Cardinal Tobin Announces Six Leadership Appointments at Archdiocese of Newark

Appointees will support Cardinal’s new pastoral vision and Archdiocesan mission by promoting greater transparency and accountability

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Archbishop of Newark, recently announced six new leadership appointments that will significantly contribute to the mission of the Archdiocese of Newark and support his new pastoral vision Forward in Faith Together: Our Road Ahead.

Over the past three years, under the Cardinal’s leadership, the Archdiocese has taken significant steps to enhance—and even transform—its Chancery in a way that matters most to the mission of our church and its faithful. Many measures and initiatives already have been introduced to improve the Archdiocese’s complex operations and ministerial duties, which are vital in carrying out our mission.

“These leadership appointments will further the mission of our Church, our ministry to the faithful, and my new pastoral vision for the future of the Archdiocese of Newark,” said Cardinal Tobin. “Our Archdiocesan responsibilities continue to evolve and become more focused to meet the challenges facing our global and local Church. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serving the faithful of our Archdiocese with greater transparency and accountability.” 

The six appointees are:

  • Karen Clark, Director of the newly reorganized Department of Protection of the Faithful
  • Rev. Raphael Joonyoung Lee, Judicial Vicar
  • Rev. Charles Pinyan, Vicar for Clergy and Director of the Office of Clergy Personnel
  • Sean Ryan, Senior Associate for Operations
  • Sr. Rosemary Smith, Cardinal’s Delegate for Canonical Affairs
  • Roseann Vazquez, Senior Executive Assistant to Vicar for Clergy

Cardinal Tobin added, “I am grateful for the commitment of these dedicated and talented individuals to shaping the future of our Church and wish them well in their new roles. I pray that Christ our Redeemer provides us with strength and guidance as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the renewal of our Church, knowing that His purpose will prevail.”

The roles and responsibilities of each appointee are as follows:

Karen Clark – In her expanded role as Director of the newly reorganized Department of Protection of the Faithful, Karen has full responsibility to investigate and report to appropriate law enforcement offices all allegations of sexual misconduct regarding clergy, religious, volunteer and employees of the Archdiocese, for cases involving both minors and adults. She will coordinate the functions and processes concerning the protection of the faithful across the Archdiocese, and link to other Diocesan Offices as required. She continues to oversee compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); as Liaison, she provides the Archdiocese with a single contact with the Prosecutors’ Offices on all misconduct about which we are required to report. In addition, she is now the Coordinator of the Archdiocesan Review Board. In her role at the Archdiocese over the last decade, she has been responsible for developing, enforcing, and tracking safe environment policies in parishes and schools. She has taught over 10,000 employees, volunteers, clergy, and schoolchildren about child sexual abuse prevention and Internet safety topics and brings a passionate commitment to her new role. Karen has direct access to the Archbishop and reports to the Vicar General.

Rev. Raphael Jounyoung Lee, J.C.L. – According to the law of the Church, a diocesan bishop exercises judicial power either personally or through the Judicial Vicar and judges. Fr. Lee will assume a new responsibility as Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Newark. The Judicial Vicar is a judge and the head of the administration of the law of the Church. Fr. Lee was ordained a priest in 2008 and has been assigned as a judge in the Metropolitan Tribunal since 2014.  Fr. Lee will report directly to the Archbishop.

Rev. Charles Pinyan – As the Vicar for Clergy and Director of the Office of Clergy Personnel, Fr. Pinyan will work closely with the Archbishop on all issues involving clergy, including the assignment of priests, the appointment of pastors, the evaluation of prospective pastors, while maintaining a special interest in the spiritual, physical and psychological health of archdiocesan clergy. Fr. Pinyan will oversee the Priest Personnel Policy Board, and the offices of Adjunct Clergy Personnel, Continuing Formation, Ministry to Retired Priests, and Diaconate Formation and Ministry. He will work closely with the Vicar General, Department of Protection of the Faithful, the Vicar for Canonical Affairs, Delegate for Religious, hospital, prison, and college/university chaplaincies, the Coordinator of the priests’ community at Seton Hall University, and the three Archdiocesan Seminaries, the North American College and Casa Santa Maria. Fr. Pinyan will report to the Vicar General. In his most recent assignment, Fr. Pinyan served as Pastor of Guardian Angel Church in Allendale.

Sean Ryan – As Senior Associate for Operations, Sean will work closely with Archdiocesan staff to support the adoption of new models of efficiency and best practices. These refined processes will enable the Archdiocese to more effectively manage operations that include church planning, stewardship, communications, accounting, and enhancement of leadership — enabling the Archdiocese to maintain a strong focus on its pastoral mission, people, and communities served. A Columbia University graduate, Sean brings experience and expertise in areas that include business strategy, government, education, public health, and organizational transformation.

Sr. Rosemary Smith – In the newly created post of Delegate for Canonical Affairs, Sr. Rosemary will report directly to the Archbishop as she oversees the implementation of the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Vos estis lux mundi (“You are the light of the world”). This document establishes new procedural norms to combat sexual abuse and to ensure that bishops and religious superiors are held accountable for their actions. It also establishes universal norms, which apply to the whole church. Among her responsibilities, Sr. Smith will focus on the formulation of clear procedures which include the obligation to report allegations against a bishop or religious superior to civil legal authorities, provide for the active role of laity in internal investigations that are overseen by the Archbishop, ensure vigilance against possible conflicts of interest, and provide for the spiritual and emotional well-being of victims/survivors and their families. Sr. Rosemary will also work closely with the Department of Protection of the Faithful and the Archdiocesan Review Board.  

Roseann Vazquez – In her new role as Senior Executive Assistant to the Vicar for Clergy, Roseann will support the new and expanded responsibilities of the Vicar for Clergy and the Office of Clergy Personnel. Roseann’s 44-year tenure in the Archdiocese of Newark, including 20 years as Executive Assistant to the Archbishop, provides her with a unique and comprehensive understanding of the Archdiocesan offices and ministries, particularly the offices concerned with priests and deacons, as well as extensive knowledge of the Archdiocesan clergy and their assignments.

Information about Cardinal Tobin’s pastoral vision, Forward in Faith Together: Our Road Ahead, is available on