Board and Leadership

Leadership

Jim Cavnar

President

A deeply committed Catholic, Jim Cavnar cofounded Cross Catholic Outreach to follow Christ’s command to care for the poorest of the poor. Jim’s career spans more than four decades in ministry management and leadership. He has traveled around the globe to speak at conferences and parishes, and he has been called upon to minister to church-based humanitarian programs. Representing Cross Catholic Outreach, Jim has traveled to the Vatican on numerous occasions, meeting St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict and, most recently, Pope Francis.

Brian Schutt

VP of Marketing

Brian Schutt is Cross Catholic Outreach’s vice president of marketing and was a founding member of Cross. He has held public relations and marketing positions since 1982, beginning in commercial marketing and leading his own commercial marketing firm before transitioning into the nonprofit sector in 1991. Brian is responsible for founding the creative and marketing aspects of Cross, including launching a radio program, web and print communications, and creating a Catholic speakers’ bureau called Outreach Priests. Brian’s marketing initiatives continue to successfully attract funding for Catholic poverty relief projects, now spanning dozens of countries around the globe.

David Adams

VP of Missions

David Adams’ desire to integrate his faith into his work brought him to Cross Catholic Outreach in 2006, after years of service in the United States government, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since joining Cross Catholic, David has overseen the expansion of the ministry’s work to about twice as many countries as when he started while also cultivating new partnerships within those countries. Today, he continues to make strides in enhancing the ministry’s ability to collaborate with partners for better accountability and reporting and the promotion of Christian values formation.

Michele Sagarino

VP of Development

Michele answered the call on her life to begin fundraising for various charitable organizations, including Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Food for The Poor. In 2004 she began contracting with Cross Catholic Outreach. The next year, Michele joined the Cross Catholic team as international development manager. Today, as Vice President for Development, Michele leads a staff of 135 people engaged in multiple areas of outreach: major donors and middle donors, special events, parish and community services, marketing, planned giving, donor care, donor program services, and foundations. Her philosophy is to pursue long-term relationships with benefactors, serving as the link between them and what God is calling them to do for the poor.

Wade Crow

Chief Financial Officer

Wade Crow brings to his role over 25 years of finance and operations experience. His move into full-time Christian ministry came in 2001, when he began serving as chief financial officer for a large Christian media organization. He joined Cross Catholic Outreach in 2012 and, after a short hiatus, returned in 2018. Today, Wade oversees multiple departments including Accounting and Finance, Technology Services, and Human Resources. His passion is facilitating greater cross-functional collaboration within organizations to achieve organizational goals and provide greater opportunities to care for those in need overseas.

Michael Veitenhans

VP of Gifts-in-Kind
and Program Strategy

Born and raised in the Catholic Church, Michael Veitenhans felt called from a young age to serve the poor and vulnerable. He came to Cross Catholic Outreach in 2019, bringing a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership and international relief and development. That experience includes 25 years with World Vision, where he held executive positions in both the U.S. and Zambia offices and played a key role in developing the ministry’s Gifts-in-Kind program. Today, as Cross Catholic’s Vice President of Gifts-in-Kind and Program Strategy, Michael implements the mission-driven approach he developed to shepherd our vast aid distribution network and plan the strategic alignment of our mission activities. He plays a critical role in increasing our community transformation efforts in accordance with the Church’s model of integral human development.

Board of Directors

Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer

Chairman
Bishop of Harrisburg

Motto: From His Fullness Grace Upon Grace

Bio: Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, Diocese of Harrisburg.

Born August 24, 1947, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Ordained a priest for the diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973.

He was consecrated and installed as Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, on February 22, 2003.

On January 14, 2014, his appointment as Bishop of Harrisburg by Pope Francis was announced. Installed on March 19, 2014.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Harrisburg on October 14, 2014.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “The breadth and depth of your programs in aiding our poor and suffering brothers and sisters in the neediest regions of the world is a magnificent response to our Lord’s challenging words in the Gospels, ‘Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.’ Your close collaboration with Cor Unum, the Pontifical Council for world-wide charitable assistance, is a sign of your authentic ecclesial mission and of the Church’s solidarity with the poor.”

Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila

Director
Archbishop of Denver

Motto: Quodcumque Dixerit Facite (Do whatever he tells you)

Bio: Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, Archdiocese of Denver.

Born September 24, 1950, in Burbank, California.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Denver on June 5, 1976.

He was appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, on June 12, 2001; then on March 18, 2002, he became bishop of Fargo.

He was named the archbishop for the Archdiocese of Denver on May 29, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI and installed as the eighth archbishop on July 18, 2012.

Endorsed CCO as Archbishop of Denver on February 12, 2013.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “The service that Cross Catholic Outreach provides to the poor and needy throughout the developing world is a great witness to Jesus Christ and his love for the poor and suffering. Your collaboration and partnering with many different organizations in many countries, from parishes and religious orders to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is an authentic and inspiring display of the unity of the Catholic Church and the real solidarity among her children. I wholeheartedly support the efforts of Cross Catholic Outreach, and I pray that the Lord will continue to bless your ministries and services dedicated to the poorest of the poor.”

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Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone

Director
Archbishop of San Francisco

Motto: In Verbo Tuo (At Thy Word)

Bio: Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco.

Born June 5, 1956, in San Diego, California.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Diego on July 9, 1982, by Bishop Leo T. Maher.

On July 5, 2002, Pope John Paul II appointed then-Monsignor Cordileone as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. He was ordained a bishop on August 21, 2002, by Bishop Brom.

On March 23, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Cordileone as the fourth Bishop of Oakland. He was installed as Bishop of Oakland on May 5, 2009. Three years later, on July 27, 2012, he was appointed the Archbishop of San Francisco and was installed on October 4, 2012, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of San Diego on July 8, 2008, and then as Archbishop of San Francisco on August 7, 2013.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “You should be commended for your organization’s partnering of the charitable works of the Church and the call for a New Evangelization. By providing hope to the faithful overseas by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, delivering medical relief to the sick, shelter to the homeless and through self-help projects, you are embodying the Papal Encyclical Deus Caritas Est. Your outreach to the Church in the United States to help educate our parishioners about the important missionary works and evangelization taking place in all corners of the globe is an important aspect of your ministry. By allowing our Catholic faithful to join in solidarity with the mission of the Church to spread the good news to the entire world, you help promote the faith and encourage the corporal works of mercy.”

Most Rev. Gregory M. Aymond

Director
Archbishop of New Orleans

Motto: God Is Faithful

Bio: Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans.

Born November 12, 1949, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1975.

He was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans in 1997.

He was named Bishop of Austin in 2000.

Then he was installed as Archbishop of New Orleans on August 20, 2009.

Endorsed CCO as Archbishop of New Orleans on April 15, 2010.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “I have known about your ministry for quite some time and appreciate all that you and Cross Catholic Outreach does to provide assistance and evangelization to developing countries. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are indeed a blessing from God, as was your kindness after Hurricane Katrina. My gratitude and prayers go to all those at Cross Catholic.”

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Most Rev. Alfred A. Schlert

Director
Bishop of Allentown

Motto: Pasce Oves Meas (Feed My Sheep)

Bio: Bishop Alfred A. Schlert, Diocese of Allentown.

Born July 24, 1961, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown on September 19, 1987.

On June 27, 2017, he was appointed bishop for the Diocese of Allentown by Pope Francis. Installed on August 31, 2017.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Allentown on June 5, 2018.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “I am pleased to offer my personal commendation and support to Cross Catholic Outreach for the extensive missionary work accomplished in assisting the poorest of the poor in various countries throughout the world. Your collaboration with Cor Unum, the Pontifical Council for worldwide charitable assistance, is a sign of your authentic ecclesial mission and of the Church’s solidarity with the poor. It is my fervent hope and prayer that through the collaboration of Cross Catholic Outreach and the People of God in the United States, the suffering of the poor will be alleviated throughout the world.”

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Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme

Director
Bishop of Wichita

Motto: Humilitas (humility)

Bio: Bishop Carl A. Kemme, Diocese of Wichita.

Born August 14, 1960, in Effingham, Illinois.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, on May 10, 1986.

As Monsignor Kemme he was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.

On February 20, 2014, he was appointed bishop for the Diocese of Wichita by Pope Francis. Installed on May 1, 2014.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Wichita on July 1, 2015.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “I am inspired by the dedication of your organization in spreading the Gospel to the poorest parts of our world, connecting Catholic Christians in the developed world with their brothers and sisters in developing countries. Pope Francis has gone to great lengths to encourage us to be servants of the poor. I believe Cross Catholic Outreach is meeting that challenge in an authentic and effective way as expressed by the core values so beautifully articulated in your literature. I am particularly edified by the approach of ministry that provides the opportunity and possibility to increase the self-sufficiency of the poor. For this reason, I am happy to lend my voice of support and endorsement for Cross Catholic Outreach as it seeks partners in this essential ministry among the clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Wichita.”

Most Rev. Joseph E. Strickland

Director
Bishop of Tyler

Motto: Ut Inhabitem in Domo Domini (That I may dwell in the house of the Lord)

Bio: Bishop Joseph Strckland, Diocese of Tyler.

Born October 31, 1958 in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Dallas on June 1, 1985.

In September 2012, he was appointed bishop for the Diocese of Tyler by Pope Benedict XVI. Installed on November 28, 2012.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Tyler on April 29, 2013.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “Cross Catholic Outreach is an essential element of living out the Gospel mandate to provide assistance to the poor in our world today. I am sure you are excited to hear the message of Pope Francis as he takes up his mantle following on the good work of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He renews the clear mandate that flows from the message of Christ Himself, ‘always remember the poor.’ I look forward to providing my support in any ways that are helpful. Let us pray for one another as we seek to be reminded ourselves and to remind the people of God that we must always be aware of those in need and provide real and meaningful outreach to them in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Watch: An Interview With Bishop Joseph Strickland

Patron

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Washington

His Eminence Cardinal Wilton Gregory

Archbishop of Washington

Motto: We are the Lord’s

Bio: Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Washington.

Born December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois.

Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973

Ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago on December 13, 1983 and was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL on February 10, 1994.

Appointed by Pope John Paul II as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta on December 9, 2004.

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Gregory as the seventh Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington on April 4, 2019. Pope Francis named Archbishop Gregory a cardinal on October 25, 2020. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in a November 28, 2020

Endorsed CCO as Archbishop of Washington on August 8, 2019

In June 2021, the Cross Catholic Outreach board of directors unanimously approved Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, as their new Patron.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: In a letter to Cross Catholic Outreach, Cardinal Gregory shared, “The work of Cross Catholic Outreach continues to be an instrument of God’s grace. With your focus on helping the poor through Catholic Missionaries throughout the world, you are fulfilling the call of Pope Francis to remember those who are poor and show them the love of God.”

Bishops’ Advisory Board

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Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop-Emeritus of St. Louis

Motto: Ante crucem nihil defensionis (Before the cross there is no defense)

Bio: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Born on June 30, 1944, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 23, 1970.

On November 19, 1983, Pope John Paul II appointed Carlson as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis – Installed on January 11, 1984.

On January 13, 1994, Pope John Paul II named Carlson coadjutor bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Installed on March 21, 1995.

As part of the last episcopal appointment to the American Catholic Church made by Pope John Paul II, he was appointed Bishop of Saginaw in Michigan on December 29, 2004. Installed on February 24, 2005.

He then was appointed Archbishop of St. Louis by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21, 2009 – installed on June 10, 2009.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Saginaw on June 6, 2006, and then as Archbishop of St. Louis on December 3, 2015.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “I am most appreciative of the work and outreach done by Cross Catholic Outreach in their efforts to evangelize and encourage people to become the best that they can be, both in their humanness and in their spirituality. I congratulate you on the witness to Christ that your organization demonstrates on a daily basis throughout the world. It is my hope that this ministry will continue to flourish and reach as many people as possible.”

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Most Rev. Sam G. Jacobs

Bishop Emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux

Motto: Jesus is Lord

Bio: Bishop Sam G. Jacobs, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Born on March 4, 1938, in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lafayette on June 6, 1964.

On July 1, 1989, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Bishop of Alexandria. Installed on August 24, 1989.

Appointed Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux by Pope John Paul II on August 1, 2003. Installed on October 10, 2003.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “As the former chairman for Cross Catholic Outreach, I have been blessed to see the powerful and effective work being done by our Catholic parishes in Haiti and other poor countries, but I am also aware that many American Catholics are not familiar with the work being done by our sister parishes overseas. Funds contributed by United States parishes through this program enable Cross Catholic Outreach to supply the food, medicines and other materials these developing country parishes need to help the poor in their communities.”

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Most Rev. Thomas J. Rodi

Archbishop of Mobile

Motto: Caritas Christi Urget Nos (The Llove of Christ compels us)

Bio: Archbishop Thomas Rodi, Archdiocese of Mobile.

Born March 27, 1949, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on May 20, 1978.

He was appointed Bishop of Biloxi by Pope John Paul II on May 15, 2001. Installed on July 2, 2001.

Appointed Archbishop of Mobile by Pope Benedict XVI on April 2, 2008. Installed on June 6, 2008.

Endorsed CCO as Archbishop of Mobile on February 12, 2015.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “It is a privilege for me to support Cross Catholic Outreach. This organization funds ministries to our neighbors in need in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Pacific. Through the generosity of so many private donors, the love of God is made visible to many who are coping with the most difficult of daily living conditions.

I am particularly impressed that Cross Catholic Outreach has a special relationship with Cor Unum, the Pontifical Council that assists people of the Church in areas of the greatest need of help and hope. Cross Catholic Outreach, through its extraordinary work, allows people in our country to express in a tangible and concrete fashion that we are part of the Universal Church, responding to the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world.”

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Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery

Bishop Emeritus of Tulsa

Motto: Tu Solus Sanctus (You alone are the Holy One)

Bio: Bishop Edward James Slattery, Diocese of Tulsa.

Born on August 11, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois.

Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on April 26, 1966, by John Cardinal Cody.

In late 1993, Pope John Paul II appointed him as Bishop of Tulsa. Installed on January 6, 1994, in Rome by Pope John Paul II.

Endorsed CCO as Bishop of Tulsa on March 11, 2014.

About Cross Catholic Outreach: “Cross Catholic Outreach can be the avenue by which someone with charitable intentions can translate his or her concern for the poor into concrete acts of charity. Having read Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, God is Love, I am pleased to make this recommendation. I continue to be edified by Cross Catholic Outreach’s many works of charity as well as the cost-effectiveness of the entire operation. Every donation is used for the purpose for which it is given while overhead and administration costs are kept at a minimum.”

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Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.