NEW BEDFORD – Father Michael Racine, who is pastor of Holy Family-Holy Name School as well as of the Whaling City Catholic Community of St. Lawrence Martyr, St. Francis of Assisi and Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parishes, knew that the next principal of the school would require a unique skill set, due to the current COVID-19 crisis.  With many families out of work or with reduced hours because of the crisis, the new principal of Holy Family-Holy Name would need to be compassionate, creative, and patient in order to lead the school through this historical year.

In Pennsylvania, Deacon Peter Schutzler (in photo), the father of a young adult daughter who has special needs, researched the best programs in the Northeast who could provide his daughter with the necessary skills to maintain her independence.  Because the location of the school is in Hyannis, Mass., Deacon Peter and his wife, Kate, decided they needed to move from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.  Thus, Deacon Peter began to search for a leadership position where he could use his principal, vice-principal, and educational experience, and how he learned about Holy Family Holy Name School in New Bedford.

Father Racine is pleased to announce Deacon Peter Schutzler as the new principal of Holy Family Holy Name School, effective July 1, 2020.  In addition to having extensive educational leadership experience, Deacon Schutzler was ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop John O. Barres in 2015 in the Diocese of Allentown, Penn. He has been assigned as a Deacon at St. Ann Parish in Emmaus, Penn. He also served as the assistant director of Permanent Diaconate for the Allentown Diocese from 2017-2019.

“Deacon Peter’s extensive experience as a school principal is enhanced by his interaction with parishioners and families as a deacon,” says Father Racine.  “Deacon Peter is certainly compassionate and understanding of the challenges faced by families as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  I look forward to working closely with Deacon Peter to strengthen the curriculum and enrollment of Holy Family Holy Name School.”

Deacon Schutzler adds, “Finding Holy Family Holy Name is such a blessing!  My wife and I want to be close to our daughter as well as positively contribute to the South Coast area.  We have spent summer vacations on the Cape for many years, so to be able to help the students and families of New Bedford is truly a dream come true.”

Deacon Schutzler served in the US Coast Guard in the New England area from 1986-1988.

“The Diocese of Fall River is very fortunate to have Deacon Peter Schutzler on our team,” indicates Stephen A. Perla, Superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Fall River.  “This past year has been historical in so many ways, and Holy Family-Holy Name has made great strides with installing MAP growth testing and special education services.  The school needs someone like Peter to keep the great momentum going.”

Deacon Schutzler holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology / Marriage and Family Therapy from Chestnut Hill College and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from Penn State University.  He and his wife, Kate, have two daughters and will soon reside in Mashpee, MA.

For more information about Holy Family Holy Name School, please go to


About the Catholic Schools Alliance

The Catholic Schools Alliance comprises administrators, teachers, staff, parents and clergy joined in partnership to educate the children of the Diocese of Fall River in Catholic faith and values. Our schools have a demanding educational culture that helps students from across the academic spectrum reach their God-given potential. With an emphasis on service and respect for the dignity of every person, we prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world and become meaningful contributors to society. For more information,  about the Catholic Schools Alliance, please go to

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