Bishop Zubik appoints experts in healing, finance

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - Updated: 9:37 am

By BOB DEWITT Correspondent

Bishop David Zubik has created an advisory commission to assist him in monitoring progress on a five-point action plan outlined in his March 6 pastoral letter on response to sexual abuse, The Church Healing. He has also expanded the membership of the longstanding Diocesan Financial Council, to better represent all the faithful of the diocese in each of its six counties.

This information was posted on the diocesan website, www.diopitt.org/churchhealing, by the July 1 deadline promised in the pastoral letter.

The new Church Healing Commission, chaired by Jane Sarra, head of the Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults, consists of people who are Catholic and non-Catholic, including victims/survivors of abuse. Members come from a variety of pertinent backgrounds, such as law enforcement, the legal profession, health care and parish ministries (see accompanying list).

“The advice and experience of these committed members will help our diocese become ever more responsive to those who are hurting and ever more accountable to our faithful,” Bishop Zubik said. “They bring a wide range of perspectives and expertise, which help to make the Church of Pittsburgh the model of love and mercy that Jesus calls his Church to be.”

Five new members were added to the Diocesan Finance Council, which now includes representatives from each of the six counties of the diocese (see accompanying list). The council consists of lay business and finance professionals who review diocesan financials, provide advice, promote best practices and whose consent is required in specific circumstances as defined by Church law.

The Church Healing Commission:

Jennifer Antkowiak, a former KDKA-TV news anchor who works with health education and stress management programs through her private practice, Jennifer Productions.

The Rev. John Aupperle, a retired senior pastor of Baldwin Community United Methodist Church in Allegheny County, who lectures on organizational ethics at St. Vincent College.

Emily Belchick, director of youth ministry in the parish grouping of White Oak/East McKeesport/Versailles in Allegheny County, who spent 20 years teaching in public school before becoming active in Church ministry.

Sherry Cherry, the safe environment coordinator for Holy Spirit Parish in Lawrence County, who for more than 10 years has supported her parishes in maintaining a safe environment for children.

Michael Daniels, superintendent of the Canon-McMillan School District, whose past roles in public education have included school psychologist

James M. Doerfler, an attorney in the Pittsburgh office of a global international law firm and an active member of St. Sebastian Parish in Ross, with a strong interest in Catholic education.

Thomas Lynch, a retired law enforcement officer, now living in Allegheny County, who spent more than 20 years as a special agent for the FBI, leading task force investigations that targeted violent crimes and major offenders.

Patricia Mazar, an Allegheny County resident who serves as senior administrator of the Office of Research Oversight, which is the compliance and regulatory office at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Pastor Jill McGregor of Christ Our Savior’s Lutheran Parish in Beaver County, was ordained in 2008 for ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after an earlier career in the food and agriculture sector.

Sister Rita Murillo, a Sister of St. Joseph of Baden, a civil lawyer who serves as a public defender in the Child Division of Criminal Courts in Allegheny County.

Jenna Rowles-Romito, a licensed professional counselor in private practice who has worked in outpatient mental health, family therapy and domestic violence non-profit organizations for 17 years and also does Family Court mediation in Allegheny County.

Tracy Walnoha, executive director of Watchful Shepherd, a non-profit based in Washington County that provides in-home services to children and families who are experiencing issues with domestic violence and all types of abuse.

Diocesan Financial Council:

The new members of the Diocesan Finance Council are:

Laura Coss, the chief financial officer of Waynesburg University in Greene County.

Frank Moses, president of New ERA Realty Company, Inc., in Lawrence County.

Thomas Sylvester, chief financial officer of Universal Refractories Corporation in Beaver County.

Karen Vidt, a certified public accountant from Butler County.

Laural Ziemba, director of public affairs at Range Resources, from Washington County.

They have joined the existing council members:

Kathleen Buechel, executive director of the Benter Foundation in Allegheny County.

Kathleen Geis, managing director in the BNY Mellon -- Global Real Estate Department, from Allegheny County.

Howard Hanna, chairman of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Allegheny County.

Christopher “Kip” Sobel, executive vice president and group manager at PNC Corp., from Butler County

James Stalder, former managing partner of the Pittsburgh office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and former dean of the graduate and undergraduate School of Business at Duquesne University, from Allegheny County.

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