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Bresnahan plans retirement

Beth Cummings
Communications & Public Relations Manager
Steve Bresnahan Plans Retirement After More Than 2 Decades at Catholic Charities

After more than 22 years of service as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Steve Bresnahan has announced he is planning for his transition to retirement. Catholic Charities will begin the process to select a new Executive Director in the next six to nine months.

 Bresnahan joined Catholic Charities in June of 1994, appointed by Bishop Jerome Hanus, as the first layperson to lead Catholic Charities. He followed Father Tim Wenzel who served as Executive Director from 1986 to 1994.

“These last 22 years have been a blessing and grace beyond anything I could have imagined when I accepted the offer from Bishop Hanus to take this position,” said Bresnahan. “The people I have met and worked with, the faith I have seen and heard in action in the voices and hands of staff, volunteers and donors and the lives of the clients I have met have given me a profound appreciation for life and God’s presence with those in need.”

During his time as Executive Director, Bresnahan led the development of Catholic Charities from serving 38,121 people in 1994 to serving 72,165 people in 2015. “I am most proud of how Catholic Charities serves the ever-changing needs of the people of Central Minnesota,” said Bresnahan. “From procuring the building that houses Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf, to addressing the needs of youth with mental illness, to working with refugees and immigrants, those are the things that I am most proud of.”

He is also proud of the employees he has worked with over these 22 years. “We have some great people who have stayed with Catholic Charities for a long time,” said Bresnahan. “They have stayed because of the culture of caring that we have here, when they could have pursued other, probably more lucrative opportunities.”

Bresnahan has been instrumental in fundraising for the organization over the years. “ I am proud of the relationships we have built with donors and of the donors who have stayed with us through tough times.”

During Bresnahan’s tenure there has been a tremendous growth in needs in Central Minnesota. He has led Catholic Charities in filling those needs. Catholic Charities Emergency Services, for example, has more than tripled the number of people it serves each year, from just over 15,000 in 1994 to more than 49,000 in 2015.

While Bresnahan does not have any definitive plans when he leaves Catholic Charities, he says that he never plans to truly retire, but instead find new things to do. “I am listening for opportunities,” Steve said. He will do this with his wife Marlene by his side. Married 42 years, Marlene is currently an elementary special education teacher in Rockford. They have two grown sons, Jason and Ryan and five grandchildren who all live in Buffalo.

Catholic Charities is grateful for Bresnahan’s years of service in helping Central Minnesota’s most vulnerable with food, safe places to live and someone to lean on in their times of need.


Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization that advances the charitable and social mission of the Diocese of St. Cloud. It builds communities, promotes family life and enhances human dignity by providing quality services to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families of all faiths and beliefs.