In a recent interview with The Global Sister Report S. Donna Markham discussed the challenges facing Catholic Charities USA.
“The most important thing has been to help the entire ministry of Catholic Charities to identify our vision and strategic priorities for the next five years. It became more important when Pope Francis addressed the 2014 annual gathering in Charlotte via video and challenged us to go into the streets and stay in the streets with those who are most vulnerable. With that playing in our hearts and minds, it became the focal point for us to begin to articulate a vision and formulate priorities.
I invited all of the Catholic Charities directors to engage with us in a theological reflection process on the parable of the good Samaritan, asking ourselves, “Who today is lying by the side of the road in need of our help? Who has been forgotten or marginalized or denigrated or despised? Who are those people we are called as a ministry of the church to care for?” That was the groundwork for the formulation of our vision and our strategic planning.
When we identified seven strategic priories [affordable housing; integrated health and nutrition; immigration and refugee services; leadership development and Catholic identity; disaster services; social enterprise initiatives; and advocacy and social policy initiatives], they became the focus of how we conduct our work: how we advocate on Capitol Hill, how we organize our offices and, finally, how those priorities drive our national fundraising.” Read the entire Global sister Report interview here.