Roman Catholic Archbishop James A. Hickey yesterday announced he is moving his official residence from an exclusive Northwest address to a working-class neighborhood in Northeast.
His move is part of sweeping organizational changes that will transfer archdiocesan headquarters from the central part of the city to a new "pastoral center" on Eastern Avenue. The center will bring together the archbishop's residence, church offices and the Catholic Standard newspaper, and will provide a chapel and space for meetings and parking.
Purchase of the $2.15 million, 16-acre site at 5001 Eastern Ave., the former St. Francis de Sales seminary, will be financed partly through the sale of the spacious home on Rockwood Parkway NW. which Hickey's predecessor, William Cardinal Baum, bought in 1976 for $210,000. Baum had earlier purchased a $525,000 mansion for use as his official residence, but encountered such a storm of criticism that 24 hours after he purchased it he agreed to sell it and look for more modest quarters.
Hickey also announced the appointments of six archdiocesan administrators who will report directly to him, reflecting the most comprehensive changes in top leadership of the local church in more than a decade.
A black woman, Dr. Katherine W. Cole, assistant professor of education at Bowie State College, was appointed secretary for Catholic education. For the first time, a woman, Sister Margaret Culbert, will be coordinator and liaison for the activities and concerns of the 974 sisters of the archdiocese.
The Rev. Raymond B. Kemp, pastor of the Church of SS. Paul and Augustine and a former member of the D.C. school board, will become secretary for parish life and worship.
Other appointees are John Carr, who headed the White House Conference on Families, secretary for social concerns; the Rev. Thomas Kane, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace, secretary for clergy, religious men and secular institutes; and Msgr, John F. Donoghue, who has been chancellor, will be secretary for supporting services.
Yesterday's announcements come after a period of intensive study of the needs of the highly diverse archdiocese begun by Hickey shortly after his installation last year. The 396,211 Catholics in the archdiocese are organized into 129 parishes, which run the gamut from the wealthy Potomac neighborhoods to inner-city slums to rural expanses of Southern Maryland.
There were few changes during the seven-year tenure of Baum, who became increasingly involved in Vatican affairs, and who was last year appointed head of the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education. When Hickey, formerly bishop of Cleveland, was named archbishop last summer, many local church leaders expressed hopes for a firmer hand on the archdiocesan reins.
In a statement released yesterday, Hickey said the new appointments have "widened the basis of administration and introduced new people" into the leadership of the archdiocese.
Moves from the present chancery at 1721 Rhode Island Ave. NW, to the new Northeast site, which will be called a pastoral center instead of a chancery, are to take place place by Aug. 1. The building occupied by the Standard, at 1711 N St. NW, will be sold to help finance the purchase of the new center, but the present chancery, just down the street from St. Mattew's Cathedral, will be retained and "developed," a church spokesman said.