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Archdiocese of Chicago Announces the Appointment of New Interim Director of Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review

New director is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 20 years’ diverse social work experience

Chicago, (Dec. 14, 2020) The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced it has named Moira Reilly, LCSW, as Interim Director of the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review (CAIR), which works to provide a compassionate and thorough process to receive and investigate reports of abuse against personnel. Reilly fills the position of Leah McCluskey Heffernan, who has accepted the position as Director, Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Diocese of Joliet.

“We are pleased to have someone with 20 years’ experience working in all aspects of child protection,” said Mary Jane Doerr, director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. “Moira has accepted this promotion and will continue to assist the archdiocese in our child protection efforts.”

Reilly has been working as a case manager for the archdiocese since 2014 – a position that has involved managing the Prayer and Penance Program under which she has monitored priests who have been removed from ministry because of sexual abuse of minors and some who have restrictions on their ministry for any other reason. She has assisted the previous director of Child Abuse Investigations and Review in investigating clergy misconduct and conducting interviews as needed. In this role, she has also responded to archdiocese schools in moments of crisis and has provided a trusted voice for the news media on allegations of abuse.

Reilly lived and worked alongside diocesan priests in the diocese of Masaka, Uganda while working on her social work degree. She worked for six years with children and families in crisis in an emergency department in the Bronx and a foster care agency in Brooklyn. She was a community educator in the Youth Services Department of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office between 2001 and 2006. She also worked as a case manager in 2000-2001 at Indian Oaks Academy in Manteno, Ill., where she managed the needs of juvenile sex offenders residing at the facility. From 1998-2000, she worked as a counselor at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago with children placed in residential care due to abuse and neglect.  

Reilly received her Master of Science in Social Work Policy Practice from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CAIR and the Independent Professional Responsibility Review Board  were instated in 1992 by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. The office has undergone name changes over the years but has been focused on the same mission; to ensure the best resources and investigation practices. CAIR is one of four offices that make up the Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY). CAIR is available to all individuals who choose to report their abuse as children or who have the knowledge of the abuse of children in the Church.