Chicago House Names New Development Director

Thu. September 14, 2006 12:00 AM

Michael Herman Joins Chicago House as Director of Development

Chicago, IL - Chicago House has named Michael Herman as Director of Development. A Chicago native, Herman was most recently pastor of St. Sylvester Catholic Church in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square communities.

A graduate of Loyola University with a Bachelor of Science in computer programming and a minor in philosophy, Herman also studied at the University of St. Mary of the Lake where he earned a master of Divinity Degree and was subsequently ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago. For 17 years, he worked in different Hispanic communities in Chicago, including serving as the Director of Casa Jesus, a formation house for Hispanic seminarians. During his tenure, the number of Hispanic priests serving the Archdiocese more than tripled. Herman was also responsible for establishing a development and institutional advancement plan increasing the fund raising efforts by over 200 percent in five years.

Herman will be replacing Matt Towey, who held the position for the past five years, and who is leaving to begin law school. Towey has served Chicago House well, and plans to return to Chicago's non-profit community in a legal capacity after completing his law degree.

As pastor of St. Sylvester Catholic Church in the Humbold Park and Logan Square communities, Herman spearheaded a capital campaign collecting over $400,000 to install an elevator and make needed reparations to the parish center. He served as vice president on the board of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and was an active leader on the Balanced Development Coalition working for a city wide ordinance to set aside affordable units in new and rehab construction and continues to be an outspoken public voice for housing in Chicago.

A long-time advocate for GLBT rights within the Catholic Church, Herman signed an open letter to the Vatican calling for an end to the language used in Church documents towards gay men and women. Following his launching of a website with Catholics Affirming Homosexual Leadership that advocated freedom and admission to priesthood regardless of their sexual orientation, he collaborated with GLAAD to come out publicly as a gay priest and speak out against the document in the media. A few months later, Herman resigned as a priest citing his conflict with the Catholic Church over its position on homosexuality

Commented Herman, "I resigned as a priest recognizing my inability to continue to serve an institution that refused admission to priesthood candidates based on sexual orientation and to be free to challenge the Catholic Church on all its teachings concerning sexual orientation."

The Reverend Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House praised Herman for his career accomplishments in announcing his appointment as Development Director. "Michael Herman brings to Chicago House a wealth of experience, a life-long dedication to working to improve the lives of the less fortunate and an enthusiasm for our mission that will serve Chicago House well."

Concurring with Reverend Sloan, Herman noted: "My advocacy for affordable housing in Chicago and my desire to have a more public voice for GLBT rights brought me to Chicago House, an agency that has been providing affordable housing to people affected by HIV and AIDS and helping those individuals overcome discrimination for over 20 years. I am excited about joining the Chicago House team, working on the upcoming World Tour Gala, and look forward to recruiting others in supporting their important mission in the years ahead."

Since 1985, Chicago House has provided housing and supportive services to area men, women & children with HIV & AIDS. For more information, visit or call (773) 248-5200 x. 304.