Diocesan Director Toolkit

Photo by Michael Stulman/CRS

As part of our commitment to our CRS Diocesan Directors, we provide the following teaching tools and resources in our Diocesan Director Toolkit. We frequently add new tools, so please check back regularly.
Selecting the options below will provide you with useful tools and resources to assist with your role as a CRS Diocesan Director.


Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

For those of you who we'll be seeing at the 2020 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering ( January 25–28, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC), watch this space for activities and events planned for CRS partners and diocesan directors.  



Catholic Relief Services hosts a new Diocesan Director orientation annually in the early summer. During the orientation, CRS Diocesan Directors learn more about CRS’ mission, work overseas, programs and resources available to do the work of CRS in their dioceses. This is also an opportunity for the new Diocesan Directors to meet with CRS staff, to learn about building capacity in their respective diocese and discover how Catholics in dioceses are an integral part of CRS.

CRS recognizes that Diocesan Directors have a variety of other diocesan commitments and responsibilities so during the orientation, there is time provided to create a CRS action plan while learning about the different challenges, strategies and successes of other Diocesan Directors. While experienced Diocesan Directors are welcome, the orientation’s primary focus is on Diocesan Directors that have been in the position for less than two years.

For more information, please contact Chris West at [email protected] for additional information, if you have been appointed by your bishop to serve as a CRS Diocesan Director.


Natural disasters, political crises and humanitarian emergencies often occur when we least expect and without advanced warning. During past emergencies, the U.S. Catholic Church has been most generous in their response to aid those in need. CRS Diocesan Directors are called upon to answer questions from parishes, Bishops, and the media. The following are steps you can take when responding to an emergency.

  • Look for information to come to you through your e-mail. When a disaster occurs, CRS will provide you with the most up-to-date information about the crisis itself, current CRS activities in the affected area and ways your community can respond.
  • Call the Mission and Mobilization regional office to see if CRS has programs in the area of the emergency and, if so, inform the Bishop and diocesan leaders about CRS’ response.
  • Encourage your Bishop to write letters to all parishes inviting them to pray for victims of the crisis and for those who will risk their lives to assist them.
  • Coordinate national collections with your bishop.
  • Work with your Communications and Chancery offices to ensure information on the emergency and CRS’ response is getting to parishes.
  • Work with secular and diocesan papers to ensure CRS’ name and address are included in their list of agencies responding to a particular crisis and to develop articles on CRS’ response.
  • Contact CRS for speaking engagements in your community or contact local immigrants from the country in crisis to speak at parish or diocesan functions and/or be a source of information for news media.
  • Report back to the diocese on monies raised and CRS’ response.

We recognize each diocese works differently and encourage you to contact your regional Mission and Mobilization office if you have a special need or specific questions relating to emergency response. If your diocese is looking to respond with In-Kind (material) donations, please contact your regional office first. Not all material donations can be accepted by Catholic Relief Services, so, therefore, it is important to contact your regional Mission and Mobilization office before collecting donated items.


The CRS Diocesan Capacity Building Initiative for Global Solidarity is an ambitious but focused vision and framework for supporting dioceses in their efforts to reach U.S. Catholics in parishes. It reflects the U.S. Bishops’ parish-based social ministry model, “Communities of Salt and Light.”

Please review the Diocesan Capacity Building Initiative Overview summary, it provides an explanation of the strategy and the criteria used for previous selections.

We encourage diocesan directors to speak with their CRS regional office about this opportunity and your interest to apply. A notification is always sent to all CRS Diocesan Directors outlining the Diocesan Capacity Building Strategy application process.

Please contact Chris West at [email protected] if you are a CRS Diocesan Director and have questions about the Diocesan Capacity Building Initiative for Global Solidarity.