NASHVILLE, Tennessee — David J. Siler has been named the new executive director of the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas, which is based in Nashville.

Siler succeeds Theresa Patterson, founder of the Catholic nonprofit organization and its executive director since 1978. She announced her plans to retire in March.

“I am delighted to pass the torch to David and support his leadership,” she said in a statement. Patterson will continue to serve the organization as a member of its board of directors.

The board announced Siler’s appointment Aug. 15 and it was effective immediately. He will be introduced to representatives of U.S. twin parishes at the PTPA National Conference in Nashville Aug. 26-28.

“Siler brings strong leadership experience to the organization along with a passion for its mission,” said a news release about his appointment.

Most recently, he served as the executive director of the National Youth Advocate Program for Indiana, a foster care provider. Prior to this position, he served for five years as president & CEO of Families First Indiana, a human services agency in central Indiana.

He also was executive director of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for 16 years after having served as the agency director of St. Elizabeth Coleman Pregnancy and Adoption Services.

Siler also has significant experience with a parish twinning relationship. In 2012, Siler helped to form the twinning relationship between his home parish, St. Matthew the Apostle in Indianapolis, and an impoverished Catholic parish in Bois de Lance, Haiti.

As the parish twinning leader, Siler conducted numerous mission trips and has led several big projects to completion, including the construction of a rectory, the expansion of two schools, funding for wages for teachers and administrators of the two schools, and a food program that provides meals for 480 students four days a week

“David is a perfect fit for this important position. He brings significant leadership experience and a passion for our mission. We believe he has the energy, dedication and vision to advance our mission and lead our organization into the future,” said Diane Huggins, president of the PTPA board.

“We look forward to working with David to continue the inspirational legacy of our founder Theresa Patterson,” she added.

The theme of PTPA’s upcoming conference will be “All Things Are Possible: Sharing God’s Love in Haiti and Latin America,” in Nashville.

Conference attendees will gather to share information and learn about best practices for building spiritually enriching twinning relationships with impoverished parishes in Third World countries.

PPTA describes its mission as living the Gospel “by seeking, building and maintaining twinning relationships between parishes in the U.S. and parishes in Haiti and Latin America.”

Since its founding, it has grown to become the largest organization of its kind and has formed about 300 “twinnings” for parishes in 73 Catholic dioceses in 31 states.

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Editor’s Note: More information about the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas can be found online at