Catholic Charities aims to engage parishes, raise awareness

Catholic Charities of Louisville is aiming to strengthen its partnership with parishes and raise awareness about its work with the help of a newly developed strategic plan.

“I really want the majority of Catholics in our archdiocese to know about the work of Catholic Charities so they can be proud of it, participate in it by volunteering or donating or supporting it in prayer,” said Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, chief executive officer and executive director of Catholic Charities.

During a recent interview, DeJaco Crutcher noted that the strategic planning committee, led by chair of the board Deacon Scott Haner, sought to develop a plan rooted in the organization’s mission: to serve people in need, especially the poor and oppressed.

The resulting document features six main focus areas meant to guide the agency and its 11 programs and ministries from now through 2023.

“None of these are new subjects but we thought it was important to do some intentional thinking about the direction we were heading and to set some guideposts of where we wanted to be and determine some metrics to see how we are doing,” said DeJaco Crutcher, who took the helm of the charity in April 2017.

Overall, the focus areas reflect the organization’s desire to be more visible in the community, especially the Catholic community and to better connect with parishes, DeJaco Crutcher said.

To that end, Catholic Charities has launched a branding campaign called “You have no idea.” A series of videos details the work Catholic Charities does to serve those in need in the Archdiocese of Louisville. To learn more, visit https://cclou.org/youhavenoidea/.

“Staff of Catholic Charities are doing amazing things for people in our community every single day and I wish more people knew about that aspect,” DeJaco Crutcher said.

Part of the plan’s approach to engage parishes includes the hiring of a parish, schools and advocacy coordinator — Father Lawrence Goodwin, who joined Catholic Charities last summer. The coordinator’s role is to develop greater parish engagement.

Father Goodwin, who is a priest of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, provides on-going support and resources to assist parish and school leaders, DeJaco Crutcher said.

She acknowledged that it can often be hard to be a Catholic today, and some may become demoralized reading about the Catholic Church in the secular news.

“What you don’t hear about is Catholic Charities’ staff picking up refugees at two in the morning from the airport or those working with human trafficking survivors or individuals receiving real-world job skills through Common Table — that is also your church at work in the world,” she said.

To read the strategic plan, visit https://www.archlou.org/strategic-plan-2020.

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