Category: Letters from the Executive Director

Creative Visibility

In my August “How Can I Help?” letter, I noted some questions CVN is asking about better supporting the network based on your needs and creative ideas. I also shared the many efforts we have made this year to help you and your programs. Now, I am happy to share that RESPONSE 2021 is almost… Read more »

A Wise Leader Reaches Out

The staff and Board of CVN have been working very hard in past months to support you. We realize what a tough time this is and how it impacts every aspect of your programs. We are in this with you – trying to listen well and anticipate some of your needs. In trying to assess… Read more »

What Do We Do?

“What do I do?” and “What do we do?” are questions you may be asking now.  The desire to respond to injustice and be part of the solution has been voiced in a range of ways in past weeks.  With regard to CVN, I have seen examples on our listserv, in emails we have received,… Read more »


My sad is not your sad. My angry is not your angry. My story is not your story. But we are in this together. And together we can help each other learn and focus in ways that seek to lift up the best of who we are. A week ago, I was at the CVN… Read more »

Expansive Advocacy

“We don’t help others because they are Catholic; we help them because we are.” This Catholic Charities principle helps me trust in the power of Christian witness.  It informs my embrace of ecumenism and partnership with secular efforts.  It affirms that faith is strongest when expansive and inclusive. I am in good company because you… Read more »

Joyfully Exhausted

A Letter from the Executive Director My head is too tired to come up with anything very creative for this letter. But my spirit is joyous. I’m OK holding those two in tension – or maybe just letting them run wild within me.  I know you are tired too. I have heard from you and from CVN staff how much… Read more »

Choosing Control During Uncertainty

A Letter from the Executive Director Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?’  Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Allow it now, for thus it is fitting… Read more »

Holiness is Not a Strategy

A Letter from the Executive Director “Holiness is not a strategy. Structures prevent bad things.” This comment was made last week by a Catholic leader during the Catholic Partnership Summit. The gathering explored what aspects of the current leadership culture led to the twin crises of abuse and leadership failures, and sought to imagine a new future. The comment was made in the context of exploring governance and leadership.    I have been reflecting on this challenge while considering the heart-breaking news about Jean Vanier…. Read more »


A Letter from the Executive Director Catholic Volunteer Network strives to honor community by cultivating spaces, relationships, and supports that help you nurture your soul and strategies. We affirm your vision and creativity, and hope this community can affirm and challenge you to serve even better. A sense of belonging is critical for the demanding… Read more »

Unusual Kindness

A Letter from the Executive Director January 18-25 is the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The text chosen for this year is Acts 27-28, which focuses on Paul being shipwrecked on Malta and being shown “unusual kindness” (28:2).  In reading about this week, I was moved by a reflection by the World Council of Churches which invites… Read more »