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Jennifer Schack

Jennifer Schack

Release Date:  May 1, 2023

Superintendent Susan Gibbons Retiring; Kathy Kane Stepping in as Interim Superintendent

After 45 years of working in education for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati –including the last seven years as Director of Educational Services and Superintendent of Schools- Susan Gibbons is retiring, effective July 29, 2023. Gibbons has served in Catholic schools of the archdiocese as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal and she has served in educational leadership as a regional director in the Catholic Schools Office and as Director and Superintendent of Schools.

“Ms. Gibbons has brought a steady hand to the superintendent role these past seven years,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. “She has been someone whom I could always count on to represent the Archdiocese of Cincinnati with honesty and integrity. Everything she has done has been with an eye toward providing our students with the best possible Catholic educational experience. I greatly appreciate her service to the Catholic schools of the archdiocese.”

In March 2023, Gibbons was recognized as C3 Educational Leader of the Year by Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, Mount St. Joseph University, Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More University.

“I have been blessed to know many wonderful people during my 45 years in Catholic education,” said Gibbons. “I have learned so much from so many people. My life has been enriched by those whose mission is the success of our Catholic schools. I am thankful for all the people whom I have come to know and love. Catholic education is more important than ever for our young people. The gift of faith can last a lifetime.”

Upon Gibbons’ retirement, Archbishop Schnurr has appointed Kathy Kane as Interim Superintendent for the 2023-2024 school year. Kane has served the Catholic schools of the archdiocese for 35 years. She currently serves the Catholic Schools Office as Deputy Superintendent of Leadership and Licensure. Kane has held the position for four years and has been working in the Catholic Schools Office for eight years. Previously, she has been a principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher.

“Kathy is dedicated to the mission of our Catholic schools. She is known and respected by many throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati,” said Archbishop Schnurr. “I am proud of the dedication of the staff of our Catholic Schools Office and am confident Kathy Kane will continue this tradition of excellence in Catholic Education for the children, families, staffs, and community of the archdiocese.”

During her career, Kane has been recognized as a National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) Distinguished Principal and she has served as an adjunct professor at Xavier University. Ms. Kane will begin her role as Interim Superintendent on July 1, 2023.

“I am inspired by the dedication of our Catholic school leaders, teachers, and communities,” said Ms. Kane. “God calls each of us to courageously and lovingly step out in faith and to use all that we have been given in care and service of others.  With devotion, passion, prayer, and compassion, I am thrilled to serve our Catholic schools as the Interim Superintendent. The possibilities for our Catholic school communities are endless.”

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students.  The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Jennifer Schack

Director of Media Relations

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Office | 513.263.6618

Cell | 859.512.5626

[email protected]

The following letter written by Archbishop Schnurr was originally published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday, April 23, 2023. 

God created humans as social beings. We are all dependent upon each other for mutual survival and for the recognition of our common human dignity. There are times when this dependency is most acute, especially in circumstances of vulnerability and poverty.

An expectant mother can face many challenges, including lack of support from the father, financial strains, concerns about her own health and that of her child, and pressures from family and friends. Every woman should be able to depend upon a community of support. That is why Catholic social service agencies, in collaboration with many other faith-based and secular organizations, assist pregnant women in need with material resources and personal accompaniment, both during pregnancy and after their child is born. (For a listing of the many resources available for pregnant women in need in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, please go to https://catholicaoc.org/forlife.) A woman should never feel that she must abandon her dreams due to an unexpected pregnancy, whether she ultimately decides to raise the child herself or place the child for adoption.

The Catholic Church, in Ohio and nationwide, also engages in public policy advocacy for access to quality pre- and post-natal health care, paid parental leave laws, affordable childcare options, preferential housing options for women and young children, and robust child tax credits.

Dependency on others for life and recognition of dignity is equally the case for those still growing in the womb. From the moment of conception, a unique human person exists. Science shows us this. The Catholic Church and many other faiths proclaim this. We might say that, from that point forward, a person’s life stages can be distinguished simply by how much he or she has grown and how dependent upon the actions of others that person is for survival. For example, an unborn child is entirely dependent upon his/her mother to be introduced into the rest of the world; a young child cannot flourish without being raised by others; and an elderly person may depend upon his/her children to make it through the day. Ultimately, we are all dependent upon each other.

At no point should any person, inside or outside the womb, be deemed less of a life because someone else says so. To think otherwise is to objectify that life. Society must never claim for itself the “right” to determine the value, worthiness or dignity of another person for any reason whatsoever, including whether or not that person is wanted. Yet, today, our culture suggests that some humans are more important than others, and those less-important humans might actually be expendable. Pope Francis has lamented, “The throwaway culture says, ‘I use you as much as I need you. When I am not interested in you anymore, or you are in my way, I throw you out.’ It is especially the weakest who are treated this way – unborn children, the elderly, the needy, the disadvantaged.”

We are currently facing an extraordinary threat to the dignity of life right here in Ohio: an amendment (deceptively named “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety”) to the Ohio constitution that would enshrine the “right” to take the lives of innocent children in the womb and harm mothers in the process is being proposed to voters for the November 2023 ballot. This amendment also would remove existing parental notification laws and basic safety standards and enable abortion based solely on a preborn child’s disability diagnosis. Innocent children in the womb would be lost, and their mothers would be both wounded in the moment and emotionally scarred for years to come. Ohio does not need a constitutional amendment that only perpetuates violence and a culture of death.

God alone is the Author and Lord of life. Therefore, the intentional taking of innocent human life, no matter the circumstances, is intrinsically evil and must always be opposed. Any position to the contrary is inconsistent with the constant teaching of the Catholic Church because it is inconsistent with the nature of life itself.

In the name of the one Lord of Life, we must vigorously oppose any suggestion that there exists a “right” to take the life of an unborn child in the womb. Instead, let us all engage in prayer and a joyful outpouring of love and support for pregnant women, especially those most in need. No woman should feel so alone, coerced or hopeless that she chooses to end her child’s life through abortion. I urge everyone throughout Ohio to both pray for and actively assist all expectant mothers. Together, let us redouble our commitment to caring for women, children and families so that abortion is not only illegal, but unthinkable.


Deacon Jim Jones, a Deacon of the Archdiocese, died on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at the age of 84. Deacon Jim was ordained by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on September 29, 2001. He was assigned to The Community of the Good Shepherd Parish, Loveland, upon his ordination. He later also served for a period at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Reading. He served the Archdiocese as a permanent deacon for twenty-one years.

Deacon Jim leaves his wife, Kathy, to whom he was married for sixty-two years. He also leaves three sons and their spouses, ten grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Release Date:  April 6, 2023

Holy Week Celebrations at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica & Praying the Steps

Holy Thursday Mass will be celebrated today, Thursday, April 6. On Holy Thursday, Catholics commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper today at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains at 5 P.M.

Tomorrow, Friday, April 7, is Good Friday. This day commemorates the day that Jesus was crucified. It is an obligatory day of fasting (one full meal and two smaller meals that together do not add up to the one full meal) and abstinence from meat for Catholics.  The Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion will be celebrated at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral at 12 P.M. Fr. Jan Schmidt, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, will celebrate the liturgy.

For more than a century, thousands have gathered to “Pray the Steps” in Mount Adams on Good Friday. In preparation for the pilgrims who will pray the steps leading to Holy Cross-Immaculata Church, the faithful will gather at 11:30 P.M. on the evening of April 14, at the base of the steps on St. Gregory Street and, just before midnight, Fr. Adam Puntel pastor of Holy-Cross Immaculate Parish, will bless the steps. Around 200 people are expected for the blessing. Fr. Adam Puntel will then lead the group in prayer up the steps. Throughout Friday, April 7, around 10,000 to 12,000 pilgrims will ascend the steps in prayer. Good Friday Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. and 7 P.M. on Friday. Confession will be available at times throughout the day on Good Friday.

The Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains will be held at 8:45 P.M. on Saturday, April 8. Archbishop Schnurr will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for hundreds of local Catholics. The Easter Vigil Mass is also when new members are initiated into the Catholic Church. Many will be baptized and received into the Church through the R.C.I.A. program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).

Easter Sunday Masses at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains will be held at 9:00 A.M. and 11 A.M. on April 9.  Fr. Jan Schmidt will celebrate the 11 A.M. Mass on Easter morning. 

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students.  The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.


Jennifer Schack

Director of Media Relations

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Office | 513.263.6618

Cell | 859.512.5626

[email protected]

Release Date:  March 17, 2023

St. Mary Catholic School in Hillsboro to Close; Preschool Plans to Remain Open

St. Mary Catholic School, operated by St. Mary Catholic Parish in Hillsboro, will close at the end of the current school year, effective July 1, 2023.

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, accepted a joint recommendation from the parish pastor, the parish council, and Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese that the school close. However, the preschool is planning to remain open.

“We are very sad that this decision was necessary,” said Ms. Susan Gibbons, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “St. Mary is an excellent school that has been providing Catholic values and a quality education for children for more than twenty years. The school has been a cherished part of the small community in rural Highland County. This is a loss for not only the students and families but for the entire community.”

St. Mary Catholic School has been strongly supported by the community. Several yearly community events raised money to assist with tuition costs at the school. These included the Lenten fish frys, quarter raffles, and golf tournaments. “I would like to thank all the families for the wonderful support they have shown over the years,” said Mr. Benjamen Pence, principal of St. Mary Catholic School. “It is heartbreaking to have to close the school and I wish nothing but the best for all of our students and staff.”

St. Mary School has been in operation since the 2000-2001 school year. The school began with a total of 12 students in the first and second grades in the fall of 2000. Two grades were then added each year until it became fully accredited from the Ohio Catholic School Accrediting Association in 2010. In recent years, enrollment has become a major struggle, especially after COVID-19. Currently, the school has only 17 students, but the school needs 34 students to be viable.

Fr. Michael Paranuik, pastor at St. Mary Parish in Hillsboro, has informed the staff, parish and school families of the upcoming closure, saying in part, “We need to celebrate the 23 years and what good we have done and the wonderful blessings for our students. As we close this door, God will open another door.”

Although St. Mary Catholic School is closing at the end of this school year, the preschool program is planning to remain open. More details about the preschool program will be forthcoming in the next several months.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students.  The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.


Jennifer Schack

Director of Media Relations

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Office | 513.263.6618

Cell | 859.512.5626

[email protected]

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed His disciples saying, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28:19). And, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, they did just that. The disciples went out from Jerusalem and carried the message of the Gospel to all corners of the earth. The Church continues to follow Jesus’ command, and God calls each of us to share in that same mission.

The work of evangelization is not a responsibility belonging only to clergy or consecrated women and men. From the beginning, the Gospel has spread from person to person. Each of us has the opportunity to bring others to know Jesus and the Good News of our salvation through Him. In baptism we become partakers in God’s own divine life. Because of this, every aspect of our lives has the potential to be an avenue through which God’s grace can reach others. This means that we not only evangelize through our words; rather, all our actions and the decisions we make can also speak to the truths of the Gospel.

A life which radiates the Gospel is built upon prayer and virtue. We strive to follow the example of Jesus, staying united to the Father in the Holy Spirit and seeking to act as He did, fostering the qualities, attitudes and habits which He exemplified for His disciples. Jesus taught His disciples, and they took what they learned from Him and then went out and taught others. The disciples also brought their friends to Jesus so they could hear Him speak or, perhaps, be healed by Him. It was a work in which many took part.

The same is true today: evangelization happens through the prayers, work and sacrifices of many. I want to take advantage of this moment to reflect on the great gift the Center for the New Evangelization (CNE) is for our archdiocese. The many gifted individuals who form the CNE team assist parish leaders in fostering deeper communion and discernment of a renewed mission to bring the Gospel to all. They also seek to find ways to reach the lost, those who have drifted from Christ or perhaps have never known Him, and invite them to an encounter with the God who loves them. The CNE team provides spiritual resources and practical training in various areas of evangelization and discipleship: youth ministry, faith formation for adults of all ages, marriage and family life, and Hispanic ministry. In doing so, they assist people throughout our archdiocese and beyond its borders in learning to live a life which radiates the Gospel. Many of our parishes have benefited greatly from the retreats, workshops, conferences and one-on-one assistance the CNE team members provide. Through the guidance and resources of the CNE, parish ministries become more effective in forming disciples of Jesus Christ. This is made possible by your generous support of the annual Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA), for which I am deeply grateful.

None of us can reach heaven alone; we need each other. This is why Christ gives us the Church. Together we can bring more people to know, love and follow Jesus Christ, but that work begins with our own discipleship. We must first be with the Lord through prayer and virtuous living, and then go out and tell others what we have seen and heard (cf. Lk. 7:22).

February 28, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Peace be with you! As Catholics, we are committed to protecting the sanctity of human life no matter the circumstances or stage of development. We live this out by, among other things, accompanying the poor and needy, refugees and immigrants, prisoners on death row, young mothers, and children.

In Ohio, the dignity of life in its earliest stages is threatened by groups proposing an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution for the November 2023 ballot that would enshrine and expand abortion at the expense of protections for preborn children and women. The Church must not be silent and cannot remain on the sidelines when confronted with such a clear threat to human life. This proposal demands a response, and we strongly encourage Catholics and all people of good will in Ohio to work against including the proposed amendment for the November ballot and, if it appears on the ballot, vote against the amendment to prevent countless deaths of preborn, innocent children.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us that “Our defense of the innocent unborn … needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development” (Gaudete et Exsultate, no. 101). Our commitment to protecting and promoting life includes providing resources and accompanying women during and after pregnancy through our numerous social service agencies, schools, and parishes. This commitment also includes rejecting abortion expansion, which only perpetuates a throwaway culture that does not value human life.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio will be collaborating with statewide organizations, and diocesan respect life offices will be seeking volunteers to help coordinate a campaign at every parish. More information and materials will become available as we mobilize to oppose the proposed amendment on the November 2023 ballot.

We, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio, stand with you, our faithful, in our commitment in the name of the Lord of Life, to each human person from conception to natural death. Let us unite in fasting and offering this prayer:

God our loving Father, grant wisdom to those who govern us, compassion and courage to those who work to defend human life, and safety and care to every human being. For you alone who formed us in our mothers’ wombs, and who call us home to heaven, are God, for ever and ever. Amen.

With you in Christ Jesus,

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic Diocese of Cleveland

Most Rev. Michael G. Woost Diocese of Cleveland

Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas Diocese of Toledo

Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton Diocese of Steubenville

Most Rev. Earl K. Fernandes Diocese of Columbus

Most Rev. David J. Bonnar Diocese of Youngstown

Most Rev. J. Michael Botean Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St. George in Canton

Most Rev. Bohdan J. Danylo Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma


PDF of Letter available here: Ohio Bishops’ Letter on Ballot Amendment

W H A T | Ash Wednesday / Start of Lent

W H E N | Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, Masses at 7 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 5:15 p.m.

W H E R E | Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains: 325 W. 8th St., Cincinnati OH


Release Date:  Feb. 21, 2023

Lent Begins this Week

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, along with Catholics around the world, will observe Ash Wednesday, on Wednesday, February 22. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent in the Catholic Church in preparation for Easter, which is April 9 this year. Ash Wednesday is an obligatory day of fasting. Fasting includes one full meal and two smaller meals that together do not add up to the one full meal. Ash Wednesday is also a day of abstinence from meat for Catholics. It is not a holy day of obligation. More information about fasting and abstinence from meat can be found here.

Ash Wednesday Masses will include the distribution of ashes. Masses at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati will be at 7 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr will celebrate the 11:30 a.m. Mass at the cathedral basilica.

The Ultimate Guide to Lent is returning this year for its fourth Lenten season. This inspirational and helpful digital guide offers tools to help the faithful have a life-changing Lent. It includes information on traditional Lenten observances, local Lenten traditions, ways to observe Lent as a family, and vegetarian recipes. Individuals can sign up for the Ultimate Guide to Lent here.

The Fish Fry Guide is also returning for 2023. Information about Fish Frys in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati can be found here.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students.  The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.


Jennifer Schack

Director of Media Relations

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Office | 513.263.6618

Cell | 859.512.5626

[email protected]

Effective July 1, 2022

  • Reverend Ronald P. Combs, Director of the Office of Health and Hospital Ministries and part-time Chaplain of Good Samaritan Hospital effective July 1, 2022, while continuing as part-time Chaplain of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
  • Reverend Christopher M. Geiger, Director of Formation and Vice-Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology.
  • Reverend Eric M. Wood, Director of Apostolic Works and the Internship Program of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology.
  • Reverend Joseph Kumar Pasala, Parochial Vicar of NW1 Family of Parishes which includes St. Anthony, St. Anthony, Holy Trinity, Coldwater, St. Peter, St. Peter, St. Mary, Philothea, St. Joseph, St. Joseph, Mary Help of Christians, Ft Recovery, St. Paul, Sharpsburg.
  • Reverend Prashanth Kumar Bandanadham, Parochial Vicar of NW2 Family of Parishes which includes St. Teresa, Rockford, Immaculate Conception, Celina, Holy Rosary, St. Marys, St. Patrick, Glynwood and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Montezuma.

Effective August 1, 2022, through June 30, 2026

  • Reverend Seraphine Lesiriam, C.PP.S., Parochial Vicar of NE6 Family of Parishes which includes Precious Blood, Dayton, St. Paul, Englewood, St. Rita, Dayton, Holy Trinity, Dayton, St. Joseph, Dayton and Emmanuel, Dayton.

Effective November 30, 2022, through May 31, 2023

  • Reverend Edward P. Smith, temporary Parochial Administrator of SE4 Family of Parishes which includes St. Columban, Loveland and St. Margaret of York, Loveland.

Effective January 3, 2023

  • Reverend David A. Sunberg, Director of Priestly Formation Office, while continuing as Assistant Spiritual Director and Director of the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology.

Effective January 15, 2023  

  • Reverend Carlos Edison Moreno Moreno, Parochial Vicar of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, Springfield, St. Peter, Huber Heights, Our Lady of the Rosary, Dayton and St. John the Baptist, Tipp City.

Effective February 1, 2023

  • Reverend Henry O. Hoffman, Parochial Vicar of SW7 which includes, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Antoninus, St. Catharine of Siena and St. Martin of Tours, Cincinnati.