Top three leaders suddenly resign from St. Louis Catholic Charities

2013-09-06T22:45:00Z 2014-10-24T14:24:10Z Top three leaders suddenly resign from St. Louis Catholic CharitiesBy Nancy Cambria nancy.cambria@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8238 stltoday.com

ST. LOUIS • Three top officials abruptly left their posts Friday at Catholic Charities of St. Louis, the largest private provider of social services in Missouri.

President Brian O’Malley, Chief Operating Officer Jack Krings and Chief Financial Officer Colleen Dusek all resigned, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis confirmed by email.

Archdiocese officials did not elaborate on the sudden departures. In an email to priests, deacons and others, Archbishop Robert Carlson announced the resignations and said he would name an interim leadership team in the near future.

He wished “Brian, Jack and Colleen well in their future endeavors,” and asked recipients to join him “in keeping them in our prayers.”

O’Malley, contacted by phone, declined to explain his departure but said he was looking into lining up help to examine the situation.

There had been no public indication that a shake-up was to take place.

When O’Malley took the helm at Catholic Charities in 2010, he was the third president of the organization in 16 months. He was touted as the man who would “right the ship” at an agency beset by internal strife.

At the time, the agency, which serves the poor and vulnerable, reported an annual budget of $80 million and an endowment of $12 million to $15 million. But the agency had seen a steady departure of employees and board members starting in 2008, when Bishop Robert Herman, then the interim leader of the Archdiocese, demanded that Catholic Charities turn over control of the way it raises money.

Herman told the Catholic Charities board that the archdiocese had been getting complaints of donor fatigue and that the agency had been allowed “to drift in a direction that began to work contrary to the desires” of the previous two archbishops.

O’Malley has worked his entire career for Catholic Charities organizations, in places such as Texas, Ohio and Memphis. When asked in 2010 if he was walking into an agency with fundraising issues, he referred to Catholic Charities in terms of the servant role of the prophet.

“It’s an important role, but it has to be balanced with the needs of hospitals, parishes and schools,” he told the Post-Dispatch. “We can only pray that the Holy Spirit is driving those decisions we all have to make.”

Catholic Charities gains most of its funding through donations and appeals. It also this year received more than $1 million in grants from the taxpayer-supported St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, and more than $360,000 from the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

Nancy Cambria reports on child and family issues. Follow her on Twitter @nanecam.

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