The New York State Catholic Conference and Catholic Education in New York State:
The Alan Davitt Era 1969-1981

Having completed the histories described earlier, the author turned his attention in early January 2008 to advocacy and program development activities relating to education undertaken by the Catholic Conference subsequent to 1968.

It was the intention of the author at that time to write the volume in three parts, describing the work of each of the three extraordinary persons who served as Executive Secretaries of the Council in this time period.

  • J. Alan Davitt 1969-1981
  • Joseph McTighe 1981-1996
  • Jim Cultrara 1996-present

It was natural to begin from the beginning by describing the work of the council while Alan Davitt was the Executive Secretary of the council.

It quickly became apparent, however, that initiatives undertaken at the federal level and state level in the mid-1960’s and continuing into the 1970’s were of such moment that to describe them accurately would take an entire volume.

During this tumultuous and precedent-setting time on issues relating to government funding for Catholic education, Alan Davitt and others played major leadership roles at the state and federal levels.

They are described in this volume.

The author intends to write a subsequent volume or volumes describing the activities of the Catholic Conference in relation to education from 1981 until the present.

The author then intends to conclude the series of histories about the Catholic Conference with a description of the work of the Diocesan Human Life Coordinators from establishment of this group in 1970 until the present.


Jack Balinsky
1329 Wellington Drive
Victor, New York 14564

 (585) 738-8647