by Kevin Littrell, Diocese of Baton Rouge
Eva Casale ‘s employment in the IT Department of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2001 started out as a technical job opportunity but became much more. Prior to this she had been working for a small financial start-up, AngelSociety and previously at Scientific American Magazine as a network administrator. Her story is similar to that of most of us. Her department was small; just three people including herself, but it grow significantly during her time there. She was hired as the IT Manager and eventually promoted to Assistant IT Director. I asked her to share her thoughts about some of the accomplishments made by the IT Department while she worked there. She told me about a diocesan-wide web filtering initiative. She said that it was the beginning of a mindset change within the Diocese with regards to the appropriate user of and ultimate ownership of diocesan computers. First she said that the project helped weed out some “inappropriate behavior”. Then she said that it paved the way for computer usage policies and other management techniques. Overall, she indicated that employees began to respect the computers as diocesan property, which improved worker effectiveness and helped control costs.
This, however, was not the great accomplishment that Eva really wanted to share with me. For Eva, this job that started out as just a technical position, eventually changed her life. She went on to tell me about how the Diocese was a nurturing environment for her own spiritual growth; spiritual growth that ultimately lead her to donate one of her kidneys to a total stranger in October 2006. She described the moment to me like this. One day while traveling to work she heard a story on the radio about a family man desperate for a kidney transplant. She felt completed to do something about the situation. So, moved by the Spirit of God, she volunteered one of her own kidneys.
This decision was life changing in more ways than one. Eva told me that prior to this decision she had never missed work and that it was a long process, involving many phases of medical tests, that required a significant amount of sick leave. Fortunately, her employer was very understanding. During the donation process Eva recalled a nurse asking her if donating this kidney was her “life’s purpose”. Eva recalled being offended at the notion that one selfless act would constitute the entire purpose of her existence. But, it did help her to realize her need to give back. Today, Eva fulfills that need, for example, by running long-distance races to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Through her running she has found a renewed sense of self and an ongoing way to serve God and mankind.
As most of us know, Eva no longer works for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. I asked her to talk about her reasons for moving to the Oceanside Christopher Federal Credit Union. She told me that she made the move in 2008 simply because it was a growth opportunity. She went on to tell me that even though she no longer works for the Chancery, she still works with many diocesan entities. The Credit Union has many parishioners, parishes and even the Bishop as members.
At Oceanside Christopher, Eva has been able to work on larger projects and work more directly with Catholics in her community. She is very satisfied with her position there. I asked her to share some of her work accomplishments with me. She is working on an electronic content management system to digitize many years worth of current and historical financial data. Major benefits of this project are the space savings and the ability to deliver records to patrons in a timely manner from any branch. Additionally, she recently completed a VMWare server consolidation as well as helping rollout a new branch office.
Eva Casale is in the process of completing her sixth year on the DISC board of Trustees and is the current acting president. During this time DISC has grown in many ways. Just to name a few, the finances have been restructured, DISC has become a recognized organization by the USCCB, the conferences have become more structured, vendor participation has increased and the caliber of presentations has improved.
I interviewed Eva Casale with the hope of learning more about her as a person and a professional. I hoped to learn about how she thought her work as an IT professional had changed her diocese. What I came away with was that her diocese, along with the hand of God, did a lot to change her. I learned that there was more to Eva than most of us know. And, I learned that most of all, Eva is where God wants her to be, doing His work both on and off the clock.