New Chief Executive Named for Catholic Charities

Bishop Frank J. Dewane announced that Christopher M. Root has joined Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. (CCDOV), as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 2, 2024.

Root comes to Catholic Charities from Families First Network of Lakeview Center, an organization that provides child welfare, foster care, and adoption services, and where he was Director of Administration. Previously, Root spent decades working with other Catholic Charities organizations in Northwest Florida and Michigan.

“Christopher Root’s commitment to service, and passion for helping others, is abundantly clear, and his leadership and guidance will be a blessing not only to the organization and the Diocese, but to so many here in Southwest Florida who need help,” Bishop Dewane said.

Root said his dedication to service is rooted in his Catholic faith.

“As Catholics, it is our duty to recognize the human dignity of every individual, granted to them by God, and to share His love with all whom we encounter,” Root said. “I am looking forward to advancing the work of Catholic Charities here in the Diocese of Venice, and providing help, creating hope, and serving all, as our mission dictates.”

In his previous work with Catholic Charities, Root worked at Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and in Michigan, at the Diocese of Lansing. He oversaw broad-reaching programs and services such as soup kitchens, food pantries, and transitional housing, as well as more specialized programs like adoption, foster care, Life Justice, Project Rachel, behavioral health counseling, substance abuse, adult daycare, refugee resettlement, personal assistance programs, and medical and immigration law clinics.

Root holds Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts degrees, both from Michigan State University, and is also a graduate of the Mission to Service Program at the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic Charities USA Leadership Institute.

He and his wife, Diana, have nine children, and nine grandchildren.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, is a nonprofit founded in 1984. The organization serves as a resource to the community offering health and human services, food pantries, counseling, legal assistance, rapid re-housing, education, and disaster response. Catholic Charities serves the 10 counties of the Diocese. The mission of Catholic Charities is to provide help, create hope, and serve all. For more information, visit