Ralph McCloud

Ralph McCloud Joins NETWORK as New Fellow 

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2024

WASHINGTON—NETWORK recently welcomed Ralph McCloud, former director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), as a NETWORK Fellow. In that role, McCloud will draw on his extensive background in organizing and Catholic anti-poverty efforts to promote NETWORK’s pro-democracy efforts. 

“We are thrilled to welcome a beloved advocate and justice-seeker to our community,” said NETWORK Executive Director Mary J. Novak. “With his long, courageous, and fruitful service to building the common good, we are grateful to have Ralph working alongside us, to advocate for a vibrant, multi-racial, inclusive democracy and help us move toward a vision of a society where every person, without exception, has the freedom to care for themselves and their families.” 

NETWORK Deputy Executive Director & Chief Equity Officer Joan F. Neal added: 

“Ralph brings so much to the work of justice and equity, and we are blessed that he has agreed to join our community.  As we read the ‘Signs of the Times’ in the U.S. today, it is clear that our democracy and our church are under threat from destabilizing extremism, ideological and political differences, and attacks on the dignity of every person.  With his years of experience helping people in need to alleviate poverty and gain access to the freedoms that only democracy affords, Ralph is uniquely qualified to confront these dangers.  We welcome him in the struggle for justice, equity, and peace.” 

McCloud said of his joining NETWORK: 

Ralph McCloud

Ralph McCloud

“I have long held profound respect and admiration for Catholic Sisters and, by extension, NETWORK and its noble history and mission of addressing the root causes of injustice at the level of federal policy. The opportunity to be one of the Sisters’ many direct collaborators is an honor and a privilege.”

Prior to his time leading CCHD, the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops, McCloud worked as Division Director of Pastoral and Community Services in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. He has served as President of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and as a board member for the National Black Catholic Congress, the Roundtable Association of Social Action Directors, and the Center for Migration Services of New York. He is the current Chair of the Catholic Mobilizing Network.

From 1997-2005, while in Fort Worth, he served four terms on the City Council and three terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. He also chaired the County Homeless Commission and was named Tarrant County’s First Racial Reconciliation Award Winner by the Tarrant County Community of Churches.

Ralph has received numerous awards, including: the Courage Award from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (2009), the History Maker Award from the Archdiocese of Atlanta (2009), Catholic Charities USA’s Martin Luther King Keep the Dream Alive Award (2010), and the Bishop John Joseph Keane Medallion from the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies from the Catholic University of America (2017). In 2024, Pax Christi USA bestowed its Eileen Egan Peacemaker Award on McCloud, an honor the organization last granted in 2010.

McCloud is currently on the Leadership Group for the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. He is a member of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Washington, D.C., where he serves as a lector and is a member of the Finance Council. 

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Founded by Catholic Sisters in 1972, in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, NETWORK is an inclusive, national, Catholic advocacy organization open to all who share our values, working to achieve equity and justice for everyone. Grounded in Gospel values and the Catholic social justice tradition, NETWORK transforms our society by shaping federal policies that achieve racial, economic, and social justice; serve the common good; and honor the dignity of all. 

One thought on “Ralph McCloud Joins NETWORK as New Fellow 

  1. Sister Miriam Mitchell, S.H.Sp.

    I am thrilled that Ralph will be working with Network. I have known Ralph since he was in 7th grade at Our Mother of Mercy Elementary school in Fort Worth where I was one of his teachers. I knew he was destined for leadership in the Church and in the African American community. Later when he worked as Director of Pastoral and Social Services for the Diocese of Fort Worth and I was Director of Social Services in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana we met at national meetings, specifically USCCB Social Justice and Human Development and ROUNDTABLE – Association of Social Action Directors. When Ralph became Director of CCHD I knew it was in good hands. Now I wish him many blessings and success as he continues his passion for justice!


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