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Former superintendent to ‘work’ for schools

Posted By August 18, 2017 | 5:06 pm | Featured Article #2
Submitted photo
Delma L. Josephson likes to learn on her vacations. She is pictured here at Machu Picchu, Inca ruins high in the mountains in Peru, on a Smithsonian trip.
Submitted photo Delma L. Josephson likes to learn on her vacations. She is pictured here at Machu Picchu, Inca ruins high in the mountains in Peru, on a Smithsonian trip.

By Tanya Connor  | The Catholic Free Press

Delma L. Josephson, Ph.D., has retired as superintendent of Catholic schools, but she hasn’t finished her “school work.”
Her successor, David Perda, took the helm Aug. 7, but she’s still working for the diocese until Aug. 31 – in a different office in the Chancery.
Then she plans to volunteer, to help Catholic schools in the diocese with securing and tracking financial resources.
Mrs. Josephson said her official retirement date was always Aug. 31 – the end of the fiscal year. But she had offered to stay on as superintendent if the diocese hadn’t hired her successor by then.
After Aug. 31, she will volunteer to do grant writing for Catholic schools in the diocese that want her help, she said. She hopes to help them get grants, set up internet-based systems for tracking donations and create volunteer groups, such as alumni, to help with fundraising.
“I want to be just somebody who’s in the background being a support,” to help Catholic education grow, she said.        She said she’s had experience with grant writing. She did some while she was superintendent here, some while working in public schools, and some when she started a girls club in Marlboro years ago. She also served on the national board of directors of Girls Clubs of America, which later became Girls Inc., she said.
Mrs. Josephson said she’s started working with St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School and will continue. Also, several pastors have expressed interest in her help. She said if she finds something appropriate for the school department as a whole, she will see what the new superintendent wants her to do about it.
“I’m here to serve in whatever way I can,” Mrs. Josephson said. “It’ll be fun. If you can find resources to help schools, that’s just plain fun – satisfying.”
There is a need for someone who has the time to research what’s available, she said. If a foundation has goals it wants to support, she can see whether schools here have a need that fits with those goals.
“I’m excited for what’s happening here; I’m excited for Dr. Perda,” Mrs. Josephson said. “When you love something as much as I’ve loved being part of this ministry … you want the next person to be somebody who really loves it. And I get that sense from him.”
Bishop McManus has been “fabulous to work with – he’s such a supporter of Catholic education,” she said. “I will miss the people. I will miss the chapel” (in the Chancery). But she said she’s looking forward to walking to weekday Mass at her home parish, Immaculate Conception in Marlborough.
She said she will also miss the priests who have parish schools, and added, “I just have so much admiration for them.”
Mrs. Josephson said she has had offers for short-term work for pay, as a consultant for Catholic education in other dioceses, and she might do some of that.
“I promised my children I would get down to 40 hours a week,” she said.
She also hopes to continue traveling, though not more than she has in the past.
“You have to be working too, and I am a homebody at heart,” she said, and spoke of the need to save up to go on big trips.
“God’s created this wonderful world,” she said. “I go and I delight in seeing and meeting the people. I love going to Mass in different countries. It just reminds me that we’re a universal Church.… But you also get to see some local traditions and customs.”
When she was in Liechtenstein “all the women brought bouquets of flowers from their gardens and they placed them on the altar,” she said. “At the end of Mass they took them home for their tables.” In Peru, people did something similar with their Divine Mercy images.
“But you don’t see that if you just stay home and go to the same place over and over again,” she said.
Her last big trip was to Machu Picchu, Inca ruins high in the mountains in Peru.
“I climbed the steps at Machu Picchu two days in a row,” she said of the Smithsonian Institution trip which included lectures. “I like to go. I like to learn.… And I’m blessed to be able to do that.”