Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey announces retirement of Ana Ventura Phares and appoints Angela Di Novella as New Executive Director

 Seaside, California— July 1st 2021  Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey announces that after eight years on the Catholic Charities Board and three years as the Executive

Ana Ventura Phares
Ana Ventura Phares

Director, Ana Ventura Phares is retiring at the end of August.  Board President Paul Gutierrez said, “Ms. Ventura Phares lead the agency during a difficult time, collaborating with foundations and new partners to keep families and seniors stable as they struggled with loss of work, illnesses, and fire related losses.  We are thankful for her outstanding service.” Ana shared, “I am thankful to staff, donors, Bishop Daniel and the Board- they all ensure that we carry on the good work of Christ.  For me personally, meeting parents and seniors who shared their hardships taught me much about humility and resiliency. I am forever grateful for the profound experience.”


Bishop Daniel Garcia and the Board of Directors are excited to announce that Angela Di Novella will be appointed to the position of Executive Director on September 1st 2021. Bishop Garcia said, “It is with excitement that I welcome Angela Di Novella as our new Executive Director. Angela has faithfully served Catholic Charities, Diocese of Monterey as our Family Support Services Director and Development Director and now we look forward to the gifts and talents that she will bring to the Executive Director position.

Angela Di Novella
Angela Di Novella

Ms. Di Novella was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to the U.S with a suitcase packed of dreams. She graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and from San Jose State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Angela also completed graduate courses in Strategic Planning and Fundraising from Harvard Extension.  She has worked in the fields of mental health, asset development, restorative justice, food access, public health, and fundraising. Angela has served in leadership positions for 9 years at Catholic Charities. “I’m honored and blessed to serve our community in this new role and I’m looking forward to growing our partnerships with all who support our mission to provide service to people in need, to advocate for social justice, and to call other people of good will to do the same” said Angela.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey assists survivors of the 2020 California wildfires to achieve long-term recovery through holistic case management services

The Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) will support residents adversely impacted by the CZU Lighting Complex, Dolan, River, Carmel and Coleman fires throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

Santa Cruz, California— May 19 2021 — California Department of Social Services and Catholic Charities of California has awarded Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey the Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP) contract to support local wildfire survivors return to safe, sanitary, and secure housing.

Since August 2020, Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey has distributed nearly $100,000 in wildfire disaster relief aid thanks to the generosity of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of California, Santa Cruz Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Monterey County, United Way of Santa Cruz, and donors. Catholic Charities will now support wildfire survivors in their long-term recovery through the Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP). Ana Ventura Phares, Executive Director of Catholic Charities said, “Our staff in Santa Cruz and Seaside are honored to work with the survivors and their families to regain stability after this traumatic disaster.”

This program assists clients by providing: support in developing and achieving individualized recovery plans, advocacy and follow up with FEMA and SBA appeals, coordination of construction resources, and connection to financial assistance and other local programs. Catholic Charities will provide most services in the Santa Cruz Office. Contact our staff by calling (831) 920-4764 or email
Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, serving people in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo counties. For more information about or to donate to Catholic Charities, visit
For more information, press only: Ana Ventura Phares, Executive Director 831-920-4760 avphares@catholiccharitiesdom.orgPress Release-Wildfire Disaster Relief Program

Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey welcomes Bishop Daniel E. Garcia as Board Chair and names Martina O’Sullivan as new Board President

Seaside, California – Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey is excited to welcome Bishop Daniel E. Garcia to our Diocese and to Catholic Charities as our Board Chairman. Catholic Charities also named Martina O’Sullivan as Board President. The agency is thrilled to receive Bishop Daniel’s and Martina’s guidance to continue providing a path out of poverty for low income families and individuals in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and San Luis Obispo Counties.


Bishop Daniel E. Garcia was installed on Jan 29, 2019 as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Austin, Texas in 1988 and was appointed as the first Auxiliary Bishop to the Diocese of Austin in 2015. Bishop Daniel has served on many boards and councils, including the College of Consultors, Dean of the North Austin Deanery, and Communication Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Catholic Charities serves as the Bishop’s social justice arm for the Diocese of Monterey.   


Martina O’Sullivan is a long-standing dedicated member of the Catholic Charities family. She was Executive Director for Catholic Charities from 1997-2005 and is currently a devoted Board member. She currently also serves as Secretary of the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities USA. In addition, Martina has been serving for the past two years as the co-chair of the Holiday Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank’s and brings a long history of service in health care through different roles at Dignity Health. She has been a strong community leader involved in issues related to social justice, health care, immigration, food security, and domestic violence prevention among many others. At the core of all the work, Martina shows a strong commitment to social justice and to make a positive difference in our community.


On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, Executive Director Ana Ventura Phares welcomes Bishop Daniel and Martina in their new roles to guide and lead the agency’s mission to serve those in need with dignity and compassion.   Catholic Charities provides the following services: Legal Immigration and Citizenship, Winter Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance, Tattoo Removal, Nutrition Education, and food and health security through CalFresh and MediCal enrollment assistance and outreach.

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Martina and Bishop Press Release

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.


Terrie Iacino to Retire as Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey's Executive Director

Seaside, California – Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey announces that Terrie Iacino, Executive Director, will
retire effective August 15, 2018.

Terrie Iacino transitioned from Interim Director to Executive Director in February 2012. For seven years she has
helped bring local, regional, statewide and national attention to the work that Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey
accomplishes in the four counties on the central coast of California.

The hallmarks of Terrie’s tenure are strong core agency services, expanded the geographic reach, advanced
organizational effectiveness and an increase in the base of financial support for Catholic Charities. Terrie says, “I have
been privileged to serve with an extraordinary team of board members, professionals, donors and volunteers at
Catholic Charities focused on client services. It has been work that impassioned me, nurtured me and made me

Terrie established the Saint Toribio Romo Legacy Fund to offset the costs for any client and their qualifying family
members who seek specialized immigration and citizenship services. To many, Saint Toribio Romo is known as a
patron of migrants.

Attorney and former Catholic Charities board member, Ana Ventura-Phares, will begin as Interim Executive
Director on August 1, 2018 to as the Board of Directors implements a robust search for the new Executive Director.

We are deeply grateful to Terrie for her dedication to the mission of Catholic Charities to reduce poverty on the
Central Coast. We wish her well on her next journey.