Sacred Heart Southern Missions (SHSM) has named Timothy Courts as president and chief executive officer. Rev. Jack Kurps, who has been president and CEO for 36 years, will continue on as spiritual director of the organization.
Rev. Jack Kurps announced his decision to step back as President and CEO to staff last week at a prayer service and luncheon in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ministry of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the United States.
Courts began serving in his new role on May 1. He attended Sacred Heart School in Walls and Southaven High School. Before earning a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management and Information Systems at the University of Memphis in September of 1993, Courts worked part time at SHSM as a maintenance helper before transferring to computer assistant in March of 1992. He rose to information systems manager in 1995, director of management information systems in 1999 and transferred to director of operations in 2003.
Courts resigned in 2004 to go to work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He moved on to Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in 2007 to become the micro applications implementation manager before being promoted to director of information security. Courts left Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare and returned to SHSM as director of finance in February of 2015. In his role as director of finance, he oversaw the finance, information system, human resources and facilities departments. He was promoted to executive director of corporate services in November of 2022.
Courts also has a Masters of Business Administration from the Executive MBA program at the University of Memphis, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in both Mississippi and Tennessee.
“I am honored and humbled to have been appointed to lead Sacred Heart Southern Missions,” Courts said. “I have been affiliated with the organization my whole life and believe in its mission and that of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. I look forward to working with the SHSM team to break the cycle of poverty, as we serve the thousands of financially struggling individuals and families across northern Mississippi who depend on us and the tens of thousands of donors across the United States who support our mission.”
Provincial Superior of the Priests of the Sacred Heart US Province Rev. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, said to the SHSM staff, "With this appointment, Tim will collaborate with you and with the Priests of the Sacred Heart, and the Diocese of Jackson to carry out the mission of church, the mission of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and the mission of Sacred Heart Southern Missions.”
“On behalf of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and the board of directors of Sacred Heart Southern Missions," Rev. Nguyen continued, "I would also like to thank Rev. Jack Kurps’ ministry to carry on the Dehonian mission in northern Mississippi and for his love and dedication to the people and the staff."
Father Jack became executive director of SHSM in 1987. Looking back on his 36 years of ministry in Mississippi he said he was proud of all that has been accomplished
“Our HIV/AIDS ministry began in the early 90s when a diagnosis was a death sentence,” he said. “The program continues to serve a very important need with all the stigma that is often associated with the disease. Our Dehon Village and the Dehon Learning Center provides affordable housing and adult life skill development. Our food pantry has become a major program and serves a tremendous need. Our volunteer program matches the desire of individuals to give of themselves with people who need help and our volunteer housing makes it possible for groups to come from around the country to assist others. Merging Sacred Heart League back into Sacred Heart Southern Missions removed some of the duplication of efforts and made us a stronger organization.
“I will take credit for some ideas – but often my contribution was to green light the ideas and suggestions of others. SHSM is blessed with a dedicated staff. I look forward to continuing to be part of SHSM and I will assist Tim in any way he asks. With Tim, SHSM is in good hands. SHSM is in his blood.”
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