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New Catholic Charities director looks forward to working with parishes to ‘improve lives’

Susan Montalvo-Gesser stands outside the McRaith Catholic Center, the central office of the Diocese of Owensboro, on Jan. 17, 2019. ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD | WKC


As the new director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Owensboro, Susan Montalvo-Gesser hopes the organization will help western Kentuckians live out the Corporal Works of Mercy.

“I want people to get involved,” said Montalvo-Gesser, who joined Catholic Charities in January 2019.

Montalvo-Gesser has been a practicing attorney for more than 10 years. Her previous role was with Kentucky Legal Aid as a managing attorney and represented clients in issues of family law, housing, estate planning and immigration cases involving domestic violence. Prior to Kentucky Legal Aid, Montalvo-Gesser was an associate at the law firm of Sullivan, Mountjoy, Stainback & Miller practicing exclusively in immigration law.

Montalvo-Gesser organized Owensboro’s first Immigration Law Clinic, which is held monthly at SS. Joseph and Paul Parish in Owensboro.

Montalvo-Gesser said one goal is for Catholic Charities provide immigration and refugee services.

She also anticipates working with the parishes’ social concerns committees to empower parishioners and share resources “to improve lives all over western Kentucky.”

“You do have a skill and can share that skill with someone who needs it,” she said. “Everybody can do something.”

Originally printed in the February 2019 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic

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