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Giving Children a Better Future
INTERNATIONAL | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
Rick Medina, new director of Catholic World Mission, talks about the goals and challenges ahead.

catholic world mission rick medina
Rick Medina, the new director of Catholic World Mission.

October 17, 2011. Catholic World Mission, a Regnum Christi outreach to the poor worldwide, now has a new executive director. Rick Medina, a former Wall Street financier, seasoned entrepreneur (he founded and directed several successful energy businesses), and fundraiser for Catholic schools, has come to CWM with a clear commitment: to put his experience and gifts at the service of a mission that brings education, health, and evangelization to those who need it most.

In the following interview, Mr. Medina shares more about what drew him to Catholic World Mission, what he hopes to achieve, and what skills—along with faith—will help CWM keep growing and serving the poor.

Q: What attracted you to CWM?

Medina: I was attracted to CWM’s mission. Catholic World Mission transforms society by helping to eliminate spiritual, physical and educational poverty. CWM works to transform societies in highly targeted ways. CWM does not “feed the masses” but rather provides tools for communities to use and invest in, leading to self-sufficiency and societal benefits for generations to come.  CWM affects three main areas to achieve their goal: education, healthcare and evangelization.

It is clear the model works. Since its humble beginning in 1998 CWM has provided education to over 21,000 students. Without the generosity of our loyal donors I can’t imagine where these students would be. CWM gives tens of thousands of children a chance at a better future.

There is a holistic approach to CWM. Although majority of CWM’s donations go towards providing education to the poorest areas of the world, they also recognize the need to care for the physical and spiritual well being of those they are helping. Students will not be inclined to study if they (or members of their family) are sick. CWM recognizes that students will need the guidance and support of the entire family and hence they provide training to parents as well.

Finally, and this for me is the most important thing, CWM ensures that people they help know about the goodness of God. There is no point of having earthly success if we do not know or forget about the God who has provided for all things. It would be a shame to have life here on earth and not share in the life of the Lord. CWM is not afraid to proclaim, in words and deeds, the Good News that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Q: What do you see as the main priorities for CWM in the coming years?

Medina: Our main goal this year is to ensure CWM can withstand the current economic crisis. We have so many people, especially students in our 35 partner schools worldwide, depending on us. There is an unwritten mantra in the fundraising office that goes “if you mail them, donations will come” (reminds me of the memorable movie line from “Field of Dreams” – ‘if you build it, he will come’). Unfortunately, it costs money to create our mailing brochures, print and mail them. The returns on our solicitation campaigns (mailings) have been affected by the general economy. We need to be selective in whom we mail. Not all of our donors are interested in the same causes. Some are interested in education, others in evangelization, health care, etc. What we need to do is to reach and communicate to donors the areas of CWM they are most interested in.

My other main priority is to expand the ways CWM reaches out and is known by the general population. We have reached out traditionally to potential donors via “mail solicitations.” We want to utilize social media more and have an integrated marketing approach. We will use Facebook, Twitter, and e-blasts along with our traditional mailings. We will also redesign our website to feature more relevant and timely contents. The goal is to publicize CWM consistently across different media platforms.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve?

Medina: We have specific goals internal and external to the company. In terms of our schools, we want to be able to sponsor another 235 Mano Amiga kids. We also want to be able to build our reserves so we can be prepared in case of disaster relief. Having a healthy reserve will allow us to quickly respond to opportunities when they present themselves. For instance we just shipped much-needed medical supplies to Ghana. There are currently over 80,000 cases of death from preventable diseases in Ghana. The fact that we had the reserve allowed us to take advantage of the opportunity to partner with another entity interested in the same things we are in the area of health.

We also want to let the general public know about the work we do in the area of evangelization. We have a very special group of lay missionaries bringing hope and the word of God to poor areas of Mexico and Latin America. They minister to thousands of families, personifying the grace of God through corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

It is also important for us to increase our bottom line (net income). The more efficient we become as a company, the more we will be able to help. The main goal for this year is to keep our existing donors updated by giving them timely and frequent information about our schools, children and the many areas we help at CWM.

We also want to increase our donor base. We have a consistent and integrated strategy for keeping and expanding our donor base. We will strengthen connection to our donors, and attract new ones, by highlighting the many good works we do on a more frequent basis via all forms of media communications.

Q: What unique skill set do you bring to the position?

Medina: I bring a lot of enthusiasm and passion in everything I do. I firmly believe in the mission of CWM. As to unique skills, I have successfully built businesses in the past, so I know how to run profitable companies. I have also worked in some of the largest investment houses in the world, and I bring the analytical skills honed in my Wall Street days to running an efficient and focused company. I am very technically proficient; my original background is in Computer Science and Mathematics.

I have raised money for various causes in the past. My last project provided scholarships to students from families that would not normally be able to attend the many private Catholic schools in the entire state of Georgia. I was also co-Executive Director with my wife in raising money to build a house in Kingston, Jamaica (Holy Innocents home) to encourage mothers to not abort their babies. This is a project for Father Ho Lung and the Missionaries of the Poor. The most important attribute I bring to the position is my belief and trust in God’s divine providence. At CWM, we work as if everything is dependent on us, but we pray knowing it is all up to God. Working for CWM is not just a job; it is part of my baptismal responsibility.

I want to share something personal with the community. I am currently in my fourth year of Diaconate formation for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I ask for prayers from your readers for perseverance during my formation, and for me to always recognize God’s will in all that I do. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the work that is Catholic World Mission.

Catholic World Mission, originally founded by Fr Thomas Moylan, LC, in 1998, focuses on five core development areas, working as a team with other Catholic agencies: education, medical missionary work, evangelization, disaster relief, and building physical infrastructure. Its current president is Bishop Pedro Pablo Elizondo, LC, the Prelate of the Territorial Prelature of Cancún-Chetumal in Mexico. To learn more about Catholic World Mission, visit the web site at www.catholicworldmission.org.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2011-10-18


 
 

Related links

Altius Foundation
Catholic World Mission
Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center


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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


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