Belief in “Divine Mercy” Inspires Catholic Charities’ Diana Pascual to Serve

By Christopher Rogers

Happy Cinco de Mayo Cake

Diana at our Cinco de Mayo celebration

For the past 10 Months Diana Pascual has been the Chief Administrative Officer of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, where she has played a crucial role in creating the infrastructure for the Human Resources function, facilities management, and the development and implementation of Catholic Charities’ volunteer program.  What made Diana decide to work with Catholic Charities after 15 years as the Vice President of Human Resources at the Public Health Institute?

Diana was born to a middle class family in Manila, Philippines.  As the youngest of four siblings, Diana was well loved and was instilled with strong family values. She had always been raised with Catholic values and an understanding of Catholic social teaching. It was also very important to her parents that she receive a good education.  After graduating from college, Diana decided that she wanted to focus on industrial psychology and got her first job working as the HR Specialist for Levi Strauss.

While working there she began to realize that her real passion came from working with people.  After spending a few months with Levi Strauss, and about 8 years working with General Electric Co., where she really honed her HR skills, Diana was given the opportunity to move to the United States. When she was first offered the position, Diana was met with discouraging remarks from her friends and family.  They said that she would be “treated like a second class citizen.” Undeterred, she decided to heed the call and move halfway around the world to a new and exciting land of opportunity.

After spending about 28 years doing HR work with companies like Matthew Bender & Co., and the Public Health Institute in Oakland, Diana decided it was time to slow things down and work as Human Resources Consultant and Career Coach within the East Bay.  However, what really brought her to Catholic Charities of the East Bay was a conversation that she had with George Mockel, Vicar General of the Diocese of Oakland, at a social event. She mentioned that a friend had told her that Catholic Charities of the East Bay was looking for a Chief Administrative Officer. Diana asked Fr. Mockel what he thought of Catholic Charities.  He proceeded to tell her that good things are happening at the agency with its new CEO and that perhaps this is “God calling” her to serve this agency.  After that, the rest is history.

So what inspires Diana to do the work that she does?

For her, the answer was simple. “I am inspired by the people around me. The great work we do really answers the needs within the community.  My main goal here is to create the infrastructure, scale it up and leave this organization with a sustainable framework that will enable Catholic Charities to provide its many services for years to come.”

Diana’s work with Catholic Charities of the East Bay is a constant reflection of Pope Francis’ call to be the “Church on the street” because the work that she does indirectly contributes to the building of a better community.  The role of CAO allows her to build the framework and create an environment that attracts and retains high quality talent. In turn, that enables Catholic Charities to directly impact and “be[come] the hands of hope” for their clients.

On a personal level, Diana finds a very strong correlation between her personal values, her engagement in the church and the Diocese, and the work she does for Catholic Charities.  Most recently, she was commissioned to the Leadership Council of the Diocesan Ministry of the Divine Mercy. This commission is perfectly timed with Pope Francis’ announcement of the Year of Mercy, when compassion and trust in God’s mercy will be the resounding mission.

Diana Pascual is one of the many talents working here at Catholic Charities of the East Bay, and continues to be a driving force as we focus on moving youth and families from crisis to stability to prosperity.