Sister Sharon Iacobucci, who strengthened bridges between religious communities and the Diocese of Pittsburgh during her two years as diocesan delegate for religious, has been elected to a national position with the Felician Sisters of Our Lady of Hope Province in North America.
“Without a doubt, I will miss everyone here in the diocese,” Sister Sharon said. “Not only did I serve as a bridge and liaison for Bishop Zubik with those in consecrated life, I truly enjoyed collaborating with the staff at the Office for Clergy and Consecrated Life and with all the various departments at the Pastoral Center.”
Bishop David Zubik praised her diocesan service, the majority of it during the COVID pandemic.
“We were blessed to have a delegate with her level of administrative experience, social awareness and spiritual insight,” Bishop Zubik said. “She understood where the needs were – both of the religious themselves and those to whom they minister. In the midst of the storm, she helped everyone pull together in the service of Jesus.”
The delegate for religious is a liaison between the bishop and all religious communities of men and women in the diocese.
“It was my privilege to collaborate with men and women religious, to share present concerns and future directions, especially during the pandemic,” Sister Sharon said.
Those included “how to meet the needs of our elderly religious and how to address the signs of the times, to bring awareness of the significant role that those in consecrated life provide by their presence within the diocese, prayerful support and diverse ministries in parishes, schools hospitals and service organizations to the poor.”
She promoted collaboration among communities through her service on the Catholic Sisters Leadership Council in Pittsburgh. She has been a member of the National Council of Vicars for Religious, and served on the board of directors of Sisters Place – a ministry to single parents and their children – and on the seminary advisory and admission boards for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
She is a graduate of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis – a ministry of her community – and of LaRoche College, with a master of arts in formative spirituality from Duquesne University. She served for many years in schools and parishes and is certified in bereavement ministry, social ministry and advanced catechesis.
In her new role with the Felician Sisters, Sister Sharon will be one of five provincial councilors serving across the United States and Canada. She will live at their provincial house in Beaver Falls, but travel frequently to assist Felician communities in in ministry, renewal and governance.
In March 2020, Sister Sharon wrote a column honoring National Catholic Sisters’ Week.
“As religious life undergoes many changes and is in transition, there have been difficult decisions to make as each congregation faces limitations and challenges,” she wrote.
“Yet undeterred, religious women move forward dedicated and passionate in their pastoral response to the cries of the poor, the bereaved, victims of social injustice and those with spiritual hunger. These women remain open to God’s providence with love, mercy, compassion and courage.”
The pandemic struck shortly after that column was published. Since then, Sister Sharon has participated in an effort by women’s communities to provide food for food banks and other outreaches to those suffering from hunger in the wake of COVID-19.