Catholic Charities to honor Bishop W. Francis Malooly Oct. 6

April 3, 2021

The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, will receive the 2021 Monsignor Thomas J. Reese Award at Catholic Charities’ Annual Tribute Dinner, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Michael J. Hare, the 2020 recipient, will be presented with the 2020 award since the dinner last year was canceled due to COVID-19.

Created in 1989 in memory of Monsignor Thomas J. Reese, community activist and longtime director of Catholic Social Services, the forerunner of Catholic Charities, the award recognizes exemplary individuals who have demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting and restoring the well-being of people – Catholic Charities’ mission.

“Monsignor Reese was always there for people in need. He was a champion of human rights, a friend to the oppressed, a comfort to those in distress, and a man who felt the pain of those for whom he cared. This year we will honor two men who have also dedicated themselves to helping others, Bishop Malooly and Mike Hare. Following different paths, each man has made an incredible impact on those less fortunate in our community. Catholic Charities is incredibly blessed to be able to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Xavier DeCaire, Catholic Charities board chair.

July 7, 2008, the Holy See announced that Malooly had been appointed as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, encompassing Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Malooly was installed as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington at a mass Sept. 8, 2008.

Malooly was born in 1944 in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1970 and ordained an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese in 2001.

In addition to his 13 years as bishop of Wilmington, Malooly’s ministry includes stints as associate pastor, administrator of a youth retreat house, director of clergy personnel, chancellor and vicar general in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Malooly is a recipient of the President’s Medal from St. Mary’s Seminary & University, the Cardinal Shehan Award from the Archdiocese of Baltimore Youth Office and honorary doctorates in humane letters from Mt. Saint Mary’s and Neumann Universities. He has served as a member of the board of trustees of both Mount Saint Mary’s University and St. Mary’s Seminary and University. He holds memberships in the Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

Hare serves on Malooly’s pastoral council and on the vocations admissions board for the Diocese of Wilmington. He is co-chair of the Father James Trainor Scholarship Fund, a program very special to him. He also served as president of St. Elizabeth Parish Council, and is a founder and chair of the annual Feast of Saint Elizabeth celebration. He is co-chair of the St. Patrick’s Day Society, which has raised more than $2 million for the St. Patrick’s Center, an organization that provides vital services for the underserved on Wilmington’s east side. Hare also serves on the boards of St. Edmond’s Academy, the Latin American Community Center, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, Salvation Army Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College. He is also a former member of the Archmere Academy board of trustees. He is executive vice president for development at the Buccini/Pollin Group.

A native of Wilmington, he is a graduate of St. Edmond’s Academy and Archmere Academy. He received a degree in public administration from St. Joseph’s University. He also attended Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Catholic Charities’ Annual Tribute Dinner or to support the dinner through sponsorships or ticket purchases, contact Andrea Rotsch at

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington, the charitable and social service arm of the Catholic community of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has been serving those in need for 190 years, offering a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships.

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