We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

25
Thu, Feb

Tools
Typography

It is hard for me to believe that this is the last column I write as Acting CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Beginning August 1, I will leave the agency in the very capable hands of Sally Blount, who, as the Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and former dean of the school, was carefully selected for her outstanding leadership and organizational skills, and her steadfast commitment to help those in need.

When Monsignor Michael Boland stepped down as CEO of Catholic Charities last August, I was honored to be asked to step in while a national search was conducted for a new leader. After 40 years with the agency, I was more than happy to postpone my retirement to see Catholic Charities through this leadership transition. To be sure, I was a little nervous; Monsignor Boland left some very big shoes to fill! During his incredible 30-year tenure, Catholic Charities’ management, board stewardship, and organizational structure were fine-tuned. Stepping into this role was like stepping in to manage a very well-oiled machine.

However, no one could have anticipated the extent that this well-oiled machine would be put into high-gear, re-tooled and re-fueled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past few months, I have used this column to keep readers updated on the incredible increases in requests for assistance Catholic Charities has seen and how we have responded. At the risk of tooting our own horn, I must say that Catholic Charities’ response has been nothing short of amazing. I have never been more impressed or more grateful for the staff, the board, the volunteers, the donors, the parishes—everyone coming together to meet unprecedented needs.

Many of our services have had to be adapted to meet CDC guidelines, and our staff continue to spring into action to implement changes, not missing a beat, even as our programs witness double and triple the volume of requests. In other instances, we have had to redeploy staff to meet increased needs in critical areas. These staff members have gladly and quickly learned an entirely new job just to ensure Catholic Charities can meet growing needs. In every program area, Catholic Charities staff have been incredibly creative in how they accomplish the job of helping people while working within the constraints and complexities of a pandemic.

In addition, the generosity of our board and donors has been overwhelming. New donors are being added daily, small donors have started to make larger contributions, and our board is stepping up to help in a myriad of ways. We have also relied heavily on volunteers and added many new volunteers. The increasing number of young people getting involved has been particularly providential at a time when many of our long-standing volunteers are in the high-risk group and unable to help in-person.

As I reflect on why Catholic Charities has been able to so quickly and responsively adapt to changing circumstances—whether it’s the leadership transition, the pandemic, or standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters during the recent unrest—the answer is undoubtedly our mission-driven organizational culture. The commitment to the Gospel mission to help those in need, and to treat each person with the utmost respect and dignity, began with the start of the agency more than 100 years ago and has flourished ever since. Whether as a staff person, board member, volunteer or donor, people get involved with Catholic Charities because they believe in the mission to help people achieve their God-given potential. They believe in doing whatever it takes to serve those who are hurting. If anything, our mission-driven culture is strengthened by adversity and change, and we have seen a lot of both during this past year.

I am honored to pass on the gift of leadership of this great agency to Sally Blount, whose energy and excitement is inspiring. After her recent visits with Catholic Charities staff and programs, she perfectly summed up our organizational culture: “You feel the mission here and it’s infectious.” It certainly is, and Sally is exactly the person we need to capitalize on our strengths and effectively lead Catholic Charities through these unprecedented times and deep into Catholic Charities’ second century of helping those in need. May God bless Sally in her new role and may each of us continue our commitment to Catholic Charities and all those we have the privilege to serve.

Join the Irish Book Club!

Become a Book Club Member

N-17 Song Done Differently!

SUBSCRIBE: Buy 1 get 2 - Buy 2 get 3! - Buy 3 get 6 years!

SUB SPECIAL

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

February Linked Edition

January Digitally Linked 2021

 

December 2020 with ad links

Irish Ann

Irish Book Club

Advertising Rates 2020

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY

Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville Aug 7-8 2020
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Dreamtown - Patrick Carney
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
Authentic Irish Tours
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Shay Clarke - Inter Trav Corp
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group