The Board of Directors of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) has appointed Reverend Frank Donio, SAC, D.Min., vicar provincial for the Immaculate Conception Province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines), as interim executive director, effective Aug. 3, 2020, for a one-year term. He will take on this new responsibility while continuing as director of the Catholic Apostolate Center.
In his new role, Fr. Donio will guide the work of the office in collaboration with the chief operating officer. He also will serve as the public liaison for the Conference, including collaboration with member religious institutes, the Holy See, USCCB, and other appropriate Church groups, conferences, and bodies.
Fr. Donio will serve as a resource for members and religious leaders on issues related to religious life, and will work with the chief operating officer to support member engagement with CMSM. With a background in formation and leadership development, he will design a plan for the engagement of CMSM in supporting formation and vocation promotion efforts for male religious institutes and plan for ongoing research, relational efforts, and educational programs on formation, vocation promotion, and leadership.
Fr. Donio has been a member of CMSM’s national board for two years and has 17 years of provincial leadership experience. He is a former provincial rector for his province, and has served as provincial director of formation, pastoral director of St. Jude Shrine in Baltimore, and chaplain of Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, NJ.
He is a consultant to the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and collaborated with the USCCB on the development of Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization and on the Convocation of Catholic Leaders. He is a popular speaker and consultant to a number of Catholic dioceses, religious communities, and organizations in the United States and internationally. Fr. Donio and the Catholic Apostolate Center received the Gaudium et Spes Award from the National Association for Lay Ministry, given in recognition of outstanding individual or organization for promoting understanding of the Church in the world according to the vision of Vatican II.
Fr. Donio also is a lecturer in the undergraduate theology program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America and an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College of Maine (online theology program) and at Fordham University in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. He teaches in the areas of Catholic mission, pastoral ministry, spirituality, ecclesiology, and Church management and leadership. He has an extensive background in young adult ministry, campus ministry and chaplaincy with the Knights of Columbus. He serves on several boards and is former chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Washington Theological Union.
Fr. Frank holds a Doctor of Ministry in adult spiritual formation, a B.A. in history, and an M.A. in Church history from The Catholic University of America. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Washington Theological Union and an M.S. in church management from Villanova University School of Business.
Born in 1966, Fr. Frank is from Hammonton, New Jersey, the oldest of four sons of Frank (deceased) and Angela Donio. He made his first consecration as a Pallottine in 1986 and his ordination to the priesthood was in 1994.