Diocese's New Chancellor Comes Home to Bay Area
Oakland: Leader from National Conference Brings Strong Background in Education

By Rebecca Rosen Lum
Contra Costa Times [Oakland CA]
November 30, 2006

A national officer for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will take over as chancellor for the 87-parish Oakland Diocese, which covers Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

The move will mean a return to the Bay Area for Sister Glen Anne McPhee, secretary of education for the national organization, who grew up in Berkeley and attended St. Mary Magdalene Parish there.

She starts work Jan. 2. As chancellor, she will oversee schooling and communications. for the diocese.

Having worked for the conference, McPhee said she has witnessed changes in the church, including increasing outreach to other faiths, both Christian and nonChristian.

"It's definitely much more ecumenical," she said in a telephone interview during a sojourn that took her from Washington, D.C., to the Pacific Northwest and onto a snowy mountaintop outside Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving.

"Now I have a much greater sense of the big picture ... a very clear vision of the church at the national level," she said.

She succeeds Sister Barbara Flannery, who won accolades for her handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis and her outreach to its victims.

McPhee brings a strong background in education. She has held many schools posts, including superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

As chancellor, McPhee is one of five division directors who make up the Cabinet of Bishop Allen Vigneron. She will be one of his chief advisers.

"The primary thing now is to come to know the people," she said.

She will oversee Catholic schools, the Catholic Youth Organization, communications, public relations, evangelization, catechetics, or teaching, and the lay ecclesial ministers council. She will also supervise outreach to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including "No More Secrets," a program Flannery created.

She will have complete freedom to design and launch new programs said the Rev. George Mockel, vicar general for the diocese.

"She brings many of the same skills to the job (as Flannery)," Mockel said.

Rebecca Rosen Lum covers religion. Reach her at 925-977-8506 or


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