Posted November 09, 2022
Charity is defined as the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.
For the past 47 years, Catholic Charities Executive Director of Missions and Specialized Ministries Terry Flanagan has given his life to serving those in need through the church.
His story begins at age 20 when he was a “lost soul.”
“I was a lost soul at that point and Father Walt Jenne who was becoming the director of Catholic Charities at that time says, ‘Go put in an application at Parmadale,’” Flanagan said. “I wanted to make a commitment to God to serve his young people.”
Since then, Flanagan stuck with the work to live out Mathew 25 and his baptismal call.
“How many people have the opportunity to live out that [baptismal] call in their career?” Flanagan said.
After 42 years at Catholic Charities and 5 years of parish work, Flanagan is retiring, but that is not stopping him from continuing his work for the people.
“I want to be able to continue to support the work of disability ministries and services, the work of migration and refugee services, to serve on the advisory council with the social actions office in Lorain County…” Flanagan said.
Along with serving the people in his community, Flanagan plans to travel to see family his wife and him have not seen in years and work on personal health.
“We have family we haven’t been able to see for many years… and for me personally, I had cancer and found out recently that I have zero detection of cancer so I’m very excited about that, but I want to be able to get my strength and stamina back,” Flanagan said.
Although working to help those in need can be challenging, Flanagan has continued to be grateful through all of it.
“In the work, the people who we’re serving are gifts to us. It’s not just what we offer them, they are gifts to us and I am a very different person today because of the impact that so many of those people have had on my life.” Flanagan said.
Through his time at Catholic Charities, Flanagan is grateful for the relationships he’s made in his career.
“Many times what keeps us going when things get a little challenging is we remember the people we work with, and to be able to support one another and how they’ve supported me over the years I’m just very grateful for this opportunity to do what I’ve done,” Flanagan said.
Thank you for making a difference and leaving your mark Terry! Your hard work and kindness will live on through your retirement and volunteer work!
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