Catholic Charities names new executive director

A Catholic Charities executive from Houston is taking the top spot at Catholic Charities in Omaha, as executive director John Griffith pursues new opportunities.

Gregg Wilson will lead the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Omaha. He most recently served as chief administrative officer for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He also was involved in a number of Houston-area ministries, including the Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul Society, prison ministry, local food banks and homeless shelters. He founded and for years led his parish’s altar server ministry.

“It is an honor to join Catholic Charities, an agency that serves the most vulnerable in our community,” Wilson said. “I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to serve Catholic Charities in providing hope and healing to those who look to us for help.”

Griffith, who served as executive director for eight years, said it is a good time to look for a new challenge – and for new leadership at Catholic Charities as the agency transitions away from government funding, in part because government regulations increasingly have reduced the ability of faith-based organizations to provide services consistent with their beliefs. The agency also is studying how best to help the archdiocese meet its pastoral vision, expressed last October by the archbishop and others, to be “one church, encountering Jesus, equipping disciples and living mercy.”

It will take three to five years for the vision and goals to take hold, and new leadership can help make that happen, Griffith said.

Griffith said he will help ease the transition in the coming weeks, and although his last day is June 30, he will help beyond that if needed.

“We’re very grateful that Gregg has joined us,” Griffith said. “We think he’ll do a terrific job.”

Archbishop George J. Lucas, chairman of Catholic Charities’ board, thanked Griffith for his service.

“On behalf of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors, I extend our gratitude to John Griffith for his service to Catholic Charities,” the archbishop said. “Catholic Charities is serving the community with works of mercy thanks to his vision and leadership.” And the archbishop said Wilson is a “qualified leader who believes in the mission of Catholic Charities, which is extending God’s love and mercy to those in need.”

Bob Gunia, president of the board, said Wilson “brings many years of experience managing and leading diverse teams in nonprofit and for-profit industries, as well as a passion for social justice, strategic planning, community outreach, and program oversight.”

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