Bishop Jaime Soto on Sept. 11 appointed Lois Locey as the new chancellor of the Diocese of Sacramento. She will begin in her new position on Oct. 29. She succeeds Kathy Conner, who is retiring after serving as chancellor since 2009.
Among her duties, Locey will serve as a member of Bishop Soto’s core management team and cabinet; provide supervision to multiple diocesan directors and their related offices; provide oversight and support to the Presbyteral and Diocesan Pastoral Councils; oversee official diocesan reports and the maintenance of archives and records; and authenticate all official acts of the bishop.
“I’m interested in furthering the mission of Christ and the church, and when I learned about Bishop Soto, the ministries happening here in Northern California and the people’s love for God and others, I wanted to be part of it,” she said. “My whole life has been dedicated to these same central themes of doing ministry and mission well and making them come alive in a personal way. It is my hope and prayer to use my leadership skills to assist Bishop Soto in his ministry and serve the Diocese of Sacramento. Together as a team, I am confident we can all continue to grow the church and make it both vibrant and holy.”
One of the main duties of this position is to help Bishop Soto accomplish the priorities and plans for the diocese. “A key part of my plan is to listen attentively,” she said. “Because I have worked at both the diocesan and parish levels, I hope that I can help increase the quality of the connection between the parishes and the diocese. I look forward to meeting everyone in the parishes and missions, and getting to know the pastors, their staffs and lay leaders. One of the major roles of any diocese is to help make strong parishes. When parishes are effectively carrying out their mission, virtually all ministries of the universal church benefit.”
Locey has 27 years of in-depth experience as a chief operating officer of three large parishes which reached national and global prominence relating to ministry effectiveness. She also has more than two decades of diocesan leadership experience in a combination of staff positions and being called upon by individual bishops and regions of bishops in Australia, the Caribbean and around the world for management consulting and training of bishops, priests, deacons, religious staff and lay leaders.
She comes to the diocese after serving as pastoral associate for administration and stewardship at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in central Florida in the Diocese of Orlando. Serving as the chief operating officer, the parish has some 5,700 parishioners, a total annual operating budget of $11.8 million, 143 employees and 3,264 disciple volunteers in more than 185 ministries and services and a PreK-8 school.
Locey previously administered two of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle, Wash. She also served as a field consultant to the Seattle Archdiocese’s Department of Planning and Research, working with parishes in transition and in the formation and training of parish pastoral councils and other consultative bodies. In another position with the Catholic Schools Office, she assisted principals with school commissions, relations with parishes, budgeting, evaluations and school development.
As associate director/interim director of parish stewardship for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, her office initiated and implemented a parish-based stewardship movement in the diocese by working together with pastors, their staff and volunteers to promote the vision and practice of “Stewardship as a Way of Life.” The time and talent phase of that campaign was considered to be, at that time, the largest such effort in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Each of the parishes where Locey has served has received awards from the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) for having both the most outstanding total stewardship effort and materials. Over a 26-year period, she has presented at 28 training conferences conducted by the ICSC on a wide variety of ministry topics. She also won an award for the best idea to improve parish finances from the Finance Council Forum.
Locey earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Catholic University of America in 2017, with an emphasis on pastoral leadership, church growth, stewardship and increasing the quality of ministry. She also holds a master’s degree in pastoral ministry through a joint program from Gonzaga University (Jesuit) and the University of Portland (Congregation of Holy Cross) and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Affairs, with an emphasis on nonprofit management and educational administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University in Chicago.
“People are hungering for God,” she said. “The question is how we can together reach out to people to help them grow closer to both God and to each other as a Catholic community of believers. I hope to work with other leaders throughout this diocese on how we can best carry out the bold mission of Christ.”
A native of the Chicago area, Locey and her husband have been married for 20 years. Together they have been supporters of the work of St. Teresa of Calcutta and her Missionaries of Charity for more than 20 years. Among her hobbies are hiking and completing 11 half or full marathons since 2008.
Locey noted that St. Teresa of Calcutta, upon her arrival at a Catholic place, after a simple but warm and sincere greeting, would humbly insist on first visiting “the Master of the house,” and be immediately escorted to the nearest church or chapel and kneel before the Blessed Sacrament to say a prayer. “I look forward to going to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento to give humble thanks for this opportunity to serve and to ask for strength and guidance that I might serve faithfully and with vigor -- our Lord, our church and the people of God -- as I assist Bishop Soto as his chancellor.”