PTPA Launches Search for New Leader

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 1, 2022) – Executive Director Theresa Patterson and the Board of Directors of Parish Twinning Program of the Americas (PTPA) today announced Patterson’s plans to retire. Patterson has agreed to continue to serve in the leadership role until a new executive director is hired. PTPA Board of Directors is launching an aggressive search to find qualified candidates to fill the leadership position by July 1, 2022.

Patterson stated, “It has been a most humbling and rewarding gift to have spent so many years in nurturing and growing the work of the Program.  Haiti will always be my passion and in my heart. I remain totally confident in the future and direction of PTPA with a very dedicated and committed Board of Directors."  

Since its founding in 1978, PTPA has been a story of Patterson’s love and commitment, bringing hope and aid to thousands of people in Haiti and Latin America. Formerly known as the Haiti Parish Twinning Program and the Adopt-A-Parish Program, PTPA has been facilitating and maintaining parish linkages throughout the United States for the past 44 years. Thanks to Patterson’s leadership, PTPA has grown to become the largest, most significant organization of its kind. Approximately, 300 U.S. parishes have been twinned with parishes in Haiti and Latin America, providing more than $50 million in aid to impoverished Catholic communities.

Bishop Mark Spalding of the Diocese of Nashville said, “Theresa has received international acclaim for her work as a lifelong servant of the poorest and most marginalized. As a true servant of those in great need, particularly in Haiti, she has formed bonds of Christian fraternity and friendship centered around corporal works of mercy. May God bless her richly in her retirement.”

Donald McCrabb, Executive Director of U.S. Catholic Mission Association (USCMA) said, “Theresa is an inspiration to all U.S. Catholic missionaries. Theresa’s greatest legacy – and greatest gift to her successor – is the vast network of missionary communities she inspired to develop deep and lasting relationships with our sisters and brothers in Haiti and other countries in Latin America. Her successor will stand on the shoulders of a giant, a blessing beyond measure.”

Diane Huggins, president of PTPA Board of Directors, said, “Theresa is a living example of what one person of great faith can do to make a real difference in the world. She is the spark that has ignited the hearts of thousands of missionaries who bring hope to the poor in Haiti and Latin America. Her quiet and gentle style masks the awesome power of her spirit and great leadership. The board is committed to continuing her remarkable legacy.” 

Board member Tom Gettelfinger, chair of the PTPA Succession Planning Committee, said, “We recognize that as Theresa retires, we are entering a new phase for PTPA as we transition from a founder-based organization to an organization overseen by the Board of Directors with recruited executive leadership. In addition to this organizational transformation, we recognize the current state-of-affairs, particularly in Haiti, will present challenges to the new leader that PTPA has never faced before. The Board would like to assure interested candidates that we are committed to providing our full support and cooperation to build on the past success of PTPA, which has been the result of Theresa’s labor of love and leadership.”

More information is available at Interested candidates can begin the application process by sending an email request to

Patterson, PTPA Board Members and key twin parish contacts are available for comment upon request.

About PTPA Parish Twinning Program of the Americas (PTPA) is a Catholic, non-profit organization whose mission is to live 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 in 1978, PTPA has grown to become the largest, most significant organization of its kind, having formed nearly 300 twinnings for parishes located in 73 Catholic dioceses in 31 states.