It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Sister Marian Castelluccio as the new permanent director of mental health at Catholic Charities of the East Bay. The selection of Sister Marian was a unanimous choice, and there is no doubt that she is the right person for the position. She brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in the field of Mental Health, with the Diocese of Oakland and the parishes in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and a deep understanding of both restorative justice and trauma informed practices.
Sister Marian will be responsible for developing and leading program services and maintaining program excellence within the Mental Health and Violence Prevention (MHVP) Division. In her new role, she will oversee current agency programs, including our crisis response and support network, serving victims of violent crime and traumatized youth and families, as well as family preservation services.
Sister Marian is a pioneer in trauma-informed treatment models and school-based restorative practices. She follows in the footsteps of Millie Burns and Cindy Hill-Ford who were instrumental in developing Catholic Charities’ innovative RTIPs (Restorative Trauma-Informed Practices) program. RTIPs combines current evidence on the impacts and treatment of trauma with the conflict resolution and community-building of restorative processes.
Sister Marian’s selection is about more than experience and training alone. Her many skills, talents, heart, and faith are evident from the moment you meet her. She makes everyone around her feel warm, welcomed, special, and loved. She greets you with her smile that is all about love and acceptance. She is a very special human being and God has blessed us with her presence and many gifts.
Everyone who spends just one minute with Sister Marian immediately feels her calm strength, her passion for her work, her commitment to her clients and the staff she leads, and her love for her community. I will never forget hearing first-hand from one of Sister Marian’s clients. She referred to Sister as her “little angel.” “She lifted me up. She made me feel like my life was truly important to her – that I was a special person to her,” she explained. “I know that she (Sister Marian) has other clients, but she became my personal angel, I truly believe that. She let me know that it was alright to cry, to be angry, but she got me through that first year. She let me know that it was my life, and there was hope.”
Sister Marian knows that peace and love in the world starts with each one of us to do our own part. She does her part every day to bring peace and love to our world. There are leaders who can change the world and make a difference. She is one of them. We are blessed that she will continue to bring that passion and leadership to Catholic Charities of the East Bay.