By Anne Marie Amacher
The search for a new superintendent of Catholic schools is on. Mary Wieser, who currently holds that position with the Diocese of Davenport, also serves as director of faith formation and education. She will concentrate her efforts on the latter position, once a new superintendent is in place.
“My main emphasis will be on faith formation and catechist and teacher training,” she told The Catholic Messenger last week during a telephone interview.
Wieser joined the diocese in 1997 as superintendent and coordinator of faith formation and education. When Deacon William Ditewig left the diocese, she assumed the position of director of faith formation and education in addition to her superintendent role.
When the diocese laid off several employees in 2004, she and other staff members acquired addition duties. “We’ve assumed multiple and different roles,” Wieser said.
This year, diocesan directors — including Wieser — had begun looking at staffing needs.
The decision to add a position occurred during the budgeting process. The Diocesan Corporate Board approved the diocesan budget and diocesan directors decided at their May 13 meeting to advertise the superintendent’s position.
In a note to Catholic school principals and presidents, Wieser said, “I will still be with you in education — just in a little different way. My responsibilities will still be womb to tomb education in all of its various forms.”
She will concentrate efforts on educating students in preschool through eighth grade and in high school for parishes that have a program for students of that age. Youth ministry programs will continue to be the responsibility of Pat Finan, whose role will focus more on youth ministry and young adult education. His youth faith formation duties will transfer to Wieser, she said.
Finan says he looks forward to focusing more on adolescents and young adults. “It’s an important time of life, and we need to apply more energy and resources toward ministering to our young disciples.”
For young adults, Finan hopes to nurture the growth of parish and regional young adult ministry and do a better job of diocesan events and resourcing.
Under her new position, Wieser plans to work more with the Hispanic/Latino and Vietnamese communities.
Although the superintendent’s post is listed as beginning July 1, Wieser said diocesan leaders are not in a hurry to fill the position. “We want a good, qualified person.”
If the search committee chooses not to fill the position this summer, the job will be advertised again in January 2010 to be filled in July 2010.