Saturday, June 18, 2016 - Updated: 11:00 am
The Diocese of Pittsburgh will lose one of its best-known staff members, but gain a talented and experienced administrator when Helene Paharik steps down as associate general secretary and Mercy Sister Mariella Bradley becomes administrative assistant to Bishop David Zubik. Both changes are effective June 30.
"These are both women for whom I have the highest respect," Bishop Zubik said. "We will miss the joy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the church that Helene has brought to all of us. At the same time, I’m delighted to welcome Sister Mariella, whom I have long known as a wise leader in Catholic education and who understands the work of the diocesan church at every level."
Sister Mariella is known for her commitment to Catholic education, and served for many years as a principal and teacher in this diocese and beyond. She was the first principal in the diocese to receive the Golden Apple Award for excellence in education. She is also a past recipient of the Manifesting the Kingdom Award for those who demonstrate the presence of Jesus in their lives and have participated in exceptional service to the church.
She was principal at St. Elizabeth School in Pleasant Hills for 21 years and at St. Alphonsus School in Wexford for 12 years. She taught at Our Lady of Lourdes in Burgettstown, St. Cyril on Pittsburgh’s North Side and St. Winifred in Mount Lebanon. She also has been principal at Mount St. Peter School, New Kensington, in the Diocese of Greensburg, and was executive director of a Sisters of Mercy retreat center, Our Lady of the Pines, in the Diocese of Toledo.
"Becoming the administrative assistant to Bishop David Zubik is a wonderful opportunity to extend the challenge to manifest the kingdom in a new way," Sister Mariella said. "It is an honor to serve the church as I journey On Mission for The Church Alive!"
Paharik has resigned from the bishop’s staff in order to spend more time with her family, but will remain on call as a consultant. An Ambridge native who graduated from Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, Seton Hill University and earned a master’s degree in New Testament theology at St. Vincent Seminary, she has commuted daily to Downtown Pittsburgh from her home in Greensburg.
She joined the diocesan staff in 2009 as director of the Department for Human Life and Dignity, and was promoted to associate general secretary in 2012. Previously she served for three years as director of development at the Beit Benedict Peace Academy of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, and held parish positions in the Diocese of Greensburg.
She and her husband, Jim, have four children.
"I am profoundly grateful to our merciful Father for the joy of standing in his presence and serving him here among the delightfully prayerful, courageous and compassionate priests, deacons, religious and laity in the diocese of my initiation and primary formation in the church. It really was a dream come true for me to work for Bishop Zubik, who first taught me to learn, love and live Jesus at Quigley Catholic High School," Paharik said.
"I so believe in this Church Alive! and have every confidence that On Mission for The Church Alive! will draw all in the diocese nearer to one another and to God," she said. "It is a privilege to continue to serve the Diocese of Pittsburgh as a consultant so as to be more available to our family at this time. For this, my family and I are deeply grateful to Bishop Zubik for his support and understanding."