Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


New Communications Director Ready To Serve

By ERIKA ANDERSON, Staff Writer | Published July 20, 2006

Published: July 20, 2006

ATLANTA—Pat Chivers, a parishioner at the Church of St. Benedict in Duluth, has been named the new director of communications for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Her position was effective July 17.

Chivers brings with her an extensive background in media and legislative work but said, in a phone interview July 14, that preparing for her job with the archdiocese made her feel “like a schoolgirl waiting for her first day of school.”

“I’m just so excited,” she said. “I love being Catholic, and I just yearn to serve our Church.”

Chivers, a native of Miami, holds several degrees and certifications, including a master’s degree in political science from Florida State University and a certification in public administration, also from Florida State. She also holds a Non-Profit Management Certification from Case Western Reserve University Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

Chivers spent 10 years, from 1986-96, as the executive director for the Girl Scout Council of the Apalachee Bend, where she organized and directed operation of the corporation in a 15-county area. In her role with the Girl Scouts, she was also responsible for public relations and served as a liaison to the legislature and various social service agencies.

For the next six years Chivers served as an associate for social concerns and respect life in the Florida Catholic Conference. During this time, she advocated public policy issues related to social justice and human dignity before the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government on behalf of the bishops of Florida. She specifically worked on pro-life issues including abortion issues, the death penalty and women’s health.

A staunch pro-life advocate, Chivers also worked to further the cause in Georgia as the director of government relations for Georgia Right to Life, a position she held from 2003-2005. In 2005, Chivers lobbied for the passage of the Woman’s Right to Know Act, which guarantees that all women planning abortions will be provided with comprehensive information concerning abortion and alternatives. The legislation also includes a required 24-hour waiting period before the procedure. The bill was passed on March 4, 2005.

“Working on the passing of the Woman’s Right to Know Act was the most exciting accomplishment of my career,” Chivers said.

Since December 2005, Chivers has served as the director of government relations for the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, in which she provided leadership on public policy and lobbying the legislative branch of state and federal government. She also presented testimony before legislative committees and dealt with the media, both broadcast and print.

Father Joe Corbett, vicar general, said that Chivers was chosen from an outstanding pool of candidates.

“She comes to us with a very impressive background, and we couldn’t be more confident in her abilities and experience,” he said.

“With Pat’s assistance the archdiocese plans to beef up our local media relations activity so as to be able to take full advantage of our growing presence and ministry in Georgia,” he said. “So under Pat’s leadership in the Communications Office, we intend to increase reporting on diocesan and parish activities with the local media outlets.”

Chivers said she hopes to “build bridges” between the Catholic Church and the rest of the greater Atlanta community.

“The challenge is overcoming some barriers in the community,” she said. “The Catholic Church has a lot of good news to share, but people don’t always hear about that good news.”

Chivers said she specifically wants to expand the “good news” about the work of Catholic Charities, Catholic schools and Catholic healthcare.

“I want to share that our Church has a real message of love,” she said.

She also hopes to use her legislative background to give the Church a “voice to any policy change that may be a moral issue.”

On a personal level, Chivers remains committed to her parish. She serves in many capacities at St. Benedict, including as a eucharistic minister. She and her husband of 39 years, Ken, also lead the Respect Life Group at the parish and are heavily involved in Marriage Encounter.

The couple, which has three grown children and nine grandchildren, was married when she was 18 years old.

“It’s really been such a spiritual journey…” she said of her marriage. “And we still are so in love.”

Besides her family, Chivers’ greatest love is her faith, and she is excited for the chance to profess it through her work.

“This is my passion,” she said. “I’m just thrilled to be working for the archdiocese.”