Catholic Charities and the Diocese of St. Cloud announce transition of Social Concerns Office

After careful consideration, the leadership of Catholic Charities and the Diocese of St. Cloud made the decision to move the work of the office of Social Concerns, currently under the direction of Catholic Charities, to the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Beginning July 1, 2024, the Social Concerns director, Kateri Mancini, and rural life coordinators, JoAnn Braegelman and Luke Preussler, will make the transition from Catholic Charities to their new office location at the Pastoral Center in downtown St. Cloud.

Kateri Mancini (Photo submitted)

“We will continue the same great work, just in a new home,” Mancini said. “The transition will allow the work of Social Concerns to continue, simply under a new organizational umbrella.”

Catholic Charities, the charitable arm of the diocese, has long partnered with the St. Cloud Diocese. While separate entities, they have been steadfast partners in the same mission – to serve our community members in need and live out the principles of Catholic social teaching, primarily the dignity of all. The office of social concerns has been an integral bridge in this partnership, which will continue with this transition, simply housed in a new location under the auspices of the diocese and the guidance of Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C.

The two organizations agree that this action will help streamline Social Concerns’ collaboration with the diocese, making it easier and more efficient to connect and serve the surrounding communities. This transition will allow for more efficiencies and seamless alignment with the priorities of the bishop and of Catholic social teaching.

“Because we share common goals to serve the underserved and to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world,” said Bishop Neary. “I am pleased to welcome the Social Concerns team and all their important work under the diocesan umbrella.”

Luke Preussler (Photo submitted)
JoAnn Braegelman (Photo submitted)

Social Concerns will continue to serve and collaborate with multi-faith leaders, congregations and groups as well as secular community partners. This change will allow the diocese to be more directly involved in these multi-faith and community collaborations.

The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organizer positions will not follow the Social Concerns team to the diocese, due in large part to increased availability of other organizations and groups throughout the community doing similar work. Other community entities are now in a place to carry on this work, despite the elimination of these two part-time roles within Catholic Charities.

Remaining Social Concerns staff will continue to partner with current groups that are serving the population, supporting their efforts in ensuring that these largely marginalized groups across our diocese are recognized, served and upheld with practices of equity and justice both within and outside of Catholic parishes.

Additionally, the social concerns team will have further opportunity to team up with the diocesan office of Multicultural Ministries, which has a strong focus on Hispanic/Latino outreach.

“Catholic Charities remains committed to living out our mission – to serve and enhance human dignity for all people,” said Renae Sternke, acting executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. “We will strive to ensure the work we do stands as a testament to the principles of Catholic social teaching and that our quality services will continue advancing our mission and helping our neighbors in need.”

“Despite the changes that this transition will bring, the community can rest assured that our social concerns team will continue our hard work in faith-based social justice education, advocacy and support of rural communities and social ministry efforts throughout the Diocese,” said Mancini. “We have a gifted and passionate team, and we are blessed to have been able to serve under Catholic Charities, as well as to now be able to join the team at the St. Cloud Diocese in living out this great work.”



Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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