January 15, 2021

Chuck Weisenbach is chosen as Roncalli’s new president

Chuck Weisenbach has served at Roncalli High School for the past 37 years. On July 1, he will officially begin his duties as the school’s new president. (Submitted photo)

Chuck Weisenbach has served at Roncalli High School for the past 37 years. On July 1, he will officially begin his duties as the school’s new president. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

When Chuck Weisenbach recently received the news that he had been chosen as the new president of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, he thought about a moment 46 years ago that transformed his life.

“I was registered to attend Southport High School as an eighth grader at St. Jude School in 1975,” Weisenbach recalled. “I asked my mom and dad if there would be any way I could attend Roncalli, and they said yes. From my first days in the school as a student, I felt such a strong sense of Christ walking by my side on a daily basis. The teachers, coaches, my friends—they all brought the light of Christ to me.”

That feeling has continued for him in the 37 years he has worked at Roncalli, including the last 26 as the principal of the archdiocese’s Indianapolis South Deanery high school.

“Every day, I see Christ through the lives and actions of our students, teachers, staff and parents,” he said. “It is such a life-giving, transformational feeling. I feel blessed beyond measure to think that I could go pray in a chapel daily, receive the Eucharist on many days and be immersed in a strong, Catholic faith community every day.”

Weisenbach will become Roncalli’s president on July 1, taking over the leadership role from Father Robert Robeson, who is serving as interim president during this school year, following the retirement of longtime president Joseph Hollowell in June of 2020.

“Chuck Weisenbach is an incredibly talented person who is always thinking ahead,” Father Robeson said. “He is not afraid to challenge himself and those he serves. He is a great spokesman and leader for the Roncalli High School community.”

Weisenbach was chosen after “an extensive and thorough search process led by an outstanding search committee consisting of community members, pastors, educators and representatives from the Office of Catholic Schools,” noted Mary McCoy, interim superintendent of Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

“We are excited to see where Chuck Weisenbach will lead Roncalli in the upcoming years,” McCoy said. “Chuck has committed his career to Catholic education, and his passion and love for Roncalli is evident in everything he does.”

During his time as principal, Roncalli has been recognized three times as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. Weisenbach views the school’s success as a reflection of Roncalli’s teachers, staff, students and families.

“For over five decades now, God has blessed Roncalli with an inordinate number of faculty and staff who have a deep, passionate love for kids and for helping them grow into being the best version of themselves they can,” he said.

“God also has blessed us with generations of families who place a high priority on the education and faith formation of their children and who have been willing to sacrifice to make a Roncalli education available to them. When you mix those two groups together, it produces unfathomable results.”

Weisenbach said that he and his wife Jane have seen the positive impact of that education on the lives of their three children, Max, Sam and Grace—all Roncalli graduates.

As its new president, Weisenbach says his primary goal will be to make a Catholic education at Roncalli affordable for any family that desires it for their children.

“While there are still some capital improvement needs on our campus, I really think the top priorities for us will focus around ensuring the affordability of a Catholic education for as many people as possible that desire it—and to continue to work hard toward ensuring a quality compensation program for our faculty and staff. Creating a strong endowment is key to both of these areas.

“Having said all of that, I really believe my job will be to engage in discussion with our board of directors and the pastors of the South Deanery Catholic churches to better understand their hopes, dreams and aspirations for our school. It really is not about what I want as much as what these groups feel are the top priorities for Roncalli and for Catholic education on the south side.”

Weisenbach’s dedication to Roncalli also extends to the school’s namesake.

For most of the past decade, he has led about 40 staff members on pilgrimages to Italy so they could learn more about the life of Angelo Roncalli, the child from a peasant family who grew up to be one of the most loved and respected popes ever, St. John XXIII.

The trip includes a visit to the small Italian village of Sotto il Monte, where St. John XXIII was born into a family of sharecroppers, to Bergamo where he studied for the priesthood, to Venice where he served as cardinal, and to Rome when he became pope. The journey is paid for from the school’s annual fund.

“It has been a transformational experience for them, and they feel strongly about ensuring that the spirit and legacy of this great saint lives on at our school,” Weisenbach said.

“St. John XXIII was referred to as the people’s pope. He constantly referenced his desire ‘to focus more on what unites us than what divides us.’ I think that message would go a long way toward bringing our Church and the world some much needed healing. It is our desire at Roncalli High School to become disciples of Jesus in the spirit of St. John XXIII.”

As the president of Roncalli, Weisenbach hopes to channel the approach of the school’s namesake.

“My intent is to pray daily to the Lord asking that he help me ascertain his will for me as the president of Roncalli High School and to give me the strength and courage to follow that will and to be a humble servant of that will.” †

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!