When Laurie Haverty received a job offer from Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades as the new director of human resources for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, she felt humbled and honored. Leaving a position in a parish that she loved was difficult, but she views her new path as “an opportunity to learn from others and hopefully to give back my ideas and experience.”
Haverty brings 14 years of experience as business manager at Queen of Peace Parish in Mishawaka as well as a master’s degree in church management from Villanova, which is similar to an MBA. Queen of Peace has been her spiritual home for the last 20 years in addition to her workplace. She is proud of her parish and the loving, family atmosphere. Her three children attended school there and have continued their Catholic education through Marian High School.
Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Haverty studied science at Eastern Michigan University, intending to become a teacher. The responsibility of caring for 30 students felt overwhelming, however, and God called her in a different direction. She moved to Indiana in 1999. When her oldest child was ready for preschool, she found that Queen of Peace had openings in its program, and she knew from the moment she walked through the door that that was where she wanted to be. As her children grew older, Haverty began to work in the church office and eventually became business manager in 2007. She had applied for the job as human resources manager for the diocese years ago, but God’s timing wasn’t right.
“Everything was great in my parish, but I decided that maybe I needed to look into doing more. So, I went back for my master’s and I received an SCP (Senior Certified Professional certificate) in HR.” She continued her work at Queen of Peace until recently receiving a call from Joe Ryan, chief financial officer for the diocese. He had been the one to interview her previously and thought her qualified to fill the recent vacancy. Haverty contacted Father Mark Gurtner, the diocese’s vicar general, and interviewed via Zoom. She was surprised to receive the offer from the bishop.
Now that her children are older — her youngest at 16 — she felt she could pursue the new path that God placed before her with confidence. “This is a wonderful opportunity that I’m so blessed to have.” Father Tom Shoemaker, pastor at St. Charles Borromeo, even made a space for her personal use within his parish to make her commute between Fort Wayne and South Bend easier.
Haverty expects her job to include aiding the many secretariats in the diocese in any capacity she is needed: helping hire, train and restructure positions as needed. She also expects to work with employees to ensure that their best interests are being looked after, and to support priests and principals with the unique resources they might need.
Since starting in the position in June, Haverty said she has felt incredibly welcomed. Now that she is settling in to her new job, she has been receiving more and more phone calls from offices in the diocese seeking her help. “I feel like this position just provides so many opportunities to be a resource and to help parishes and the diocese further our mission of the Church … And so, whatever I can do, whatever contribution that I can make as part of this team to help … I’m excited about that.”
Haverty remains an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Queen of Peace and serves on the school board for Marian High School, functioning as treasurer. Her hobbies include camping, walking and reading, and she is “open to new adventures”; learning new skills and seeking out new interests in the current chapter of her life.
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