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February 25, 2009
New leader named for local Catholic Charities
By John Gleason
On Feb. 19 Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., announced that Jonathan Reyes was selected as the new president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Reyes, founding president and instructor at the Augustine Institute in south Denver, will assume his duties on June 10.
Originally from Michigan, Reyes, 40, and his wife Stephanie have six children. He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame where he completed his Ph.D. in history. He has extensive practical ministry experience.
Currently on sabbatical in Minnesota, Reyes said by telephone that both he and his wife are excited about this new post.
“We discerned this together,” Reyes said. “We’re both 100 percent for it.
“For some time now, my wife and I have desired to be more active in the service of the poor,” he added. “The Lord simply filled us with the conviction of what we’re supposed to do. It’s an answer to a prayer actually.”
Reyes has the archbishop’s complete support, the prelate said in a statement.
“Reyes brings to the job maturity, energy, intelligence, humility, a deep commitment to the poor and a great understanding of Catholic identity and social teaching,” Archbishop Chaput said. “He clearly has the talent and spirit to lead Charities—and a strong staff to help him.”
Due to teaching commitments, Reyes won’t take over until June 10, when Stephen Carattini who has served as interim president of Charities since last August, will return to his duties as chief operations officer.
“We’re very pleased and excited about Jonathan’s appointment,” Carattini said. “He’ll be an ideal leader and advocate for the agency.”
Catholic Charities oversees almost two dozen services for those in need in northern Colorado. From counseling and emergency services to advocacy and foster care, Catholic Charities stands ready to help those who have no place to turn, providing services effectively and faithfully through charitable ministry.
Reyes said he is eager to help the agency fulfill its mission.
"First, we want to continue to make our Catholic identity central to who we are and bear witness to Christ's love and compassion for human life, all the way from conception to natural death,” he said. “And of course we have to be good stewards and manage our resources well.”
For every challenge the agency faces today, said Reyes, an opportunity exists.
“Opportunities abound, I’m convinced of that,” he said. “There is a wealth of the Catholic social tradition for us to share.
“My hope,” he added, “is that our message is so clear that people will look at us and say, ‘We know they are Christians by their love.’ If we live Christ’s love, we can’t go wrong.”
Reyes said he looks forward to learning from Catholic Charities staffers and credits them with keeping the wheels of the organization turning.
“This is a new line of work (for me) and the learning curve is going to be steep,” he admitted. “I hope to bring something to the table, but there’s much I have to understand.”
He plans to approach his new position with humility and trust, he said.
“There is a terrific staff (at Charities),” Reyes said, “that I have absolute confidence in.”