New communications director sees service to diocese as a ministry

By | September 12, 2012

A lifelong Catholic, Lodl is a native of Manitowoc, where she attended Holy Innocents Grade School, Roncalli High School and Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, where she earned bachelor’s degree in communications in 1987.


Justine Lodl, the new director of communications for the Green Bay Diocese. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

She has since held various communications positions including at WFRV-TV and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, both in Green Bay. At St. Mary’s, she was involved in the development of “Safe Kids Greater Green Bay” and became founding executive director of the Center for Childhood Safety. She was director at CCS for the past 14 years.

In her new position Lodl will direct the diocesan communications and information technology departments as well as The Compass newspaper, and serve as the diocesan spokesperson for communications issues.

Deacon Tim Reilly, diocesan vicar for administration, called Lodl “not only a skilled communication professional, but a great builder of community.”

Lodl and her husband, Howard, have three sons: Ryne, Jacob and Aaron. Howard is an air and space science teacher at Lombardi Middle School in Green Bay and the family belongs to Resurrection Parish in Allouez, where Lodl serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion.

She credits her strong faith life to her family, especially her late uncle, Fr. William Zimmer who served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Manitowoc from 1976 until his unexpected death on Thanksgiving Day in 1999.

“I have so many good memories, from growing up, of my faith life that are very personal and have helped to shape me,” Lodl said. “I remember having Mass in my grandmother’s living room frequently. And we celebrated things that other families may not have done and it was the fact that we could work the whole Mass component in — it was always a part of what we did.”

She remembers celebrating the anniversaries of relatives’ deaths as a family. “We would always have a Mass and then a party or picnic afterwards. That was really an important part of my growing up.”

Lodl also said she looks to her uncle “for spiritual guidance” and adds that her entire family is very close and supportive of what “I really do see this as my vocation at this time of my life.”

Lodl added that she believes the key to good communications is openness and said she sees the role of the diocesan communications team as “working together to share the good news of the diocese. There are lots of stories out there that we don’t know about. I’m going to encourage people, as I meet them, to tell us those stories so we can make sure that the people of the diocese know the good things that are going on.”

She also hopes to give others outside the church insight into the good work being done “in our state and beyond our shores.” She pointed to the work of Catholic Charities and the mission work of the diocese, including in the Dominican Republic, as “well-kept secrets” about “what we stand for and what we provide not only to our parishioners but to the public as a whole.”

“We’re not only helping in our diocese,” she said, “we’re helping people in our state, people beyond our shores, to live a less burdensome life, helping them where they aren’t able to help themselves. We’re such a blessed diocese; we have so many things we can share with others. … We’re a generous people and we want to help wherever we can.”

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