New director for Archdiocese of Newark’s Catechetical Office appointed

Fr. Stephen J. Fichter, Ph.D., Episcopal Vicar of Education for the Archdiocese of Newark, has announced the appointment of Patricia Rodriguez as the new Director of the Catechetical Office for the entire archdiocese effective July 1, 2022.

In her new role, Ms. Rodriguez, who has served the Archdiocese of Newark in parish catechetical ministry for over 25 years, most recently as Associate Director for Catechist Formation, will continue to collaborate with pastors, parish coordinators of religious education, catechists, and Catholic school principals to further evangelization and catechetical initiatives in archdiocesan parishes and schools. She will oversee parish faith formation efforts, including sacramental preparation, catechetical leader training and development, and catechist formation. Additionally, Ms. Rodriguez will work in conjunction with the archdiocese’s Safe Environment director to oversee the Safe Environment protocols in the archdiocese’s faith formation programs and will work in partnership with other archdiocesan ministries and leaders to facilitate lifelong faith formation that inspires missionary discipleship.

Fr. Fichter looks forward to working closely with Ms. Rodriguez. “Patty’s love for Jesus and her desire to share that love with everyone is inspiring and contagious. Her deep passion and tireless work ethic will enable her to serve joyfully and faithfully the catechetical leaders of our 212 parishes. Her bilingualism is a great gift as our archdiocese strives to meet the needs of our ever-growing Spanish-speaking community. I am convinced that she is one of those servant leaders whose impact will be felt for many generations.”

Previously, Ms. Rodriguez was a parish catechetical leader and coordinator of youth ministry for various parishes within the Archdiocese of Newark, where she implemented bilingual catechesis, family catechetical programs, and comprehensive youth ministry. Additionally, she was an adjunct professor at Saint Peter’s University where she taught courses in psychology and childhood and adolescent development.

Ms. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Saint Peter’s University, a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, and a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Seton Hall University. She attended primary and secondary Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Newark and is a native Spanish-speaker. She and her husband of 25 years have three children and are parishioners at St. Joseph Church in Bogota, New Jersey.