Archdiocese of Chicago Names Dr. MaryClare Birmingham Executive Director of Kolbe House Jail Ministry and Mr. Kevin Foy Director of the Office of Lifelong Formation
Chicago, IL (Feb. 25, 2019) – The Archdiocese of Chicago announced today the appointment of Dr. MaryClare Birmingham as executive director of Kolbe House Jail Ministry and Mr. Kevin Foy as director of the Office of Lifelong Formation. Dr. Birmingham has been a member of the Kolbe House Jail Ministry advisory board since its inception last year. In her role, Dr. Birmingham will oversee the support ministries and services provided by Kolbe House. Foy, while continuing his role as director of the archdiocese’s Mission Office, will also support the important mission of the Office of Lifelong Formation. Dr. Birmingham and Foy report to Rev. Peter Wojcik, director of the archdiocese’s Department of Parish Vitality and Mission.
Dr. MaryClare Birmingham
“I am very excited to welcome MaryClare as the first lay woman leading the Kolbe House as its executive director,” said Wojcik. “Her years of volunteer work supporting the jail ministry and active participation in its Board of Directors allows for seamless transition in this important ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As the Holy Father, Pope Francis calls the Church to be present to all those on peripheries of the society, under Dr. Birmingham’s leadership the Archdiocese of Chicago is committed to accompany those in jail, their families and jail’s staff with prayer, ministry outreach and daily support.”
Dr. Birmingham is a licensed physical therapist and certified public accountant. As a physical therapist, she provided outpatient physical therapy for people with back conditions, as well as orthopedic and neurologic conditions. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Notre Dame, and her physical therapy doctorate from University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kolbe House, an agency of the Department of Parish Vitality and Mission, serves individuals and families affected by the criminal justice system. Support services include in-jail ministry, prayer and communion services for those who are incarcerated; pastoral accompaniment for families with a loved one in jail; re-entry ministry to aid individuals after they are released from jail; and restorative justice, which seeks points of connection for all those affected by incarceration, including detainees and their families, victims of crime and their families, individuals working in corrections or criminal justice and community members. Kolbe House hosts a Mass of Reconciliation for detainees, their families and victims of crime, every Saturday at 5 p.m. at Assumption BVM Church, 2434 South California Avenue, Chicago. On the first Saturday of each month, a potluck meal is held after Mass.
To learn more about Kolbe House Jail Ministry, visit pvm.archchicago.org/human-dignity-solidarity/kolbe-house-jail-ministry.
Mr. Kevin Foy
“Kevin Foy has brought numerous pastoral and strategic skills necessary to support the work of Renew My Church,” said Wojcik. “I am confident his knowledge of formation programs, national experience and excellent strategic skills will continue to make the archdiocese’s Lifelong Formation Office a national leader in ministerial creativity and pastoral thoughtfulness.”
Foy joined the Archdiocese of Chicago in April 2018 as the director of the archdiocese’s Mission Office. Prior to joining the archdiocese, he was the national director of teacher and catechist outreach for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. He received his bachelor’s degree from Seattle University and his master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
The Office of Lifelong Formation, a ministry of the Department of Parish Vitality and Mission, provides support, services and guidance to lift, form and empower parishes and their leadership, ministries and parishioners, enabling a lifelong process of formation that inspires and deepens faith and a relationship with Christ. Through its work, the office seeks to fulfill the overall vision and mission of the Renew My Church initiative by being the go-to resource for lifelong opportunities. The Office of Lifelong Formation is committed to nurturing missionary discipleship, building bonds among the faithful and developing vital ministries in a Christ-centered environment.
To learn more about the Office of Lifelong Formation, visit pvm.archchicago.org/lifelong-formation/about-us.