Monsignor Michael M. Boland

Time to move on

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you of my decision to step down as president, administrator and CEO of Catholic Charities effective Aug. 16. It has been my great privilege to hold this position at Catholic Charities for almost 25 years and to be a part of the agency for 30 years. 

When I became administrator, a friend told me that I had been given stewardship of “the great jewel of the archdiocese.” That phrase has always stuck with me because it is a beautiful reminder that the poor and vulnerable are the true treasures of the church. 

Catholic Charities is so blessed to daily minister to the needs of those whom Jesus entrusted to our care, and during my tenure I have tried to be a faithful steward of this remarkable agency that brings help and hope to so many people in need.

One of the greatest joys of my time at Catholic Charities has to be our recent yearlong centennial anniversary celebration. The 100th anniversary gave us the opportunity to honor the great tradition of charitable care in the Archdiocese of Chicago — a tradition that has always included parishes, religious orders, volunteers, board members, philanthropic organizations, the business community and government entities all working together to respond to signs of the times and adapt and add services to meet changing needs. 

During the past 30 years, this tradition has not only continued, but flourished. I have been tremendously grateful for the support Catholic Charities receives from so many organizations, individuals and especially our dedicated board members that has allowed us to expand our services in both Cook and Lake counties, implement innovative programming for veterans, ensure that we are present in the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the city and suburban regions, extend the reach of our services for the hungry and homeless, develop housing and extensive services for older adults and ensure that children receive the nutrition they need and have healthy, safe recreational options in their communities. 

As Catholic Charities embarks on the next phase of leadership, it will continue the great tradition of bringing people together to respond to changing needs.

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that Cardinal Cupich has asked Kathy Donahue, our senior vice president of program development and evaluation, to assume the role of acting administrator, president and CEO. Kathy’s nearly 40 years of service at Catholic Charities demonstrates her commitment to the mission and strong leadership in the agency. I am confident that Kathy will ensure that Catholic Charities continues to operate seamlessly. 

I am deeply grateful for the friendships I have made with so many of you over the past 30 years. All of you have helped make Catholic Charities what it is today. 

While my heart will always be with Catholic Charities, it is time for me to step back, rest and transition to a new phase of my priestly ministry. I leave confident that you will continue your extraordinary support of Catholic Charities, ensuring that our brothers and sisters in need — the precious treasures of the archdiocese — will be protected and treated with the love and respect that is worthy of their God-given dignity. 

Let us go forward, remembering Christ’s call to be the “light of the world” for one another (Mt 5:13-16) as we continue to help build God’s kingdom on earth, wherever we are. May God’s peace be with you always. 



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