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November 28, 2022, Washington, D.C. – Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, addressed members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during its annual assembly on November 15, 2022, for a final time as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA). The first female to head CCUSA, Sister Donna announced recently that she will retire next year.
CCUSA is a network of agencies through the United States that address the needs of vulnerable people. Sister Donna told the U.S. Bishops that her goal was to "help this ministry become more financially stable and nimble as the entire Catholic Charities network responds to increasing demands to care for growing numbers of disaster victims, migrants, homeless folks, hungry people, mentally ill, addicted people, and families and children in precarious socio-economic situations."
Sister Donna, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation from 2004 to 2010, spoke not only of the needs of people throughout the United States and in territories such as Puerto Rico, but of the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations in helping CCUSA agencies meet those needs.
"It’s important for you to tell the story of the Catholic Church’s response in this country to people who reside along the margins of our society, the very most fragile, the most vulnerable – to be able to say this is where our Church puts the Gospel into action," Sister Donna said. "It’s where Matthew 25 comes alive palpably every day across the entire country."
Watch the video of Sister Donna’s address.
May 2, 2022, Washington, D.C. – Pope Francis’ message of the need to reach out to people on the margins is “spiritually exhilarating” to those who work directly with people suffering from poverty and marginalization. That was the perspective of Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, who, as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, has dedicated her own life to reaching out to people in need.
In an article in a recent issue of Our Sunday Visitor, Sister Donna said Pope Francis’ message was credible because of his own work with people in poverty. “His whole life in Latin America has put him face to face with people in abject poverty,” she told Our Sunday Visitor. “He knows how to engage with them.”
Sister Donna experienced the pope’s dedication to struggling people first-hand when, in September 2015, she accompanied him on a tour of agencies that serve people in poverty in New York and Washington, D.C. She was present for his visit to Catholic Charities, when he visited people who were homeless; for his address to the United Nations; and for his visit with immigrants at Queen of Angels School in Harlem.
Read the article about Pope Francis and his concern for people suffering from poverty.
Feature photo: Pope Francis addresses dignitaries on the White House Lawn during his 2015 tour of the United States, including New York and Washington, D.C. The photo was taken by Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, who was invited to several events during the pope’s visit. Adrian Dominican Sisters File Photo