Most Rev. Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., Bishop of Fall River
Roger Sullivan, Central Board Chair, St. Pius X School Advisory Board Member, South Yarmouth
Jean MacCormack, Ph.D., Central Board Vice Chair, former Chancellor, UMass-Dartmouth
James Barron, Director of Planned Giving and Gifts Officer, St. Sebastian’s School, Needham
Rev. Paul Caron, Pastor, St. Pius X Parish, South Yarmouth, and Director of St. Pius X School
Nicholas M. Christ, President and CEO, BayCoast Bank, Swansea
Rev. David Costa, Pastor, Somerset and Swansea Catholic Community (St. Louis de France, St. Patrick and St. Thomas More Parishes)
Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., President, Stonehill College, Easton
Kevin Kiley, Chancellor, Fall River Diocese
Donna Lamontagne, Partner, Lamontagne, Spaulding & Hayes, LLP
Rev. Jay Maddock, Pastor, Holy Name Parish, Fall River, and Director of Holy Name School
Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hispanic Ministry and Religious Education, Boston College
Rev. Christopher Peschel, Parochial Administrator, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Westport
Daniel Roy, Superintendent of Schools, Fall River Diocese
Dr. John Sbrega, President Emeritus, Bristol Community College, Fall River
Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach, Executive Director, Roche Center for Catholic Education

The Church’s Code of Canon Law requires that a College of Consultors be in place in every diocese to serve as an advisory body to the Bishop. Its membership is constituted by not less than six or more than twelve priests appointed by the Bishop from among membership of the Presbyteral Council for a period of five years. The functions of the College are dictated by a variety of canons of the Code and pertain primarily to matters of diocesan governance and administration.

Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, V.F.
Rev. Paul E.  Canuel
Rev. James M. Fitzpatrick
Rev. Thomas C. Lopes
Very Rev. Gregory A. Mathias, V.F.
Rev. Arnold R. Medeiros
Rev. John M. Murray
Rev. John J. Oliveira
Very Rev. Timothy P. Reis, V.F.
Very Rev. Richard D. Wilson, J.C.L.

Canon 511 of the Code of Canon Law states that, “In every diocese and to the extent that pastoral circumstances suggest it, a pastoral council is to be constituted.” According to the Canon, its function, under the authority of the bishop, is to study and weigh those matters which concern the pastoral works of the diocese and to propose practical conclusions concerning them.

Diocesan Pastoral Council Members

Attleboro Deanery:
Maryanne Dechambeau
Michael Murphy
Michael Phillips
James Riley

Cape Cod Deanery:
Charles Feeney
Joseph O’Keefe

Fall River Deanery:
Richard Grace
Dionisio DaCosta
David Rose

New Bedford Deanery:
Joe Booth
Christopher Fortier
Berta Herrera
Michael Murray

Taunton Deanery:
Virginia Jacques
Peter Marshall
Joseph Sollecito

Rev. Matthew G. Gill
Rev. John C. Ozug

Diaconate Community:
Deacon Peter Guerish

Ex Officio:
Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., Bishop of Fall River
Very Rev. Richard D. Wilson, Vicar General, Fall River Diocese
Rev. John M. Murray, Moderator of the Curia, Fall River Diocese

Laura Carrillo, Director of Strategic and Pastoral Planning

Membership of the Fall River Diocesan Finance Council is provided on the Diocesan Chancery Finance webpage along with the Finance Council Charter and a Council Fact Sheet. Please click here to be re-directed to that page.


The Diocesan Ministerial Review Board (MRB) is established in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons. The MRB shall serve as a confidential, consultative body to advise the Bishop regarding alleged misconduct by clergy, regardless of when that misconduct is alleged to have occurred, including misconduct relating to the sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult as well as other forms of misconduct. The MRB shall provide its expertise and assistance as requested, or as it deems appropriate with developing policies and appropriate mechanisms to further ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

Per the Charter, a review board shall have a minimum of five members who are appointed by the Bishop. All members must be of outstanding integrity and good judgment. The members are appointed for a period of five years.  Membership shall include an experienced priest of the Diocese and a lay person with professional experience in the treatment or investigation of sexual abuse of minors. Membership may also include persons with experience or training in ministry, law, victimization, health care, mental health treatment, law enforcement, jurisprudence, human resources, business management, education or other relevant fields.


Hon. Phillip Rapoza (Ret.) Chair – Former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and former Associate Justice of the Massachusetts District and Superior Courts

Sheila W. Horan, Vice-Chair – Retired Senior Executive, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Dr. David W. Fentress, Licensed Psychologist

Rev. Robert A. Oliveira, Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish and School in Fall River and Co-Director of the Permanent Diaconate Office, New Bedford, MA

Richard M. Palanza, Senior Executive, IBM

Joanne M. Roque, RN, BSN, MS, LNHA, CEO Diocesan Health Facilities, Fall River, MA

Hanorah E. Tyer-Witek, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.), J.D., L.L.M., Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island

John T. Weldon, LICSW, CEO Saint Vincent’s Services, Inc., Fall River, MA


Lorraine Levy, Director of Professional Standards and Oversight, Diocese of Fall River

Contact:  508-985-6513 or

The Presbyteral (or Priests’) Council is a principal consultative body mandated by the Code of Canon Law to advise the Bishop in matters of pastoral governance. The Council meets regularly to discuss issues and to offer its counsel to the Bishop. Membership consists of priests elected by their peers, appointed by the Bishop, and ex officio.

Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., Bishop of Fall River

Ex Officio:
Very Rev. Richard D. Wilson, Vicar General
Rev. David C. Frederici, Vicar for Pastoral Services
Rev. David A. Pignato, Vicar for Priests

Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, V.F., Cape Cod Deanery
Very Rev. Freddie Babiczuk, V.F., Taunton Deanery
Very Rev. Jay T. Maddock, V.F., Fall River Deanery
Very Rev. John M. Schrader, V.F., New Bedford Deanery
Very Rev. Timothy P. Reis, V.F., Attleboro Deanery

Elected and Appointed:

Terms expiring June 30, 2022
Rev. Jon-Paul Gallant
Rev. Edward J. Healey
Rev. David Lupo, (Religious)
Rev. Jay Mello

Terms expiring June 30, 2023
Rev. Michael J. Fitzpatrick (Appointed)
Rev. Riley J. Williams (Appointed)

Terms expiring June 30, 2024
Rev. George Bellenoit (Retired)
Rev. James Fitzpatrick
Rev. Robert Oliveira
Very Rev. Thomas Washburn