The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix welcomes two new directors to the Diocesan Pastoral Center in downtown Phoenix, as Mary Permoda has been named the director of mental health awareness in the Office of Mental Health Ministry and Diane Saunders has been appointed the director of evangelization, discipleship and spirituality.

Permoda most recently served as the director of pastoral activities at St. Patrick Catholic Community for the past 14 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of San Francisco. She is also a certified Spiritual Director and has served in the Diocese of Phoenix in various capacities within multiple parishes for 38 years. Permoda is passionate about developing communities and partnerships, building teams and system and advocating for social justice and outreach.

Throughout her academic studies alongside husband, Kevin, Saunders has engaged in parish and diocesan ministry across various parts of the country, including a year spent as a young family in the Old City of Jerusalem. She holds a Master of Arts in education and Theology from Boston College, graduate studies in Art and Religion at Graduate Theological Union and has actively served as the program coordinator of the Women’s Studies in Religion Initiative, collaborating with an inspiring group of interreligious women scholars. Saunders is committed to creating enriching opportunities for the growth of the Catholic faith within the Catholic Community of Phoenix.