Joseph Bianchi 
Joseph Bianchi 

By Lois Rogers | Correspondent

When he first came to work for the Diocese of Trenton nearly two decades ago in the area of administrative services, Joseph Bianchi was able to draw on extensive experience he had gained in the corporate world.

But looking back, nothing could have fully prepared him for the many ways that his work would change over these past 20 years, a time in which he advanced in his professional training, adapted to take on new roles and responsibilities, and developed important programs where they were needed.

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Now poised to assume his new role as chief administrative officer, Bianchi will again rely on versatility and dedication as he responds to the ever-changing needs of the Diocese.  Bianchi was recently appointed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., to the position of CAO effective July 1.

An active member of St. Luke Parish, Toms River, he and his wife, Sharon, are the parents of two grown sons. Jason resides in Colorado, and Ryan, who lives in Ocean County, will be married in St. Luke Church this fall.

When he first arrived at the Chancery, Bianchi, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Montclair State College, now a university, said the Diocese was dealing on a much smaller scale with issues associated with health care costs and pension funding. “Child protection efforts had yet to include training programs and background checks that are now a regular part of what we do here,” he said.

The vital need for cyber insurance to safeguard the parishes, schools and institutions of the Diocese was years away from becoming a reality. Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked such havoc on the secular and religious landscapes of the Diocese, was not even a blip on the radar.

Those are only some of the instances that compelled Bianchi at each turn to continue learning and expanding his knowledge, he said.

Anthony J. Mingarino, the Diocese’s chancellor and chief administrator was Bianchi’s supervisor for 14 years.

His recent decision to retire from those positions set the wheels in motion for the division of his duties into financial and administrative spheres, hence the creation of Bianchi’s new position.

Mingarino had high praise for Bianchi’s ongoing determination to upgrade his knowledge base.

Over those years, Mingarino said, Bianchi became “a certified human resource professional,” and as the responsibilities for human resources grew, so did his skills. “He became a superb manager, one of the finest managers I’ve ever worked with over the decades,” said Mingarino.

“When it was time for me to leave, it was decided to make him the administrative officer for all the functions he was doing previously so well,” including ongoing oversight of child protection.

It was in 2004, that Bianchi’s responsibilities expanded to include helping to lay the groundwork for establishing educational programs and procedures in regard to child protection issues.

This included implementing the Virtus training program for adults who come into contact with youth and children in parishes, schools and other diocesan organizations throughout Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

In that capacity, Bianchi, who had gained experience with investigative work during his tenure in the audit department of a major insurance company, advised on how to handle criminal background checks and develop positive relationships with law enforcement officials throughout the four counties.

In 2012, he stepped into the role of executive director of the diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection, assuming complete oversight of the entire process in the Diocese in addition to his other duties.

As he assumes the role of CAO, Bianchi says his vision for the future is multi-faceted. “I want to first make sure that the human resources department provides an appropriate level of benefits” to clergy and laity employed by the Diocese.

Risk management in the wake of Superstorm Sandy remains an important priority, he said, noting with gratitude that insurance money and grants covered the formidable damage to some diocesan schools – most notably, St. Rose in Belmar.

Devout in his faith, Bianchi said that his great joy is that “I get to serve the Church and do a job I love. It enables me to put my faith into practice. If I can work and help my faith with it, that is a very good place to be. I get to go to Mass every morning with my friends at the Chancery. [Life] is good.”