Letter Regarding Transition of Leadership at The Catholic Cemeteries

From John Cherek, Director, The Catholic Cemeteries

It is with great delight and anticipation that I announce today that Archbishop Bernard Hebda has accepted the recommendation of the Board of Directors of The Catholic Cemeteries that Joan Gecik be hired as the fourth Executive Director of The Catholic Cemeteries.

Joan is currently serving as the Pastoral Administrator at Saint Thomas the Apostle parish in Minneapolis, where she has served since 2014.  She brings with her more than 40 years of ministry and leadership experience in church administration, program development, human resources, worship and parish life, grief ministry and pastoral ministry.  During the application and interview process Joan told The Catholic Cemeteries, “In my ministry, I have made it a priority to always link my pastoral skills with all dealings within administration.  I especially excel in accompanying individuals and families on their grief journey from death through follow-up care.”

Joan – who recently served on our natural burial advisory committee – also expressed her excitement about the future of The Catholic Cemeteries, including the upcoming launch of the natural burial section at Resurrection Cemetery.  Besides graciously serving on our consultation committee, Joan has been involved with The Catholic Cemeteries for various events, like Memorial Day Mass at Resurrection Cemetery, and initiatives, such as our quarterly fetal burial services, which help provide hope and healing to those living with the loss of a baby.

I am grateful that Joan has chosen to share her gifts with The Catholic Cemeteries and all of those with whom we come into contact on their life journey.  She is a collaborative leader who listens attentively, speaks confidently, and possesses a strong knowledge of our past as well as a bright vision for our future.  I look forward to working closely with Joan on our leadership transition from her October 1 arrival through my retirement December 31.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the transition of leadership at The Catholic Cemeteries.


John M. Cherek


The Catholic Cemeteries