James Amato has been named secretary for Catholic Human Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it was announced Monday, Dec. 21. The appointment becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The position is responsible for overseeing all the operations of the archdiocese’s social outreach and health care, including the offices, staff and facilities of Catholic Health Care Services, Catholic Social Services, Nutritional Development Services and the Office of Community Development. It had been held by Joseph J. Sweeney Jr., who retired at the end of 2015 after 31 years of service in the archdiocese.
Most recently Amato has led Catholic Social Services since 2000 as deputy secretary, and has served in various roles in CSS for 32 years.
A Northeast Philadelphia native, Amato holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in social work from Temple University. He began his career as a supervisor in various parish social ministry and service center roles before becoming assistant director of professional services where he managed the Homeless Services and Family Service Center programs.
He went on to become the director of children services managing foster care, group home and in-home services involving contracts with the city and state.
As deputy secretary Amato managed operations for all programs and services, adapted programs to changes in governmental funding and policy priorities, and assured fidelity to Catholic teaching in all programs.
An active state-licensed Professional Social Worker, Amato is also an advisory member of Visitation B.V.M. School in Philadelphia, a member of Catholic Charities USA and the Pennsylvania Council for Children, Youth and Family Services. He also currently serves on the local Federal Emergency Management Assistance Board and various Catholic Social Services boards including Finance, Youth Services, Strategic Planning and Nominations.
He has previously held a board membership for the World Meeting of Families’ Hunger and Homelessness Committee, Covenant House, St. Vincent’s Home in Tacony, Nutritional Development Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre, who oversees Catholic Human Services in the archdiocese, said he looks forward to continuing to work with Amato in his new role, saying his “knowledge of the mission of Catholic Human Services and his dedication to that mission will be a blessing.”
“I am also very grateful for the manner in which Joe Sweeney brought his faith to bear upon his work, his dedication to the mission of the church to care for the poor and those most in need and for his leadership of the secretariat in what were often trying times.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: St. Patrick students study a multi-course STREAM of water
NEXT: Pastor of St. Bridget Parish is placed on leave
Share this story