Penny Wiegert is new diocesan director of Communication & Publications

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Bishop Thomas G. Doran appointed Penny Wiegert to be the new director of Communication & Publications for the Diocese of Rockford, effective July 1. Wiegert has been on staff of The Observer Catholic newspaper since 1986 and been the editor since 2002, a position she will continue along with her new duties.

Wiegert succeeds Dr. Owen Phelps, who is retiring from his duties as associate publisher of The Observer. He will remain as a consultant to the Office of Communication & Publications at the request of Bishop Doran. Monsignor David Kagan, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, will be the new associate publisher of The Observer.

Dr. Phelps has served as the Director of Communication & Publications since 1986.

Wiegert and her staff at The Observer have continued the advances in technology and publishing begun by Dr. Phelps by putting the publication into complete electronic production. She also organized the first major redesign of the 72-year-old paper and launched a new Web site with full search and archiving capability.

Wiegert’s writing has won more than 22 local and national awards, including The Archbishop O’Meara award from the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith—a first for the Rockford Diocese.

In addition to her duties at The Observer, Wiegert has served the diocese in other capacities as well.

She was on the Board of Governors of the former St. Vincent/St. Joseph Home, was secretary for the advisory commission for St. Francis Home for Exceptional Children, and was a member of the Preparatory Commission for the Fourth Synod of the Diocese of Rockford.

She is a member of the diocesan Stewardship Commission and the diocesan Centennial Committee. She is also one of the editors of the soon-to-be published diocesan history book and the diocesan centennial calendar.

In addition to her diocesan posts, Wiegert is on the Board of Directors for the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association and is the Midwest Regional representative and vice president of the Catholic Press Association for the United States and Canada.

Wiegert and her husband Russell are residents of Winnebago, Ill. and have four children. She is an active member of St. Mary Parish in Pecatonica, where she was recognized as the 2002 Catholic Woman of the Year. She is also active in community theater and Winnebago Boy Scout Troop 705.

from the June 27-July 4, 2007, issue

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