Changes to diocesan pastoral staff

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - Updated: 11:38 am

By BOB DEWITT Correspondent

Bishop David Zubik has announced multiple changes and appointments to his staff, which are intended to enhance the focus of his administration on supporting parishes and schools in their efforts to promote vibrant worship and effective ministry.

“It is a blessing and a joy for any bishop to be able to call on such qualified, experienced lay Catholics and have them say ‘Yes’ to service in the Church,” Bishop Zubik said.

Michelle A. Peduto was appointed to the newly created position of director of Catholic schools in the new Secretariat for Catholic Education and Evangelization. Previously the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools had been led by superintendents. The appointment is effective July 1, 2019.

Peduto has most recently served the Extra Mile Education Foundation as director of educational programs and partnerships. From 2011-17 she was executive director and head of the Campus School of Carlow University in Pittsburgh and taught education courses to undergraduates. She served as principal of the former St. Agnes Elementary School in Pittsburgh from 2003-07.

As director, Peduto will focus on the vital mission of Catholic education and continue to promote excellence in the spiritual formation and academic preparation of students. She will work closely with educational leaders throughout the diocese, particularly the regional administrators and principals.

“Michelle Peduto already has provided invaluable service in Catholic education, in positions that include providing scholarship assistance to low-income children in inner-city Catholic schools, to teaching at a Catholic university,” Bishop Zubik said. “She will carry out her duties with a heart for providing an academically excellent, spiritually challenging education for all students in all communities.”

“Our Catholic schools are the catechetical greenhouses for our communities that serve as models of Christian love, faith and charity,” Peduto said. “I welcome this new challenge, see the great opportunities that lie ahead and know that, with God, we cannot fail.”

Peduto will report to Anna Bamonte Torrance, who heads the new Secretariat for Catholic Education and Evangelization.

“Anna Bamonte Torrance has served at the highest levels of diocesan governance since 2015, advising me and representing me on issues ranging from education to child protection to social services and care for the poor and marginalized,” Bishop Zubik said. “As she assumes leadership of the new Secretariat for Catholic Education and Evangelization, responsibility for ensuring the quality and continuance of our efforts to teach and spread the gospel will be in the hands of a woman who has placed her professional excellence in service to Jesus.”

Erica L. Gamerro was appointed director of the diocesan Department for Liturgy and Worship and episcopal master of ceremonies. She also began her assignment on July 1.

Gamerro has served the church for 17 years as a lay ecclesial minister in a variety of parish ministries. While assuming her diocesan posts, she will continue as director of worship, evangelization and young adult ministry in the parish grouping of St. Bernard in Mt. Lebanon and Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township.

Gammero received a master of arts in theology at Duquesne University and a bachelor of arts in theology and pastoral ministry from Seton Hill University.

“Erica Gamerro is extraordinarily qualified for the ministry of director of worship, with two degrees and a history of inspirational work in liturgy at St. Bernard Parish,” Bishop Zubik said. “At Masses and liturgical events I will rely on her to make sure that each celebration is planned to be as prayerful as it must be, and that all the ministers are properly prepared for their respective roles.

“And, because she has accepted my invitation to take on these crucial roles, a priest has been freed from central administration to take up pastoral duties in our parishes.”

In addition, Bishop Zubik has reappointed Deacon Kevin Lander as assistant master of ceremonies and has also named Deacon Tony Giordano, Deacon Herb Riley, Deacon John Vaskov and Deacon candidate Eric Schorr as assistant masters of ceremonies.

Since July 2012, Deacon Tom Krulikowski had served as Bishop Zubik’s primary episcopal master of ceremonies.

“Deacon Tom was an immense assistance to me in my liturgical visits throughout the diocese. His calm and pastoral direction of all those events helped me truly to lead the faithful in prayer. In truth, his efforts helped the faithful to pray better as well. I will always be ever grateful for his service,” Bishop Zubik said.

Ellen Mady will become media spokesperson for the diocese while continuing to serve as diocesan chancellor.

Mady moved to Pittsburgh in 2014 after spending three years helping to establish a K-12 Catholic school in northern Iraq. She brings significant experience in the fields of Catholic social ministry and education, as well as research, writing and communications.

Born in Saudi Arabia, where her father worked, Mady moved to the Washington, D.C. area when she was nine. Fluent in Spanish and conversant in Arabic, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education and development from Anahuac University and a master’s degree in religious sciences from Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.

Mady is working toward earning a degree in canon law. Her appointment is effective August 5, 2019.

“Ellen Mady brings a tremendous skill set to the role of diocesan spokesperson,” Bishop Zubik said. “In addition to a professional background in journalism and communications, she has a thorough grasp of Catholic theology, canon law and the work of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.”

Gamerro and Mady’s new assignments were previously held only by priests.

Ann Rodgers, who has served since 2013 as diocesan director for communications, will take over Father Nicholas Vaskov’s duties as executive director for communications. She will continue her work with writing, editing, marketing and messaging for the diocese, while assuming responsibility for overall communications strategy and departmental administration.

Felician Sister Mary Sharon Iacobucci has been appointed delegate for religious. Her role is to keep the direct line of communication open between Bishop Zubik and all the communities of religious in the diocese. She will also continue to raise awareness of the significant service that the religious communities provide within the diocese.

Sister Mary Sharon most recently served as local minister of the Felician Sisters at their regional convent in Coraopolis, and has held many other leadership and pastoral positions.

Judene Indovina, who joined the diocese in 2017, was named director for the Department of Catholic Identity in the Secretariat for Catholic Education and Evangelization. Her focus is to help awaken deep and committed faith in the hearts of Catholics through evangelization programs that invite the faithful of the diocese to a personal relationship with Christ. Indovina will continue to oversee elementary and secondary faith formation in parishes and schools, sacramental preparation and certification for catechists and teachers.

Christopher Chapman, who has served the diocese in faith formation since 2007, is now director for religious education. He will work with directors of religious education and faith formation in all parishes of the diocese. Among his other responsibilities are adult formation and catechetical services, pre-marriage preparation, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and lay ecclesial ministries.

Gary Roney, who has overseen diocesan youth ministry since 2008, was named director of youth and young adult engagement. He will coach and assist those who lead parish efforts in youth and young adult ministry, while continuing to promote character development and virtue through support of sports ministries and Scouts.

“One goal of On Mission for The Church Alive! is to identify and bring into Church leadership those women and men who have been gifted by the Holy Spirit for service in parish and diocesan-wide ministry,” Bishop Zubik said. “All of these leaders have responded to the call they received at baptism to spread the message and mercy of Jesus.”

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