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Q&A: A chat with Chancellor Francis Maier
By Roxanne King
Francis X. Maier
Francis X. Maier, chancellor for the Denver Archdiocese, will join the Philadelphia Archdiocese as senior advisor to Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. He recently spoke to the Denver Catholic Register about his years in Denver.
Q: How long have you worked for the Archdiocese of Denver and in what capacities?
A: Slightly more than 18 years. I served as secretary for communications and general manager of the Denver Catholic Register for then-Archbishop J. Francis Stafford; and then as chancellor and special assistant to Archbishop Chaput. I also served as ecumenical and interreligious affairs officer for three years.
Q: What was your career experience before joining the Denver Archdiocese?
A: Staff writer for an affiliate of National Review magazine for a year or so after grad school, then a story analyst and screenwriter in Los Angeles for six years, then editor-in-chief of the National Catholic Register for 15 years.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: New York City; but I mostly grew up in Buffalo.
Q: What has been the highlight of your work for the archdiocese?
A: The quality of the people, both clergy and lay—their humor, their dedication and their talent. I don’t think people who work for the archdiocese really understand how favorably they compare to staffs almost everywhere else, both inside the Church and in the secular workplace.
Q: What has been the greatest disappointment for you during your time with the archdiocese?
A: I got older. That wasn’t the plan.
Q: Why are going to Philadelphia and what will you be doing there?
A: I’ve worked for the archbishop for 14 years; Kerry Kober (Archbishop Chaput’s correspondence secretary) even longer. It’s been a terrific blessing for both of us; for me, the best years of my career. When the archbishop invited us along, it seemed like the only sensible thing to do. He’s one in a million as a pastor and leader. It’s the kind of privilege you only get once in a lifetime. As for my duties, I’ll continue as a special assistant.
Q: When will you be leaving?
A: I start driving east on September 1. My last day with the Archdiocese of Denver is September 7; my first day with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, September 8.
Q: Have you been to Philadelphia before and do you have any connections with it?
A: Many times; it’s a great city and a great local Church. My wife’s family actually comes from Philadelphia, and our daughter, son-in-law and five-and-a-half of our grandchildren live there.
Q: How do you feel about such a big move?
Q: How does your family feel about the move?
A: Even more enthusiastic.
Q: Is there anything you’ll miss about the Denver Archdiocese?
A: Like the archbishop says, places are easy to leave; people are much harder to leave. We have so many close family friends and great memories here: the Gerken and Hegarty clans; Celeste Thomas; Alejandro Bermudez; the Fraternas and the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae. Denver has been the source of a lot of happiness; too many good people to name.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Just thank you, a hundred times over—to Msgr. Tom Fryar, Msgr. Bernie Schmitz and all the other senior clergy I’ve worked with; to friends like Dick Thompson, J Reyes, Carol and John Saeman, JD Flynn and so many others; to great colleagues like Barb Buchanan, Mike McKee, Dave Holden; the Incomparable Jennys—De Melo and Kraska; and you. The list is a very long one. I’ve been a lucky guy.