Current Chancellor, Sr. Maryanne Fitzgerald, SC Elected to Leadership Position with Order
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, New York – September 30, 2008 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has appointed Sr. Kathleen Schaetzle, C.S.J., (pictured left) chancellor of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, effective November 3, 2008. She will succeed current chancellor Sr. Maryanne Fitzgerald, SC, (pictured right) who was recently elected to serve on the leadership team for her religious congregation, the Sisters of Charity, Halifax.
“This is the most important ecclesial position that can be given to someone not a priest,” said Bishop Murphy. “My prayers are with Sr. Kathleen as she becomes the second woman chancellor of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In her working closely with [auxiliary] Bishop Peter Libasci, I have come to know her enthusiasm, candor, wisdom and zeal for the Lord. “I look forward to the sharing of administrative responsibility with Sr. Kathleen and I welcome her as part of my team of closest collaborators.” said Bishop Murphy.
“When Bishop Murphy asked me if he could ask Sr. Kathleen to be the chancellor, I was surprised and knew we would find replacing her as general secretary of the congregation a challenge,” said Sr. Jean Amore, C.S.J., superior. “However, each Sister of St. Joseph is responsible for discerning the ministry in which she will best use her gifts to bring about reign of God through the lens of the Gospel. We respect Kathy’s decision to assume the role of Chancellor of the Diocese and offer her our blessing and support.”
“I’m also profoundly pleased and grateful to Sr. Jean Amore, C.S.J., for her generosity in allowing Sr. Kathleen to give up her responsibilities as secretary of the Sisters of St. Joseph for wider service to the diocese as chancellor,” said Bishop Murphy.
Sr. Kathleen, who is originally from Brooklyn, has a background in education. She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and her master’s degree in education from SUNY Albany. She taught for seven years at St. Christopher’s School in Baldwin and then St. Francis de Sales School in Belle Harbor. Following that, she taught at SS. Cyril and Methodius in Deer Park for three years and then served as principal there for seven. From 1990-2006, Sr. Kathleen served as the director of religious education and then parish secretary at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Inwood. For the past two years she has served as the general secretary for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood.
“It truly is an honor and something I didn’t expect,” she said of her new appointment. “I look forward to the challenge,” said Sr. Kathleen.
Sr. Maryanne Fitzgerald, SC
Current chancellor, Sr. Maryanne Fitzgerald is one of six sisters who will serve as congregational councilors on the leadership team for the Sisters of Charity, Halifax. As a member of the team, Sr. Maryanne will remain living in the diocese with the sisters in her community and will work with the other councilors to assist with the life and mission of the Sisters of Charity, Halifax. The congregation consists of 500 sisters who minister in the Massachusetts area, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre as well as in Maritime, central and western Canada, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Bermuda.
Sr. Maryanne will continue to work with the Office of the Vicar General to assist with special projects as the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the ongoing Synod process and other diocesan-wide endeavors.
“It was truly a great joy to have named Sr. Maryanne as the first woman chancellor of the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” said Bishop Murphy. She has proved herself to be a superior leader, a most productive and contributing member of the cabinet. She will be missed. My prayers go with her as she begins her new responsibilities with the Sisters of Charity of Halifax.”
“Serving as chancellor for the Diocese of Rockville Centre has been a wonderful experience,” said Sr. Maryanne. “I have worked closely with the chancery staff as together, we tried to assist the priests, deacons and pastoral ministers of the diocese in their service to the people of God. The work of the chancery is varied and often brings us into the lives of our Catholic people at significant moments of their lives -- planning a marriage, celebrating the baptism of a child, becoming a member of our Catholic faith community -- it is a privilege to assist the parishes in their mission to proclaim the reign of God!”