By ERIKA ANDERSON REDDING, Special to the Bulletin | Published October 31, 2019
ATLANTA—Maureen Smith is home—and she couldn’t be happier.
Smith recently joined the Archdiocese of Atlanta as the new director of communications. Born and raised in Atlanta, Smith believes that she is exactly where God wants her—and her family—to be.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and for all the people who have welcomed us back with open arms,” she said. “It’s been very affirming to know we’re in the right place.”
Smith’s roots in the archdiocese run deep. Baptized at what is now the Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Atlanta where her father was a deacon for 25 years, Smith also attended St. Thomas More School in Decatur and St. Pius X High School in Atlanta. For her, Atlanta is home—and she can’t wait to learn more about the people and places in the archdiocese.
“I love stories. I love to hear people’s stories, and I am a storyteller,” she said. “I love to meet people who are keeping the church alive with their faith. Atlanta is so diverse and there are so many pockets of culture—I’m excited about that.”
Smith brings a wealth of experience in journalism and communications. She attended Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and her master’s degree in theology. She spent several years as a producer for Fox 10 News in Mobile, which she followed with more than a decade working for an advertising agency. There, she honed her skills in communications and public relations.
When Smith’s husband, Jeff Amy, a reporter with the Associated Press (AP), was transferred to Jackson, Mississippi, Smith began her career with the Catholic Church, first as a reporter and editor for the Mississippi Catholic, the official newspaper for the Diocese of Jackson. In 2015, when Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz realized the need for a Department of Communications, he turned to Smith for her expertise.
“It was a really great opportunity to start the department and build it from scratch,” she said.
In recent years, Smith said, her husband began to express his desire to be closer to family in Atlanta. When the AP agreed to Amy’s transfer, and Smith heard there was an opening for a director of communications in Atlanta, everything fell into place. Through her work in Catholic media, Smith had become acquainted with members of the Atlanta communications staff, including the late Georgia Bulletin executive editor, Mary Anne Castranio.
“I’d often call Mary Anne to get her advice when I was starting the communications department in Jackson,” she said. “She was always a good sounding board for me.”
Smith began her new role in the Archdiocese of Atlanta Oct. 23. She is looking forward to traveling throughout the archdiocese and learning about the history and culture. Jackson was a vast diocese, stretching to the Tennessee border, but Atlanta has more residents—and Smith hopes to meet as many as she can.
“I think it’s such a blessing to be able to do what you love to do in service to the church,” she said. “What we do as Catholic communicators is tell the Gospel story by telling the story of the local church and the church at large. It’s really a privilege.”
Smith and Amy live with their two daughters—Cat, a freshman at St. Pius, and Nicole a sixth-grader at St. Thomas More—in northeast Atlanta.
“I’m just so excited to be home,” she said. “This is a huge blessing for us.”