Following a year of great transition for Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Catholic schools, superintendent Mary E. Rochford announced her resignation at year's end.
"It has been my privilege to serve in the ministry of Catholic education for almost 40 years. A long time ago, when I was very young, a wise woman religious told me, 'Remember, you are only a useless servant.' I have kept that in mind and worked as diligently as I could for the sake of the children and now I leave for the sake of my family," she said in a statement released by the archdiocese.
The archdiocese accepted her resignation with "great reluctance," and said her decision was made in order to devote time to providing physical care for members of her family unable to do so on their own. The resignation will be effective June 30.
In 2012, a Blue Ribbon Commission announced closings and mergers of elementary and high schools throughout the city and suburbs—including merging . Though all high school closings were put off by a fundraising effort, many elementary schools were still impacted.
Rochford did not serve on the commission, which reported to Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Since 2008, she's served as superintendent, after working in the Office of Catholic Education for the previous nine years. Prior to that, Rochford was a Catholic school teacher and administrator for over 25 years.
"Mary is a model leader who always works with joyous, and faith-filled dedication on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of every school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," said Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic Education. "She labors tirelessly to advance the mission of Catholic education and to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, who are the future leaders of our communities It was with deep sadness that I learned of her decision to resign."
The Office of Catholic Education will begin a search for a new superintendent, the archdiocese said.