Catholic Charities CEO to depart post for Our Sunday Visitor

Clinton Township — Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan will begin a search for a new chief executive officer, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Detroit announced.

Jason Shanks, the agency’s first and only CEO who has served Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan since its creation after the merger of six county-based social service agencies, is leaving to become president of the Huntington, Ind.-based Our Sunday Visitor Institute, the fundraising and philanthropic arm of the nation’s largest Catholic publishing house.

“I am profoundly grateful for Mr. Shanks’ leadership to build upon the strengths and traditions of our predecessor social services agencies,” Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in a statement. “Jason’s strong spirituality and steady guidance resulted in a successful merger and firmly established CCSEM as a regional beacon of hope and help. I’m pleased he will continue serving the Church with Our Sunday Visitor.”

Shanks has served as CEO of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan since October 2012, and was instrumental in guiding the six county-based agencies’ merger into a single organization, with the goal of providing greater service and continuity across southeast Michigan.

During Shanks’ tenure, Catholic Charities grew to provide services to more than 5,000 additional clients annually and added more than $1 million to the agency’s annual budget, including the addition of ministries such as All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry in Detroit, restarting the agency’s Project Hope pro-life ministry and establishing CCSEM as a regional partner in Wayne County’s Journey to Housing homelessness prevention program and Bridges to Hope program providing aid to Detroit’s poor.

Operating on an annual budget of $9,720,741, CCSEM serves more than 20,000 individuals regardless of faith or financial means at 13 locations in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

A search for Shanks’ successor will be led by CCSEM board of directors chairman Msgr. Charles Kosanke, with the help of Connecticut-based Catholic Recruiter Associates, the agency said. Shanks will continue to lead the agency until the transition is made.

In addition to working with one of the nation’s premier Catholic organizations in Our Sunday Visitor, Shanks said the transition would bring his family closer to other family members.