Rev. Robert Flannery
Priest, Church Leader, State and National Ecumenical/Interreligious Leader
Lawrence High School
The Rev. Robert B. Flannery, pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Carbondale, Illinois, has a passion for his vocation, for his friends, and for his family which is inspirational. His passion is reflected in his leadership of ecumenical efforts nationally and internationally, including heading the American Catholic Church's ecumenical and interfaith association (CADEIO) and National Workshop for Christian Unity.
Throughout his 37 years of being a priest, Father Bob Flannery has been heavily involved with ecumenical and inter-religious relations at the local, statewide, national, and international level. He has held the office of president or chair for several national and statewide organizations which are either Catholic or ecumenical in nature
He is a past president of the National Association of Diaconate Directors which recognized his leadership by giving him the William Philbin Award, the association's highest award.
He is presently serving his second three-year term as president of the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Inter-religious Officers (CADEIO). As such he was asked to select and head the eight-person delegation to represent the Association at the ecumenical prayer service for Pope Benedict XVI in New York City in 2008. He was also invited by President and Mrs. George W. Bush to attend the welcoming ceremony for the Pope at the White House.
Father Bob has served as a member of the National Planning Committee for the National Workshop on Christian Unity since 2004, has had a hand in planning many national events and has been designated as Chair-elect of the conference to be held in 2012.
In May of 2005, Father Flannery was appointed for a three-year term as a member of the Catholic delegation to the new ecumenical body, Christian Churches Together in the USA, an appointment made by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
As part of his inter-religious and ecumenical endeavors, Father Flannery has traveled to India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Thailand meeting with inter-religious and ecumenical personnel in those locations. In February of 2011, he plans to make an ecumenical visit to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durham, South Africa. A collogue wrote "Bob has an incredible openness to working with people of different faiths... a talent for bringing people together."
Father Flannery has served as a board member, personnel committee chair, nominating committee chair, and vice-president of the Illinois Conference of Churches. In February of2000 he visited Cuba as part of the fourteen-day joint delegation of the Hlinois Conference of Churches and Chicago Religious Leadership Network. During this official delegation, the group met with the president of the Cuba National Council of Churches, the cardinal archbishop of Havana, the prime minister and religious commission minister of Cuba.
ln October 2009, Father Flannery was the recipient of the Saint John's University Alumni Achievement Award. It recognized him for his leadership in the church fostering growth in the national diaconate program and his vision and commitment to bring together Christian faiths for dialogue, understanding and prayer.