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October 20, 2008


Philadelphia Knights of Columbus Honor Archdiocese of Philadelphia's First Female Superintendent of Schools

PHILADELPHIA (October 20, 2008) - Mary E. Rochford, the first-ever female Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has been named "Catholic Woman of the Year" by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Knights of Columbus. The Catholic fraternal service organization presented the award to Rochford at a ceremony on Sunday, October 19th at Twining Hall in Trevose, Bucks County. Also honored at the ceremony was Deacon Joseph Cella a Philadelphia police detective, who was named "Catholic Man of the Year."

"I can not think of someone more deserving of this recognition than Mary Rochford," said Dr. Richard McCarron, Secretary for Catholic Education in Archdiocese of Philadelphia. "Mary's years of service and dedication to the education and faith formation of our young people has touched the lives of countless children and adults, and it is our honor and privilege to work with her every day."

Mary Rochford has been faithfully serving Catholic education for more than 30 years. During that time, she has worked as both an elementary school teacher and principal in Catholic schools throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina, joining the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education in 1999.

The "Catholic Woman of the Year" award has been presented by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Knights of Columbus for over fifty years to deserving Catholic women. Each year, the recipient is chosen by a committee of regional Knights of Columbus members, and is presented during a celebration of Columbus Day, which honors the organization's namesake, Christopher Columbus. The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world, with over 1.7 million members worldwide. The Philadelphia chapter was established 105 years ago and has grown to include 22 councils in the region.

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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, celebrating its Bicentennial in 2008, has 270 parishes serving almost 1.5 million Catholics. Currently there are 182 parish and regional elementary schools, 20 high schools and five schools of special education in the Archdiocese, located throughout Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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