Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey names new Executive Director, Ana Ventura Phares

Seaside, California – Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey has named Ana Ventura Phares, J.D. as  Executive Director of the agency. Ana’s background in human resources, non-profits, law, and civic participation will help to lead the agency in its strategic direction. As Executive Director, Ana will strengthen the programs that help individuals and families become stable. She will also expand community support to increase self-sufficiency. In this role, Ana will oversee 23 staff in the 4 counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and San Luis Obispo.

Ana grew up on the Central Coast and her family worked in the agricultural industry in Salinas. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and her Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She worked in Santa Cruz County Government for 20 years, and served on the Watsonville City Council and the Board of Directors for Dignity Health Dominican Hospital Santa Cruz.

“I am excited to work with the dedicated staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, and the Bishop to continue our mission to provide help and create hope. I look forward to developing new partnerships in the community and strengthening our relationships to maximize resources to prevent and reduce poverty on the Central Coast. With your help, I am honored to advance the Catholic Charities mission of compassion and social justice. We ask ourselves, who is our neighbor in need and how can we help them?”

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, Chairperson Chris Panetta welcomes Ana to the agency.

Catholic Charities provides the following programs: Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance, Tattoo Removal, Immigration and Citizenship, Nutrition Education, and Cal Fresh and Medi-Cal outreach.

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Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey Awarded $100,000 to Support Families on Central Coast

Seaside, California – Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey announces receipt of a $100,000 grant from Monterey Peninsula Foundation for operating support to increase the self-sufficiency and financial stability of low-income residents in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

Low income families face complex issues that may trigger a financial crisis at any time due to unemployment, health related issues, unexpected debt, reduced income, and/or seasonal work. According to the Center for Community Economic Development, 42.3% of Monterey County and 36.2% of Santa Cruz County falls below the self-sufficiency line.

The funds granted by MPF will be used over two years to provide comprehensive client support, case management, and immediate basic needs for families in crisis. Ana Ventura Phares, Interim Executive Director, says in regards to the award, “This generous grant will provide much needed services for
our neighbors in need here on the central coast.”

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey provides rental and utility assistance between the months of November and January, as well as long-term financial education, budgeting and savings strategies for families, immigration and citizenship support and tattoo removal.


Diocese of Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia dies, 71

Bishop Richard Garcia's life and legacy will be remembered fondly at Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey. May he rest in eternal peace.

From (Click link below for redirect)

This is a wonderful summary of the highlights of his life and the schedule of the funeral services.

Hope Hope In Home Volunteer Opportunity

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey has opened the Hope in Home Rental Assistance program for the 2017 season. This program services individuals and families in the community by offering rental and utility assistance (on a limited basis). We receive more calls for assistance than we have resources to support. We are in dire need to find 4 to 6 compassionate and loving individuals to work in our office for a minimum 2 hours a week to make return phone calls to clients through November, December and January 2018. We have training, a full script and phones for them to use, we are simply in need of manpower. Bi-lingual is a plus, but not necessary to help with the return calls.

Are you interested in volunteering?


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions

Andorra Bruno
Specialist in Immigration Policy
September 6, 2017

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, an Obama Administration initiative, was being rescinded. A
related memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that same day
rescinded the 2012 memorandum that established DACA and described how DHS would
“execute a wind-down of the program.” According to the September 2017 memorandum, DHS
will continue to adjudicate certain DACA requests and will not terminate previously issued grants
of deferred action or employment authorization “solely based on the directives in this

DACA was established in June 2012, when DHS announced that certain individuals without a
lawful immigration status who were brought to the United States as children and met other
criteria would be considered for temporary relief from removal. To request DACA (initial or
renewal), an individual has to file specified forms with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) and pay associated fees. USCIS’s decision on an initial DACA request or a
renewal request is discretionary. DACA recipients are not granted a lawful immigration status and
are not put on a pathway to a lawful immigration status. They are, however, considered to be
lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferred action.

Cumulatively, through March 31, 2017, USCIS approved 787,580 initial DACA requests and
799,077 renewal requests. The overall approval rates for DACA requests accepted and decided by
March 31, 2017, were approximately 92% for initial requests and 99% for renewals.

To date, Congress has considered, but never enacted, legislation on the DACA initiative. Several
bills introduced in the 115th Congress would provide different forms of immigration protection to
unauthorized childhood arrivals who satisfy specified eligibility criteria. Some of these bills
would provide temporary protection from removal and employment authorization to eligible
individuals, while other measures would establish pathways for eligible individuals to become
U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the DACA initiative.