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Pope Francis appoints Helen Osman to serve as a consultant to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication

The Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Bishop of Jefferson City, is pleased to announce to our diocese that Helen Osman has been appointed by Pope Francis to a five-year term as a consultant to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication. 

The dicastery, the first Vatican office to be led by a lay person, Paolo Ruffini, oversees all aspects of the communication efforts of the Vatican, including its radio, print, television and digital platforms, such as www.vatican.va and the Pope’s Twitter service, @pontifex. Osman, along with other consultants, will advise the Vatican on how to use modern communications to further the mission of the Church.

Helen Osman

“It’s a humbling honor,” Osman said. “While the Church is often challenged in our efforts on the ‘Digital Continent,’ to quote Pope Benedict, I believe we are also in a time of grace, as we find creative ways to use digital means to build community and encourage freedom of expression and freedom of religion throughout the world.” 

Through mid-September, Osman has directed the communications department at the Diocese of Jefferson City. She was appointed to the position by Bishop McKnight in 2018. She continues to closely advise the diocese and Bishop McKnight on communications and special projects.

“I am delighted that Helen’s commitment to the Church is being utilized by the Dicastery for Communication, with her professional expertise and wide range of experience in Church communications,” said Bishop McKnight. “Helen is both a leader in our chancery as well as an internationally recognized advisor on Catholic communications. I trust her insights will help expand the voice of our Church, strengthen our global communion and lead to a growing faith in God.”

Osman was raised in the Diocese of Jefferson City and currently resides in Austin, Texas. She served as the communications director for the Diocese of Austin for more than two decades before she was named the chief communications officer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and later led communications for the Diocese of Jefferson City. In September, she was elected to a second term as president of SIGNIS, the only global association of Catholic communicators with canonical statutes.

“On behalf of the Diocese of Jefferson City, I congratulate Helen on this appointment,” said Bishop McKnight. “I ask all to please join me in prayer as she begins this important new role and continues her service to our diocese.”