NOVEMBER 23, 2017
Our Leadership

Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi, a native of New Orleans, graduated from De La Salle High School in 1967 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University in 1971. He returned to New Orleans where he earned a law degree from the Tulane University Law School in 1974, and then entered Notre Dame Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1978.

Ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 1978, the young priest served as associate pastor at St. Ann and St. Christopher the Martyr parishes, in Metairie, and at St. Agnes in Jefferson. In 1983 he was appointed judge for the Archdiocese of New Orleans Metropolitan Tribunal. He earned a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America in 1986, and served as professor of canon law at Notre Dame Seminary from 1986 to 1995.

While still in New Orleans, Archbishop Rodi served that archdiocese in two directorships, as Chancellor and ultimately as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. He was ordained a bishop and installed as Bishop of Biloxi on July 2, 2001. Seven years later, he was appointed Archbishop of Mobile on April 2, 2008 and installed on June 6, 2008.

 

Miss Gwendolyn P. Byrd is a native Mobilian who grew up in the local Catholic school system.  After graduation from Convent of Mercy High School, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree at Marillac College in St. Louis, and a Master of Education in School Administration from DePaul University in Chicago.

Miss Byrd began her professional career as an elementary teacher in St. Louis. She later taught at Cathedral School in Natchez, Mississippi, and served as principal there for four years. St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Lake Zurich, Illinois, also benefitted from her leadership, as Miss Byrd continued there as principal before bringing her skills and experience back to her hometown of Mobile.

Joining the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Mobile, Miss Byrd began as Curriculum Coordinator.  Six years later, she was named Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the archdiocese. Since that time, she has successfully led the schools in the archdiocese through a time of great change.  In 2009, she was named Executive Director of Catholic Education in addition to her role as superintendent.  The Offices of Religious Education, Family Life, and Youth Ministry are under her supervision, along with the Office of Catholic Schools.

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