With great reluctance, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces that it has accepted the resignation of Mary E. Rochford, Superintendent of Schools. Her decision was made in order to devote time to providing physical care for members of her family unable to do so on their own. Rochford said, “It has been my privilege to serve in the ministry of Catholic education for almost 40 years. A long time ago, when I was very young, a wise woman religious told me, ‘Remember, you are only a useless servant.’ I have kept that in mind and worked as diligently as I could for the sake of the children and now I leave for the sake of my family.” The resignation will be effective June 30, 2012.

Mary Rochford has served in the Office of Catholic Education since 1999 and as Superintendent of Schools since 2008. Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic Education in the Archdiocese said, “Mary is a model leader who always works with joyous, and faith-filled dedication on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of every school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She labors tirelessly to advance the mission of Catholic education and to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, who are the future leaders of our communities. It was with deep sadness that I learned of her decision to resign.” Bishop Fitzgerald continued, “Mary has done God’s work with excellence and has positively impacted the lives of countless young people. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”

A product of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Rochford graduated from the former St. Athanasius Parish Elementary School and the former-Cardinal Dougherty High School. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Chestnut Hill College and a master of arts degree in Catholic School Leadership and Administration from Boston College. Prior to joining the Office of Catholic Education in August 1999, she served as a Catholic school teacher and administrator for over 25 years.

She continued, “I look forward to supporting those who will replace me during this time of transition and am most grateful to Bishop Fitzgerald, the staff in the Office of Catholic Education, the school administrations, faculties and staffs for their support over the years. It certainly takes a village to support the best educational organization in our country, Catholic schools!”

The Office of Catholic Education will begin a search for a new Superintendent of Schools.