Search for new superintendent of Catholic Schools ongoing

BRAINTREE -- Months after Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Boston Thomas W. Carroll announced that he would be stepping down from his office, the search is still on for his replacement.

Bishop Mark O'Connell, who Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley appointed to lead the search, told The Pilot on Jan. 25 that he has spoken with over 100 applicants, including pastors, principals, donors, and employees of the Catholic Schools Office.

"So far there's been no challenges and very qualified people applied," he said. "I'm certain we'll find a good superintendent."

Cardinal O'Malley announced Carroll's decision to step down in August 2023. Carroll, who has served as superintendent since 2019, will have his last day on the job on June 30.

A five-person committee made up of a school pastor, a benefactor, a headmaster, a former member of the Catholic Schools Office, and a parent is helping Bishop O'Connell "pare down" the list of applicants.

"There will be high competition to get this job," he said.

Bishop O'Connell said that the job description is "a little different" than it has been in the past. The archdiocese prefers to hire someone local, and therefore already familiar with the archdiocese's Catholic school system.

"It's a unique system and the person would take over with more knowledge than in the past," he said, "and that would help the person to begin faster."

He would also prefer the new superintendent to be an educator with experience in Catholic schools. However, that doesn't mean those without those credentials need not apply.

The new superintendent would start in the summer of 2024, prior to the new school year. Bishop O'Connell said that the new superintendent will have to face the same challenges as his or her predecessors -- balancing budgets, finding teachers, keeping enrollment steady, working with pastors, and "keeping our Catholic identity."

"The new superintendent will help to ordinate us," he said, "lead us, keep our schools strong -- enrollment-wise, finance-wise, and in a Catholic spirit."

He said that whoever the new superintendent may be, he or she must keep the archdiocese's Catholic schools "open," "ethical," and "joyful."

"We need to have our schools available," he said, "we need to work with the Catholic Schools Foundation on scholarships, we need to have our schools available to the poor, whoever they are."