As Barbara Anderson prepares to begin her new role as pastoral life director of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Thurmont, and St. Anthony Shrine, Emmitsburg, the 51-year-old director of religious education said she is “honored and humbled to be asked to take on the responsibility” of leading the twinned Frederick County parishes.
Cardinal William H. Keeler appointed Ms. Anderson to her new post effective Aug. 1.
“The parish has undergone a lot of change in the last five years,” said Ms. Anderson, who has served for three years as director of religious education at the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.
“The people have done a wonderful job retaining a sense of community there,” she said.
Ms. Anderson succeeds Sister Joan Maenner, O.S.F., who died in November. Sister Marietta Culhane, O.S.F., has served as temporary administrator for the last eight months.
Raised in St. Agnes parish in Catonsville, Ms. Anderson earned a master’s degree in theology from the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park. She previously was a program coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, staffing the subcommittee on youth and young adults. She is a former coordinator of youth ministry at St. Isaac Jogues, Carney, and a former director of religious education and coordinator of youth ministry at St. Francis of Assisi, Fulton. She was also involved in ministry at St. William of York, Baltimore.
Ms. Anderson said her background in youth ministry will be an asset at her new assignment as the parish prepares to strengthen its youth ministry program.
There are approximately 700 registered families between Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Anthony Shrine. The biggest challenge facing the two churches is accommodating increasing numbers of families as new housing developments are erected nearby, Ms. Anderson said.
“I’ve met with the staff and they are all very supportive,” she said. “I am looking forward to this new time in my life and I ask for prayers and the opportunity to meet new people.”
As pastoral life director, Ms. Anderson will oversee the administration of the parish while Father John Lombardi will attend sacramental needs as the assigned priest.