Sister Mary Grace Walsh to lead Archdiocese N.Y. Schools

The following is a letter to the faithful in the Archdiocese of New York by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.

NEW YORK—Dear Family of the Archdiocese: If we were not still observing the holy season of Lent, I would probably begin this letter with one word: Alleluia! But, since we still have a few more days to go until Easter, allow me to say that I write to share some very good news.

After an extensive search process, wide consultation, and much prayer, Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, Ph.D., has accepted my invitation to serve as the next Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. She will succeed Mr. Michael Deegan, who, as you may recall, will be retiring from that role at the end of the current academic year, after many decades of splendid service to Catholic education here.

Sister Mary Grace is no stranger to the Archdiocese of New York.   A member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a religious congregation of women with a particular devotion to education, she has served in the archdiocese as both a teacher and principal in our Catholic schools, as well as receiving a Ph.D. in Educational Administration/Church Leadership from Fordham University.

In addition, among her many other assignments, she has served as Provost for Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Hartford, and prior to that as Superintendent of Schools and Secretary of Education and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Bridgeport. Currently, Sister Mary Grace is President of Cor Jesu Academy in Saint Louis, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educational Association, and a Trustee of Foundations in Education. She is a Provincial Councilor for her religious community and serves as a director on all of their corporate boards.

It’s no secret that our Catholic schools have faced tremendous challenges in recent years. It was just a few weeks ago that we announced the sad news that 12 of our excellent schools would cease operating after this school year. We’ve been fortunate to have Mike Deegan as the Superintendent of Schools to help us meet those challenges, and his upcoming retirement – which he delayed, at my request, for several years – would have left me anxious about our future had we not been able to find an educator of the quality of Sister Mary Grace Walsh to succeed him. She has already shared with me  that she looks forward to serving in this archdiocese, and, in her words, “to working with the priests and pastors, the many dedicated teachers, principals, and staff in the schools, the benefactors who do so much to keep them running, and, most especially, the parents and students, all to give our young people an outstanding academic and spiritual formation, and a future full of hope.”

I trust that you join me in welcoming Sister Mary Grace back to the Archdiocese of New York, and in my promise to keep her, and the school community we serve, in our prayers.

A blessed Holy Week, and a joyous Easter to come.

With prayerful best wishes, I am,

Faithfully in Christ,

+ Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York