It’s Time to Go
By Patrick Winn
Long good-byes can become uncomfortable, even a bit maudlin. Suffice to say, it’s time. After nine years, it’s time for another to lead this faith-based organization of faith-filled professionals, the Rockford Diocese Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities. 
It’s time for another to know the satisfaction of measuring employee and agency performance against our mission statement:
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford continues the ministry of Jesus in faithfulness to the Magisterium of the Church. Our Mission is to serve God’s people for the common good with compassion, dignity and respect; to assist people in achieving a degree of independence consonant with their human dignity; and to work in solidarity with the Church and other people of good will in advocating for justice.
Careers, whether first, second or third, fly by quickly when you enjoy what you do; when going to work is challenging and fulfilling; when the people who teach you and learn from you are gracious, kind, dedicated and intelligent; when, by their nature and example, they give so much and ask for little in return. 
There are many things to wish for, but that’s different than having regrets. When prospective donors, whether individuals, foundations, local taxing bodies, or United Ways, ask what we need, the answer is constant: more time, money and people. 
Catholic Charities has the enviable role of representing the Church in the lives of families across our diocese. We assist whomever and however we can, and there will never be enough time, money, employees or volunteers to complete the job. 
Scripture reminds us that the poor will be with us always. Our poor are the hungry, homeless and unemployed; the anxious, aged and lonely; the abused and trafficked; the forgotten and unheard. Our one collective regret is that we cannot do more. 
What we never regret is serving with people who serve the people we serve. They are strong, dedicated individuals who decided to devote themselves to others’ needs. They are that part of the Communion of Saints who step up to serve, confident that even the smallest of acts done in charity affect everyone. They turn needs into results; results into lives transformed in tangible and spiritual ways; ways that are meaningful for our guests, clients and colleagues, often understated and subtle. 
To Bishop Malloy, the clergy and colleagues who have inspired, guided, encouraged, agreed and disagreed over the past nine years, thank you for everything you have done, everything you have given, and everything you bring in service: 
May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.
The sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
— Traditional Irish Blessing