Chronicle WINTER 2019
A New Chapter Jay Brown Appointed as CEO
or CCC, the new year began with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. On January 5, Jason (Jay) Brown took over the leadership of the agency following the retirement of Joanne Nattrass who led the organization for 12 years. "It is humbling to be chosen to serve Commonwealth Catholic Charities and the Diocese in this new capacity," said Brown. Colleagues at CCC are pleased with the transition. "Jay has been my supervisor, but more importantly my mentor and my friend," said Abby Boyd, director of supportive housing and homeless services. "I don't think we could have a more capable leader stepping into this role. Jay's focus has always been on the clients, which is ultimately the most important thing. I'm looking forward to what will happen in the coming years under his leadership." Brown, too, looks toward the agency's future. "The impact CCC has across the Commonwealth is incredible," said Brown. "I'm excited to continue to sustain, amplify, and replicate that impact in communities across Virginia in the coming months and years." www.cccofva.org â€˘ CCC provides quality, compassionate human services to all people, especially the most vulnerable, regardless of faith.
With Jay Brown
What are some of your priorities for your first few months in your new role? In my first few months, I'll be getting to know all of the programs and visiting all of our locations to meet with our staff. I also want to really learn more about the people we’re serving—who they are, what their strengths and goals are, and how we can better equip them to thrive. Where do you see CCC in the future? We’re here to serve the people who are the most vulnerable—that’s never going to change. At the same time, the future is about creativity and innovation so my hope is that we find new ways to partner with parishes and local communities and to be creative in helping the people we serve. You’ve been involved in social services for more than a decade. What keeps you motivated? I’ve always served at a Catholic Charities agency. The founding documents of Catholic Charities USA contain powerful statements about who we need to be as people of faith—advocates for and defenders of the poor, raising up the voices and the perspectives of people who are suffering. I get renewed motivation every time I hear one of our client’s stories or every time I learn something new about how we have helped a family succeed. It's encouraging to know that I'm part of a movement that’s active across the country and even across the world that’s making a real impact in people’s lives and in local communities.
2 >> Commonwealth Catholic Charities
What are some of CCC’s biggest strengths? I think that our Catholic identity truly sets us apart from other organizations and is perhaps our biggest strength. Our identity allows us to learn from the rich heritage and traditions that are alive in our local communities while at the same time drawing from a 2,000-year-old tradition to animate our work. Our other biggest strength is our staff. I get goosebumps witnessing the creativity, talent, compassion, and professionalism of the people I’m lucky enough to work with every day. What inspires and motivates you? The stories of the people we serve motivate me the most. For example, we housed a man in Hopewell who had spent the better part of two decades sleeping outside. We got him off of the street and directly into his own apartment, but he had been diagnosed with cancer. He died less than a year later, but he died at home, surrounded by friends, and with dignity. That’s what we’re here for, and that’s what keeps me going. What do you like to do in your free time? My wife, Tess, and I have the beginnings of a little farm in King William County, so when I’m not here chances are I’m weeding the garden, splitting wood, or getting some hours in on the tractor. I'm also active at St. Ann’s in Ashland where I help with Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and serve on the Pastoral Council. I also serve on the Economic Development Authority for King William County. When I get done with all of that, I try and keep up with Villanova basketball and the Boston Celtics. The Patriots are pretty fun to root for, too.
Bishop Dedicates Altar and Chapel
he Most Reverend Bishop Knestout dedicated the altar of the newly finished chapel at CCC on January 11, 2019.
“This holy space provides a welcome respite for prayer, reflection and renewal for all who work and visit here,” said Bishop Knestout. “Just as Jesus tells us that we must respond to the hungry, the thirsty, and the stranger, Commonwealth Catholic Charities harnesses our community’s collective compassion to tend to those in need.” The elegant simplicity of the chapel is conveyed through beautifully crafted maple wood furnishings and appointments, along with Italian smalti tiles used in the mosaics. Liturgical artist Ronald Neill Dixon designed the chapel’s custom woodwork, furnishings, stained glass and mosaic. The crucifix is an early 20th century antique restored by Dixon Studio and the Madonna and Child statue outside the chapel is a modern casting of a vintage statue. The Bishop also presented a plaque to retiring Executive Director, Joanne Nattrass, which will be placed in the chapel to commemorate her 12 years of service to the agency. After the dedication and mass, Bishop Knestout attended a reception to meet CCC Board Members and staff.
Jay Brown, Joanne Nattrass, Bishop Barry Knestout *Photography courtesy of Vy Barto
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NEW YEAR, NEW FACES CCC Welcomes New Board Members
Robert C. Courain, Jr., Commonwealth Human Services Foundation Board
Occupation: Retired CEO and owner of RECO Industries/Virginia American Industries Personal: Serves on Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ Audit and Richmond Regional Advisory Committees, President of the Rotary Club of Richmond, Vice President and Treasurer of Hermitage Country Club, member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond
Nikola "Nick" Lucas, Agency Board of Directors
Occupation: Retired Social Worker with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington; Former manager with MCI Corporation, Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Personal: Former CCC Homeless Services Intake Volunteer, Member of St. Benedict Catholic Church
Kelly Stuart, Agency Board of Directors
Occupation: Pediatric Physician; Vice President, Mission and Ethics, with Bon Secours Richmond Health System; Mission Leader for St. Francis Medical Center Personal: Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal recipient; currently serves on the Boards of Honoring Choices Virginia, and of the Richmond Academy of Medicine
Dianne Thompson, Commonwealth Human Services Foundation Board of Directors
Professional: Director of Sales and Design at Commercial Interiors, Inc. Personal: Active member of the CCC's Holiday Festival of Music Committee, member of the Pomeranian Club of Central Virginia, serves on the Women’s Outreach Committee of St. Mary’s, member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond
Lucia Anna (Pia) Trigiani, Housing Corporation Board of Directors
Professional: Attorney and founding partner of the MercerTrigiani LLP law firm in Alexandria Personal: Served three terms on the Commonwealth Human Services Foundation Board. Ms. Trigiani serves on the CCC Board Development Committee, member of Basilica of St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria
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. , Jr C. Courain
4 >> Commonwealth Catholic Charities
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CCC couldn't serve the vulnerable in the community without the help of our community. We'd like to wish an extra special thank you to the following organizations who donated over the last few weeks and months. Thank you to: • VDOT for collecting baby clothes for our baby clothes closet in Richmond. • Quioccasin Baptist Church in Richmond for collecting and donating coats and cold weather clothes for individuals experiencing homelessness who are assisted through the Grace Street Housing Resource Center. • St. Edward Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary for preparing and hosting the Christmas foster care dinner and for collecting care bears for children in foster care. Latin Vintage Prod., LLC., Claves Unidos, Salsa Guy Richmond, Richmond BellyDance, Kyle Eaddy, RVA Dabke Lebanese Dance Troupe, Apsaras Arts Dance Group of Richmond, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bishop Ireton Knights of Columbus, Pupuseria El Salvadoreno, and Dabke Lebanese for donating their time and energy to CCC's foster care program's Christmas party. • Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation for a $2,000 donation to help re-stock the shelves of the Dibert Food Pantry in Richmond which provides an emergency supply of food to an average of 522 families every month. • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Upsilon Omega Chapter, Richmond for donating bikes and toys to help refugee families at Christmas. • RVA Comfort Cases for donating dozens and dozens of backpacks and care items for children in our foster care program. • The Byrd Theatre & Foundation for donating a special Christmas performance and snacks to children in our foster care program. • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for donating a trip to see the Garden Fest of Lights to children in our foster care program.
Chronicle • Winter 2019 << 5
CCC Welcomes New Director of Parish Engagement Commonwealth Catholic Charities has hired John Elwell as the new Director of Parish Engagement. "Strong relationships with our Parishes give us the foundation we need to impact the communities we serve," said CCC CEO Jay Brown. "Having a point person for parish engagement is going to go a long way to help us build the relationships we need to accomplish our goals. We know that much of the success of CCC, and how well we are able to fulfill our role in the communities, is through the support and partnerships with the local parishes." In this new role Elwell will act as a liaison between CCC and Catholic parishes and schools throughout the Diocese of Richmond, facilitating cooperation and partnership to execute the social mission of the Church. "Commonwealth Catholic Charities' role in our community and in our diocese is to be a partner with our parishes," said Elwell. "A partner that helps everyone to work together and live out the Gospel to better serve the most vulnerable among us. We all have our strengths and it’s vital that we share those strengths as we work toward social justice. When we work together, we can fill in the gaps and truly serve our communities, from Hampton Roads to Norton."
Elwell previously worked at Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, Texas where he served as Program Manager for Volunteer & In-kind Services.
6 >> Commonwealth Catholic Charities
We all have our strengths and it’s vital that we share those strengths as we work toward social justice.
Farewell, Dear Friend January brought a great sadness with the loss of Richard "Dick" O'Hallaron, Sr. Mr. O'Hallaron was much beloved by the CCC family. Over many years, he faithfully and lovingly served CCC in a number of capacities. We are greatly saddened by the loss of our dear friend and faithful supporter. His generous heart and spirit will be missed by all. We extend our sincere condolences to the O’Hallaron family. Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
March 6 to April 18
L E N T
We can become more like Jesus during Lent by being generous. With your family select a charitable organization and collect donation money. Here are some suggestions for collecting money: • Put a jar or container on the kitchen table. Contribute a set amount of money, determined by your family, each day of Lent. • Give up buying junk food and contribute that money to the jar. • If you have young children who cannot contribute money, let them contribute by decorating the jar or container. • Hold a yard sale and contribute the proceeds to the collection. • Invite friends to join your family in contributing to the charity. * from Loyola Press
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Happy Birthday to... You! When you celebrate 70- 1/2-years-old, the IRA Charitable Rollover allows you to donate up to $100,000 to a 501(C)(3) directly from your IRA without that donation being counted as taxable income when itâ€™s withdrawn. Check with your financial advisor for more details and contact Donald Miller, CCC Development Manager, 804.545.5942, to designate CCC as your charity of choice!