Archdiocese welcomes new CEO at Catholic Charities

January 29, 2013

HOUSTON — Cynthia Nunes Colbert, MSW, is the new chief executive officer (CEO) at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
“I am very honored and excited to join the team in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston,” Colbert said. “Catholic Charities has a wonderful array of programs and services and I look forward to working with [Daniel] Cardinal DiNardo, the board of directors, the staff and the volunteers, to build on the current strengths and determine new priorities through an upcoming strategic planning process.”

Colbert said the strategic planning process meeting is one of her first large initiatives as new CEO.

“[It] will determine priorities to lead Catholic Charities forward in continuing to meet needs in the Archdiocese through partnership and collaboration,” she said. 

Colbert, with a master’s degree in social welfare planning and administration, has dedicated her career to social services. Prior to moving to Houston, she served as the executive director of Catholic Charities of Central Texas in the Diocese of Austin from 2005 through 2010. In 2010, she left Austin to head the Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Wichita, Kan.

Using her previous experience at the other chapters of Catholic Charities, Colbert said she would like to strengthen the collaboration with parishes and Archdiocesan offices to help strengthening families and alleviate poverty in our Archdiocese.

“I would like to obtain input from parishes on the priority needs and ideas on how we can collaborate together,” she said. “The results of the needs assessment will help us identify specific strategies to strengthen families.”

Colbert said the most rewarding part of working with Catholic Charities is bringing God’s love to others in need.

“Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, that ‘the entire activity of the Church is an expression of a love that seeks the integral good of man.’ Love of our brothers and sisters is rooted in our love for God,” Colbert said. “I feel very called to this work at Catholic Charities and I believe that by working with dedicated staff and volunteers and the broader Church family, we share God’s love and healing to a hurting world. This work allows us to bring God’s love to others in a way that strengthens our own faith. I feel very blessed to be part of Catholic Charities and I look forward to getting to know everyone here!”

Cardinal DiNardo congratulated the selection committee, expressing his confidence in Colbert. “She is dedicated to Catholic social teaching and is very knowledgeable and committed to Catholic Charities,” he said.

Board Chairman David Harvey Jr., who headed the selection committee, said, “After interviewing Cynthia, it was pretty evident that she had the background with the Catholic Charities systems and the mindset and skills to not only manage our programs, but also relate to the management staff and help maintain relationships to key benefactors upon which we are critically dependent.”

Harvey added, “Cynthia has plenty of experience leading and shepherding an organization with Catholic values and clearly understands the underpinnings of Catholic social doctrine that are at the heart of our mission at Catholic Charities. We look forward to her leadership as we embark on our next five-year strategic plan and the next chapter in a very active and growing organization.”

Colbert will be helping to lead the staff of 300-plus who help more than 90,000 people in need with 15 social and human services programs that also include basic necessities, counseling, immigration legal services, housing, parish social ministry and senior services.

- Rebecca Torrellas contributed to this report.