Diocesan staff realigned to reflect new needs and limited funding

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Updated: 1:41 pm

By Bob De Witt Correspondent

Bishop David Zubik is finalizing a reorganization of central administration staff of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The strategic realignment, reflecting new needs and limited funding, is designed to enhance the formation of church leaders who are forming Catholics in the faith.

Parishes have experienced declines in giving to offertory collections and the diocesan Parish Share program over an extended period of time, in large part due to fewer Catholics attending Sunday Mass. Since 2000, Mass attendance across the diocese has decreased more than 40 percent.

“The On Mission for The Church Alive! initiative that we have been undertaking for the past four years is a response to changing needs and fewer resources in our parishes,” said Father Nick Vaskov, executive director for communications. “This affects the diocese as well. As a result, staff reductions recently have occurred so that our resources can continue to be focused on our parishes as they work through the process of coming together.

“As a diocese we must continue to be good stewards of limited resources, just like our parishes and schools,” he said.

The diocesan reorganization is expected to result in a workforce reduction of about 20 percent, approximately half of whom were eligible for retirement. Displaced employees are receiving outplacement services. Several staffers are being transferred to new positions that match their skills and experience with organizational needs.

The realignment will enhance the diocese’s capacity to integrate and continually form those who lead faith formation efforts in schools and parishes, including principals, teachers, directors of religious education, catechists, youth ministers and campus ministers.

The Pittsburgh Catholic reported last week that Bishop David Zubik has formed a new Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults, led by Jane Sarra. The move brings together all diocesan services directly related to the prevention of and response to sexual abuse.

Two other secretariats — Leadership Development and Evangelization, and External Affairs — have merged to form a new Secretariat for Catholic Education and Evangelization, headed by Anna Torrance. It includes departments of religious identity, religious education, youth and young adult engagement, Latino ministry, Catholic schools, curriculum and government grants, and school finances.

Future administration of schools will be decentralized with the implementation of school regionalization. Governing boards and regional administrators are tasked with providing oversight of elementary schools. Regions have been established in the North Hills and Pittsburgh-East, and will be formed in the South and Northwest regions of the diocese.

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