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Joe Zwilling, Class of '77

Joe Zwilling Class of ’77 always knew his career was going to be centered on the Catholic Church. His deep faith and strong Catholic upbringing led the Levittown native to naturally (but initially) choose Holy Trinity as his preferred high school. Instead though, a “calling” lead him to attend a minor seminary in Middletown, NY to search his heart about a vocation to the priesthood. Having two siblings attend Holy Trinity, (Brian, ’75 and Eileen, ’78) , Joe always maintained a strong connection with the school as family and many friends from St. Bernard’s in Levittown attended our school. By the time he reached his junior year though, he knew that his life’s path was leading him elsewhere despite his faith being as strong as ever. He decided then to transfer to Holy Trinity for his last year of high school, leading him to the powerful bond he still feels with our school over 35 years later.

As Joe tells it, the seminary and Holy Trinity couldn’t have been more different: less than 50 total students at the seminary vs. over 1500 total here. Yet he said that it was a wonderful and positive transition—he immediately felt at home here. While enjoying the familiarity of friends from St. Bernard’s, he quickly made new friends, many of which he is still close with to this day. As a matter of fact, he enjoyed a tremendous reconnection with old friends at the class of ’77 Reunion event last fall, proving that bonds formed at Holy Trinity are, beyond doubt, for life.

A significant part of Joe’s positive transition was the warmth and caring of Principal Fr. Seidenschwang, along with many faculty members. He right away became an integral part of the faith community here, enjoying daily morning Mass and experiencing exceptional spirituality even after coming from a seminary. Joe became involved in Senior Liturgy, using the skills he gained to bring much to the celebration. He also feels that Holy Trinity encouraged him to participate in a myriad of activities. Every step along the way, there were teachers, friends, others, urging him to broaden his horizons, to grow through experience. Then as today, Holy Trinity encouraged its students to find their gifts and achieve beyond anyone’s expectations. Joe feels that Holy Trinity challenged him so much, requiring him to constantly bring his “A” game, that he attributes his great success at Syracuse University to this school.

After a brief stint as a fundraiser for a Boston public television station, Joe’s deep Catholic faith led him to his current work in the Archdiocese of New York. Starting in 1982 as the Assistant Director of Communications, he was promoted to Director in 1990 and has been in that position since. Joe feels extremely privileged to have worked under four different Cardinals and to have supervised the public relations efforts for two Papal visits. His work for the Church in its professional capacity, for which he is very proud, has allowed him to remain close to his faith yet follow the lay path that God laid out before him many years ago. Joe said that his career working for the Archdiocese has been “a great blessing”, one that truly was solidified by his time at Holy Trinity.

Created on 10/4/2013 - Last updated on 10/4/2013

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