Weekly Feature

2011-12-08 / Local News

West Seneca parishioner oversees Catholic schools


Henry Henry Rosemary Henry grew up attending Catholic schools. Although her family could not afford to send her to a private Catholic high school, her faith remained an important part of her life.

She decided that a way to give back to the church was to become involved in Catholic education, and she has made a career out of it. For the last four years, Henry has overseen the Diocese of Buffalo’s 68 schools and nearly 17,000 students as superintendent.

“It’s a very comprehensive ministry in working very closely with principals and pastors to advance our schools, to enrich our schools, to strengthen our schools, working in the areas of academic excellence and curriculum and instruction.”

Henry’s career has taken her from Texas to Washington and, finally, New York. She lives in Depew with her husband, Jackson Murdock. The couple attend Fourteen Holy Helpers Church in West Seneca.

Henry said the overarching goal of her job is to “strengthen Catholic education, so our schools are viable and sustainable, but more importantly, that they continue to be vibrant.”

The diocese has crafted a new strategic plan to help that goal, she said. Henry touts the benefits of a value-based education. In addition, Catholic schools provide rigorous academics, she said. Some schools offer programs for special-needs children, too.

“I would say come check us out, come visit, come and see our schools in action,” Henry said.

One of the perks of her job is spending time in the schools.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to see the children in their respective communities and to see them learning and challenging one another, to see teachers teaching and to see principals doing some good work,” she said. “There’s some very good things happening.”

In her free time, Henry loves to travel, do landscape design and interior design, and serve as an advocate for animals. She has a Scottish terrier named Queen of Scots.

She enjoys wildlife, too, as she lives near the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve.

“I also have a whole herd of deer and wild turkey and fox and all of that,” she said. “They just make themselves at home.”

(Story ideas for this feature can be sent to West Seneca Bee Editor Kimberly McDowell, Bee Publications, 5564 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14221-5410, or by calling 204-4922.)

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