in the United States, especially in areas of finance, management, human resource development, and communications. Past recipients include Catholic Relief Services, the Diocese of Gary in Indiana, Catholics Come Home, and the Archdiocese of Boston’s Financial Transparency Project.

The Leadership Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious, and clergy working together to promote excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. through the greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. It brings together leaders from the worlds of business, finance, academia, philanthropy, non-profit organizations, and the Church to serve the Catholic Church in the United States. The Leadership Roundtable serves the Church through its Standards for Excellence program; ChurchEpedia, a collection of best practices; and consultancy services, which have assisted several archdioceses, dioceses, and religious communities across the country.

For more on FADICA, visit
For more on The Cristo Rey Network, visit