Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Gene DiRe named Associate Director of Catholic Charities

Story and photo by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the April 27, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Gene DiReGene DiRe becomes the new Associate Director of Catholic Charities on May 1, but has been working with the organization since 1987. (IR photo)

Catholic Charities Director Robb McCann recently announced that Gene DiRe will become the agency’s new Associate Director.

DiRe (pronounced Di-RAY), who has been with Catholic Charities of Spokane since 1987, takes on his new responsibilities on the first day of May.

“It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Gene DiRe has formally been chosen for, and accepted, the Associate Director position for Catholic Charities,” said McCann.

Married and the father of two children – a son, age 19, and a daughter, age 17 – Gene DiRe and his family are members of Spokane’s Assumption Parish.

He has been Program Director for Catholic Charities since 1987. He has also been an instructor for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission since 1983. From 1981-1983, he was Administrator for Clark County, Wash., Juvenile Court Services, and from 1978-1981 he managed a division of the juvenile justice system for Spokane County. From 1976-1978 he managed the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center, and from 1970-1976 DiRe was a probation counselor for Spokane County Juvenile Court Services.

The new Associate Director for Catholic Charities holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Gonzaga University, and he did post-graduate studies in Management at Gonzaga. His bachelor’s degree is also from Gonzaga University.

Catholic Charities conducted an open search to fill the Associate Director’s position, which McCann vacated when he became Executive Director after Donna Hanson, Director since 1964, passed away in September, 2005.

“Essentially,” DiRe said, “I’m going to be the Associate Director for Programs. So I’ll oversee the actual services that the agency provides directly to clients and consumers. This includes our shelters, the senior services program, the counseling services, and St. Anne Children and Family Center. My office will be in the Catholic Pastoral Center. I’ll also be responsible for our volunteer agencies in the outlying areas, and agencies like our Children and Family Counseling Services in Walla Walla.”

The only Catholic Charities service that he will not oversee will be the 11 Catholic Charities low-income housing units, such as Cathedral Plaza and Fahy West, in Spokane; the Rhodena, in Col-ville; and Austen Manor, Clark-ston. “That particular Catholic Charities service component will still report directly to Robb McCann,” DiRe said.

DiRe says that he expects the most rewarding aspect of his new position to also be the most challenging.

“The most rewarding and the most challenging is the opportunity to really serve the very wide variety of services that this agency provides,” he said. “Before, I was responsible only for the mental health services. Now, I have an opportunity to be involved in just about everything Catholic Charities does, and that’s very exciting and also very challenging.”

The new Associate Director of Catholic Charities laughs happily. “I think I’ll be busy, I don’t think it’ll be boring!”


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