In March 2007, the Holy See appointed Father Wall as President of Catholic Extension. In this role, Father Wall focuses his efforts on raising awareness and resources for the 91 poor mission dioceses served by Catholic Extension throughout the United States.
He also serves as a member of the Catholic Extension board of governors, which is chaired by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI, the Archbishop of Chicago. When Catholic Extension was founded as a papal society by Pope Pius X in 1907, the bylaws established that the Archbishop of Chicago would serve as chancellor of the Catholic Extension board of governors. In addition, the board includes bishops from the mission dioceses as well as Catholic laypeople who bring their areas of expertise to the organization.
Prior to leading Catholic Extension, Father Wall was pastor of Old St. Patrick's Church, the second parish founded in the city of Chicago and the city's oldest public building. Under Father Wall's stewardship, this struggling urban church grew from four to 4,000 households, making it one of the most vibrant faith communities in Chicago today.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Father Jack Wall was ordained on May 2, 1968, after receiving his Master of Divinity and STL from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He has served on the faculty of Niles College Seminary at Loyola University, and was Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Chicago from 1979 to 1985.
Motivated by the Gospel call to serve the poor, Father Wall uses his inviting, pastoral approach to shepherd the nation’s Catholics in a mission to unleash the power of faith that transforms hearts, lives, and society.
"Catholics may identify themselves locally with their parish, but we know in our hearts that we are more than a congregational church. To be Catholic is to be spiritually connected to one another in Faith wherever the Church is, and to be especially responsive to the presence of Christ in the poor. As American Catholics, we sense a special responsibility to build up the Catholic Faith in our own land and among our own people. Catholic Extension is the conduit through which we build faith, inspire hope and ignite change in poor and under-resourced dioceses and communities throughout the United States."
- Reverend John J. Wall
President, Catholic Extension