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ROME, Italy – A delegation from the World Council of Credit Unions visited the Vatican to present the Catholic Church with WOCCU’s Distinguished Service Award for their work in developing credit unions in impoverished areas. The nuns and priests in developing countries have done much to promote credit unions against surmountable odds, Kim Johnston, WOCCU’s Marketing and Communication Manager said. “We walked through all the Swiss Guards. It was an amazing experience to be there.” The Catholic Church was active in forming credit unions as a battle against poverty. The late Pope John XXIII regularly crusaded for the poor and indicated his support of self-help organizations. At the presentation ceremony were WOCCU’s CEO Pete Crear and board members L.R. Bobby McVeigh, Gary Plank, Ron Hance, Melvin Edwards, Grzegorz Bierecki, and Manuel Rabines. This was the second trip to the Vatican during the conference. WOCCU supporters, people who donated $1,000 or more toward development and disaster relief to the organization, were given a special tour of the Sistene Chapel on Monday evening. [email protected]

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