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Catholic Charities of Baltimore Executive Director, William J. McCarthy, Jr., to Retire July2025

May 23, 2024

Catholic Charities of Baltimore Executive Director, William “Bill” J. McCarthy, Jr., announced today he will retire in July 2025 after 16 years of leading the State of Maryland’s largest private provider of human services. He announced his decision in a letter to colleagues in which he thanked them for their inspiring commitment and dedicated service in furtherance of the agency’s mission to improve lives.

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to work alongside you in service to our neighbors across Maryland and to live our Gospel-inspired calling to Cherish the Divine Within All,” McCarthy said in a letter to employees and other audiences. “After 15 years, it’s time for someone else to bring his or her gifts to this awesome role and to build upon the amazing work we’ve accomplished together. There is still much to be done over the course of the next year and I am committed to working with the same passion, energy, and dedication as I have over the past 15 years.”

Catholic Charities’ Board of Trustees will begin a national search for the next Executive Director.

“Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I like to remind people that Catholic Charities of Baltimore is the third largest Catholic Charities in the United States,” Baltimore Archbishop and Board Chair William E. Lori said. “It gives people an idea of just how active and present Catholic Charities is in Baltimore and the surrounding region, meeting a multitude of needs in real time. Bill has masterfully led the agency during a period of tremendous need, including those prompted by a pandemic, racial strife, and numerous economic downturns. I am truly and personally grateful for his leadership and friendship, and I hope he enjoys having more time to spend with his family, especially his wife, Maria, and their son, Ryan.”

The footprint of Catholic Charities grew exponentially under Bill’s leadership. Just last month, Catholic Charities held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Intergenerational Center, set to open in West Baltimore next year.

Examples of other programs that were opened or expanded under Bill’s leadership include:

  • The development and opening of the new Gallagher Meaningful Day Program in Dulaney Valley
  • Assuming operation of Baltimore’s largest shelter and resource center, The Weinberg Housing and Resource Center
  • Opening programs to address gun violence, Safe Streets (Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Sandtown-Winchester, and Penn North)
  • More than doubling Head Start services for children and families in Baltimore City and adding Early Head Start in Baltimore in 2025
  • Developing and constructing Senior Living communities (Friendship Village, Our Lady of Fatima I&II, and Village Crossroads I&II)
  • Expanding Immigration Services at the Esperanza Center (establishing a Volunteer in Medicine Heath and Dental Clinic, Expanded Legal Services, family reunification services and community and case management services)
  • Expanding access to substance use treatment services across Maryland through Villa Maria Behavioral Health
  • Establishing the Food Connect in Western Maryland
  • Assuming and expanding operations of My Brother’s Keeper in Irvington
  • Working with a coalition of community partners to open a  PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) in Mondawmin this summer
  • Working with the community to redevelop the Cherry Hill Town Center and opening the first bank in the community’s history.

In addition to program development and expansion, Bill led a transformation of the agency’s administrative areas, creating agency-wide shared service models in the areas of IT, Human Resources and Finance to better and more effectively support programs, colleagues, and clients.

“Such unbelievable growth like this doesn’t happen without the leadership, experience, and mission-centered drive that Bill possesses in spades,” said Catholic Charities Board President Daniel Rizzo. “Whether securing grant funding or introducing philanthropists to the outstanding work being done in programs spread throughout the State, Bill has consistently been able to identify ways in which Catholic Charities can meet whatever needs are being unmet and hasn’t let any obstacle keep his vision from becoming a reality.”

Longtime colleague, Mary Anne O’Donnell, who currently oversees Special Projects for Catholic Charities, said of her longtime boss, “Bill has been an amazing advocate for justice and service to our vulnerable neighbors in Maryland. The combination of his business acumen, passion for the mission of Catholic Charities, and his commitment to service has contributed to his successful leadership of this large and complex agency for over 15 years. I believe Bill’s focus on how and why we serve has been a hallmark of his leadership.”

Countless individuals and foundations have supported Catholic Charities of Baltimore at the invitation of Bill, who effectively and passionately speaks about the faith-inspired work of Catholic Charities employees and volunteers serving their neighbors in need.

Steve Bisciotti, the only member of the Catholic Charities Board during McCarthy’s entire 15-year tenure, called him a “passionate and committed leader who brought to the role a combination of business and legal experience with a passion for service and a love for our community. His enthusiasm is contagious and Catholic Charities has grown dramatically and became even more effective in meeting the needs of our neighbors under Bill’s leadership. He has become a dear friend of the Bisciotti family over the years, and I know he will help us continue to be stewards of Baltimore.”

In 2023, Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management named McCarthy Business Leader of the Year. The award honors business executives who embody Loyola’s Jesuit commitment to community and service. “Bill McCarthy epitomizes leadership in service to others. He combines extraordinary business skills with a commitment to our community and, in the process, has ensured that the most vulnerable in our midst have a path to better futures,” said Mary Ann Scully, dean of Loyola’s Sellinger School. “Baltimore is better thanks to Bill, and Loyola was honored to put him forward as our 2023 Business Leader of the Year.”

A former banking executive, McCarthy was the lone American appointed by Pope Francis to serve on an Apostolic Commission to investigate a Church-sponsored university in Jordan. The year-long investigation resulted in a number of recommendations made to the Vatican Secretary of State, which the Pope accepted and implemented. McCarthy also serves as chair of the board of the Baltimore Branch of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank and on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Thomas O’Neill Catholic Health Care Fund, Board of Financial Administration of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Bill earned both law and master’s degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University. He attended Loyola Blakefield prior to entering college.


About Catholic Charities of Baltimore

Catholic Charities of Baltimore is Maryland’s largest private provider of human services, with more than 80 programs in 200 locations. Inspired by the gospel mandates to love, serve, and teach, Catholic Charities is committed to a Maryland where each person has the opportunity to reach his or her God-given potential. Catholic Charities was established in 1923 and focuses on the key causes of Achieving Independence, Welcoming New Neighbors, Empowering Careers, Supporting Children & Families, Healing Trauma & Addiction and Aging with Dignity. Today, Catholic Charities is a family of more than 2,000 talented and dedicated colleagues, supported by nearly 8,000 selfless volunteers, and more than 10,000 generous donors. This Catholic Charities community includes people of all faiths, ages, and ethnicities, and together, they touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and families each year.