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Dear Parents and Community Members,


Catholic schools are one of the best ways that the Church brings young people into a relationship with Jesus while preparing them for life. Spiritual formation encourages virtue. Academic excellence leads to success in higher education. Gospel values promote respect, compassion, and service. As our communities change, the way Catholic schools operate is changing to keep this education ministry strong to serve future generations.

1. What Catholic elementary schools are in the South region?


There are 7 schools in the region:

Archangel Gabriel School, RobinsonTownship

Ava Maria Academy in Bethel Park and Mount Lebanon


Guardian Angel Academy, Greentree

John F. Kennedy School, Washington

Madonna Catholic Regional School, Monongahela

Mother of Mercy Academy, Whitehall

Saint Louise de Marillac School, Upper Saint Clair

2. How does school regionalization work?

Regionalization of schools provides the opportunity for many more people, from every parish, to support a Catholic school. These schools cooperate under a new form of regional governance, with the hope of strengthening all of them. Responsibility for a school no longer rests with one parish but becomes an educational ministry shared by every parish in the region. Schools continue to be led by principals while a regional administrator and business manager oversee operations and finances, reporting to a regional board made up of clergy and lay representatives of parishes in the region. Similar efforts have helped rejuvenate Catholic schools in other dioceses and archdioceses, including New York City, Boston, Saint Louis, and Milwaukee.

3. What has changed with the South region incorporated?

Parish schools in the region have been run by pastors. On July 1, 2020, the schools in the region became part of South Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, Inc., a new 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with a two-tiered structure comprised of a Member Board that includes Bishop David Zubik, and a Board of Directors responsible for the operation of schools.

Sharon Loughran Brown has been appointed regional administrator.

Carlos Leyva III is the regional business manager.

4. What role does the regional board play in the operations and decision-making in our schools?

The regional board is charged with making decisions about how the schools will be structured within the region and overseeing all aspects of the schools’ operations in partnership with the regional administrator and regional business manager.

5. Is regionalization just another name for merging and closing schools?

No. The primary goal of regionalization is to ensure families have access to Catholic schools that are academically excellent, spiritually vibrant, and financially sustainable. Every parish has a responsibility for and a voice in Catholic education as we create a system of mission-centered schools that are affordable, collaborative, and accessible within a region, ensuring their viability for generations to come. In order to reach that goal, administrators and board members will continue to evaluate each school's viability to ensure that we can provide our communities with sustainable Catholic schools. 

6. Who is serving on the board in the South region? Below is a current list of board members and the parishes they represent:

●  Rev. David Poecking, President, Pastor, Archangel Gabriel Parish

●  Patricia Bibro, Saint Teresa of Kolkata Parish

●  Rev. Harry Bielewicz, Pastor, Saint Isidore the Farmer Parish

●  Thomas Clark, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

●  Rev. Carmen D’Amico, Pastor, Saint Oscar Romero Parish

●  Most Rev. Bishop Mark Eckman, Pastor, Resurrection Parish

●  Rev. Robert Grecco, Pastor, Saint Raphael the Archangel Parish

●  Rev. Richard Infante, Senior Parochial Vicar, Saint Paul of the Cross Parish

●  Rev. Daniel Maurer, Pastor, Saint Catherine Laboure Parish

●  Richard Pantaleo, Saint Andrew the Apostle Parish

●  Charles Rakaczky, Blessed Trinity Parish

●  Rev. John Skirtich, Pastor, Our Lady of Hope Parish

●  Rev. James Torquato, Pastor, Saint Philip Parish

●  Rev. Brian Welding, Pastor, Saint Michael the Archangel Parish

●  Rev. Dennis Yurochko, Pastor, Corpus Christi Parish

●  Rev. Paul Zywan, Pastor, Triumph of the Holy Cross

7. As a supporter of Catholic education, what can I do personally to help strengthen our schools?

Continue to promote the value of Catholic schools in your daily conversations. Share the facts! Our schools maintain high standards for student achievement and academic excellence. Our dedicated and highly qualified teachers integrate faith into every subject and help develop each young person’s unique, God-given gifts. Consider volunteering in one of our schools. and supporting them financially. Spread the word about the great things our students are doing by following us on Instagram and Facebook - @SRCESpgh. Invest in the future of Catholic education by making a financial contribution. We also ask for your prayers as we build and invigorate the South Regional Catholic Elementary Schools.

For more information, please email