Philadelphia divorce attorney William PhelanThe Catholic Charities Appeal recently appointed Cordell & Cordell Philadelphia Lead Litigator William J. Phelan IV as president of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Phelan, 37, who has been a board member of the CCA since 2016, is the youngest board president in CCA history.

The CCA was founded in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Cardinal John F. O’Hara in 1952 and is now administered by the independent Catholic Foundation of Philadelphia. The organization has assisted with the funding of the charitable outreach programs of the archdiocese since that time.

“It’s a nonprofit that helps so many families in the archdiocese,” Mr. Phelan said in an article published on “Through my Catholic education I have been open to opportunities to assist others. …

“I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to lead the Catholic Charities Appeal Board of Directors as their new president. The Catholic Charities Appeal is truly the backbone to so many amazing organizations and programs in this archdiocese, supporting thousands of our neighbors in need. I look forward to working with Appeal supporters and beneficiaries to give hope to those who need it the most and to help bring the CCA to our younger generations.”

Mr. Phelan, a native Philadelphian from Roxborough, Pa., attended Holy Family Parish in Manayunk and La Salle College High School before earning his B.A. in classical civilizations from the Catholic University of America where he graduated cum laude. He then received his master’s degree in congressional and presidential studies, and his Juris Doctor from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.

Mr. Phelan is a member of several associations, including:

  • Doris Jonas Freed Matrimonial American Inn of Court, Executive Board Member (2017-present)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
    • Family Law Section
    • Disability Services Committee, Co-Vice Chair (2019-2020)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Brehon Law Society (a legal organization comprised of attorneys and judges of Irish ancestry)

He previously has been selected to serve on the La Salle Leadership Council, a select group of alumni who volunteer to help further the mission and objectives of his alma mater. He also sits on the board of advisors for Alpha Delta Gamma Educational Foundation, a national education non-profit organization, as well as the board of directors for Alpha Delta Gamma Capital City Alumni Association.

He has received numerous awards and distinctions during his legal career, including:

  • Irish Legal 100
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction
  • National Academy of Family Law Attorneys’ Top 10 Under 40 Attorneys
  • National Advocates Top 100

Mr. Phelan and his wife Megan are raising two preschool-age children, Benjamin and Patrick, in Sacred Heart Parish, Havertown, where he is an active member.

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