Oakland Diocese Gets New Chancellor
Sister Brings Experience on the National Level; Former Berkeley Resident Begins Job on Jan. 2

By Rebecca Rosen Lum
Contra Costa Times [Oakland CA]
December 15, 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 Alameda and Contra Costa 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 non-Christian.

"It's definitely much more ecumenical," she said in a telephone interview.

"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 school 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 and will be one of his chief advisors.

"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 and catechetics, or teaching, and the lay ecclesial ministers council. She also will supervise outreach to victims 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.

Reach Rebecca Rosen Lum at or at 925-977-8506.


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