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Letter to the Editor: Setting it straight

10/1/2018, 10:39 p.m.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet recently learned that James Nowak, a former Catholic priest who has been accused of child ...
Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet recently learned that James Nowak, a former Catholic priest who has been accused of child sexual abuse, has moved into a hotel next to one of our Catholic Charities’ offices. Catholic Charities was unaware of this arrangement and only learned of it from a television news story. At no time were any of Catholic Charities’ clients at risk. All minors visiting our offices must be accompanied by an adult. Furthermore, Nowak was never at the office.

It is important to know that Catholic Charities operates as a separate legal entity from the Diocese of Joliet. The Agency maintains its own 501c(3) nonprofit status, and is governed by a board of directors. 100% of Catholic Charities funding stays within our organization and is used exclusively to serve the poor in our community. Catholic Charities is committed to ensuring that each client is protected while they are in our care. All staff and volunteers who have direct contact with clients are required to have the following: FBI and state of Illinois background checks; DCFS clearances; Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking Systems; and fingerprinting to help protect our clients. In addition, each member of our staff is a mandated reporter of child abuse.

Each day we remain focused on our mission to provide social services to people in need within the seven counties of the Diocese of Joliet as we serve individuals of all faiths and beliefs.

Catholic Charities serves more than 56,000 individuals each year by helping to house, feed, and provide other services to the poor. Agency programs include: emergency services; homeless shelters; homeless prevention; transitional and permanent supportive housing; immigrant support services; veteran's assistance; senior outreach; case management; counseling; mobile food pantries; a soup kitchen; early childhood programs; and affordable housing. Catholic Charities provides services to all who qualify regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political or religious views.

Kathleen Langdon

Director, Development and Communications

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet