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Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese names new CFO

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 1:45 p.m.
Bruno Bonacchi

A former bank executive will become the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh's top financial officer as the church continues an ambitious five-year, $125 million fundraising campaign.

Bruno Bonacchi, 54, former head of strategy and development at Mellon Financial Corp., now BNY Mellon, will succeed Frederick P. O'Brien when he retires at the end of this year, Bishop David A. Zubik said Thursday.

O'Brien has been the diocese's chief financial officer since March 2002. Bonacchi's appointment will take effect Jan. 1.

Bonacchi is a member of St. Thomas A' Becket Church in Jefferson Hills, where he chairs the parish finance council.

His appointment is renewable for a term of five years under Code of Canon Law.

The Rev. Ron Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese, said Bonacchi's position will oversee charitable giving, investments and grants that serve 700,000 people among 200 parishes in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Washington and Lawrence counties.

“Certainly, we value his financial expertise, but also his faith as a Christian and a Catholic,” Lengwin said. “He understands the culture of the church. We're not just a business; we're a ministry.”

A Pleasant Hills resident, Bonacchi spent the past two years teaching at Franciscan University of Steubenville and helping St. Thomas A' Becket build a church.

The switch from private-sector financing to ministerial management will be a welcome change, he said.

“The biggest difference is the end mission. Mellon, like any business, was profit-motivated,” Bonacchi said. “With the ministry, we aren't selling a product; we're sharing our beliefs and enriching the lives of our parishioners.

“This position brings the talents and experiences I've been blessed with back to where my heart is.”

Lengwin said maintaining a balanced budget remains a priority. Under O'Brien, the organization shaved $2 million from the budget, he said.

“Our parishioners are very generous, but we're subject to the same troubles everyone else has, like rising costs and inflation,” Lengwin said. “People don't have as much disposable income for charitable purposes as they did in the past.”

Bonacchi's many responsibilities will include monitoring the diocese's fundraising campaign and the construction of Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School in Cranberry, set for completion in January at a total cost of $71 million.

Megan Harris is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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