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September 18, 2023, Troy, Michigan – Sister Donna Markham, OP, Ph.D., recently retired as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and was one of three recipients of Time, Talent, and Treasure Awards presented during the annual gala of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. More than 400 people attended the September 7, 2023, event at Petruzello’s Banquet Center in Troy.

Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan is one of a nationwide network of Catholic Charities agencies under CCUSA that serve people who are poor and vulnerable in areas such as housing, food and nutrition, domestic disaster relief, and immigration. Monsignor Chuck Kosanke, Chair of the Board of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, bestowed the Leonard R. Jagels Award on Sister Donna. The award is named for the former director of Catholic Social Services.  

“Catholic Charities has grown, the services have grown, and your support and your commitment to people who are really suffering is apparent to the entire network of Catholic charities across the United States,” Sister Donna said, accepting the award.

Read more about Sister Donna’s Award and the work of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan in this article by Gabriella Patti, published in The Detroit Catholic.

January 30, 2023, Silver Spring, Maryland – Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). She will be presented the award on August 11, 2023, during the closing banquet of LCWR’s Assembly in Dallas. Her selection was approved unanimously by the LCWR board.

Recipients are chosen based on their “commitment and collaboration in the ministry of leadership; faithfulness to gospel values and mission; creative and innovative leadership in one or more areas; and significant contribution on the national and/or international level, particularly to women religious congregations in the United States.” 

“I’m deeply honored,” Sister Donna said in response to the news.

In a letter announcing Sister Donna’s selection, Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, Executive Director of LCWR, wrote: “Having served as a clinical psychologist, educator, and executive leader, Donna has been recognized internationally for how she models collaboration, creativity, and innovation in leadership areas that include healthcare, social service, and religious life. LCWR looks forward to learning more about Donna’s approach to effective leadership when it honors her.”

Sister Elise D. García, OP, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, said, “Donna’s outstanding gift of leadership could not be more aptly recognized. It will be a joy and an honor for all of us on the [Adrian Dominican] Leadership Council to represent our community at the LCWR Assembly this August when the Conference’s highest award will be bestowed on our outstanding Dominican Sister.”

Since June 2015, Sister Donna has served as President and CEO of CCUSA – a network of Catholic agencies throughout the United States that serve people in need in such areas as hunger, affordable housing, immigration and refugee services, integrated health, advocacy and social policy initiatives, and domestic disaster relief. Before being named President, she served on the CCUSA Board of Directors for eight years, including two years as Board Chairperson. She will retire this summer.

A graduate of Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette, Illinois – founded and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters – Sister Donna served the Congregation on the General Council from 1986 to 1992 and as Prioress from 2004 to 2010. Her accomplishments as Prioress included establishing seven new mission initiatives in the United States, Canada, and Africa and inviting young Dominican Sisters from Iraq to the United States, sponsoring them for education. In addition, she served as President of LCWR from 1990 to 1993.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Sister Donna was a psychologist and Director of Dominican Consultation Center in Detroit, 1980-1986; clinical psychologist at Romero House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1992-1993; President of Southdown Institute, Aurora, Ontario, a residential treatment program for priests and religious, 1993-2003. She was served as President of the Behavioral Health Institute at Mercy Health System.

The LCWR is an association of the elected leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States.



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