In the 1940s and 1950s, Catholic social services agencies operating as part of the Detroit Archdiocese were established in southeast Michigan. Through the decades since, the dedicated staff and volunteers of these agencies have brought hope and healing to countless numbers of God's people. Through adoption services, foster care, senior services, individual and family counseling, and other services, our Catholic social services agencies help change lives for the better every day. Performing works of Christian charity such as these is an essential dimension of Christian discipleship, and is part of answering the universal call to holiness.
In recent years, the five Catholic social services agencies in the archdiocese have experienced operational and financial challenges. Shortly after I was installed as archbishop in January 2009, I commissioned a task force to review archdiocesan central services, which provides pastoral and administrative support services in the archdiocese. The recommendation of this task force included restructuring Catholic charitable and social services agencies to maximize resources and service delivery in the six counties that comprise the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Last year, I requested the leadership of our social services agencies to develop a strategy to ensure the future viability of all Catholic charitable efforts across the archdiocese. To facilitate this process, I have made two appointments. Msgr. Charles Kosanke, who currently serves as the chair of the board for Catholic Social Services of Oakland County, will now serve as the chair of the new Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM). This will be in addition to his new assignment as pastor of St. Regis Parish in Bloomfield Hills. I have also named Mr. Thomas Reed, current president and chief executive officer of Catholic Services of Macomb and Lapeer Counties, to serve as interim director of CCSEM. Msgr. Kosanke and Mr. Reed are now working with leadership at Catholic social services agencies in Lapeer, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties to develop joint pastoral aims for CCSEM, and transition to a full coordination of programs and services. I will serve as president of CCSEM.
In conjunction with phase two of the Together in Faith pastoral planning process involving all of our parishes and Catholic K-8 schools, I anticipate a plan that will enable our Catholic social services agencies to better manage resource challenges while embracing God's call to live out the Gospel message.
As this important planning and restructuring work continues for the balance of this year, Mr. Reed and his colleagues will complete an assessment of programs, assets, liabilities, property and staff, with recommendations for a CCSEM service delivery model.
I have asked all involved in these considerations to focus on the dignity of the person, with a high value on the individual, a commitment to accompany God's people through the trials of life, and an emphasis on strengthening families. I believe this planning process will lead to greater connection of Catholic social services with our parishes and vicariates. In this, we will fulfill the call of our archdiocesan vision: sharing Christ in and through the Church. I invite you to learn more about the planning process for the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit