PROVIDENCE — Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has confirmed three new individuals to serve on the Finance Council for the Diocese of Providence. Father John C. Codega, Deborah DiNardo, Esq., and Cesar A. Zuleta will serve on the council for a five-year term effective July 1, 2021.
In his letter to the new members of the council, Bishop Tobin wrote that the Finance Council is a very important consultative body of the diocese that assists him in overseeing the temporal and financial matters of the diocesan Church.
“The Council promotes accountability and transparency, and a prudent stewardship of the resources that are placed at our disposal, all of which are intended to support the divine mission of the Church,” said Bishop Tobin. “I am profoundly grateful for your willingness to share your time, talent and expertise on the Finance Council.”
According to Canon Law, these temporal and financial matters of the Church must be looked at and understood in light of larger issues, such as the credibility of the Church’s proclamation of stewardship, honesty, justice, and integrity reflected in its internal management as well as its spoken message. The Diocesan Finance Council is mandated in Canon Law.
In addition to having the financial, business and civil law expertise, the members of the Diocesan Finance Council are also to possess certain personal characteristics that recommend them for such an important ecclesial responsibility. They are to be noted for their integrity, which will assist the mission of the Church in its dedication to principles of administrative honesty and candor.
Father Codega is a Rhode Island native and a priest serving in the Diocese of Providence. He has been appointed as the new pastor at St. Lucy Parish in Middletown, having served most recently as pastor of St. Brendan Parish in Riverside.
He was ordained by Bishop Robert E. Mulvee on June 26, 1999 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence.
He attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md., earning his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree as well as the degree of Master of Divinity.
He has previously served as chaplain of St. Raphael Academy and Salve Regina University, as well as Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. He was a member of the Council of Priests, a Parish Priest Consultor and is currently an appointed member of the College of Consultors.
Recently, under Father Codega’s pastoral leadership and guidance, St. Brendan Parish began a parish project in 2020 of complete conversion to solar power. The system generates enough electricity to supply the entire parish needs, including the on-site soup kitchen, day shelter and food pantry.
Father Codega told Rhode Island Catholic of the project, “Not only was it a great economical decision for us but as stewards of God’s creation it is also a responsible one — to set an example of environmental awareness taking the lead from Pope Francis.”
DiNardo is a parishioner of St. Luke’s in Barrington and a member of the parish’s Finance Council as well as the Parish Council. She was, until recently, the long-time chair of The Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island’s Board of Advisors. She is a past member of the Hattie Ide Chaffee Home Board of Directors and the Wheeler School Board of Trustees. She also previously served as a gift planning advisor to the school and as the president of the Wheeler School Alumni Association.
She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Providence College and her Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse Law School.
Professionally, DiNardo is an Attorney at Orson and Brusini, Ltd. in Providence. She advises individual clients and multiple generations of families how to preserve and protect assets for their intended beneficiaries.
In 2012, she was recognized by the Rhode Island Foundation with their professional leadership award that is presented annually to someone in the professional services industry who is committed to advising clients on the importance and value of philanthropic giving as part of the estate planning process.
Zuleta has been a parishioner of Saint John the Baptist Church, in Pawtucket, for the last 26 years. He has served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for 10 years, a religious education teacher for 20 years and has served on the parish Finance Committee for the past 15 years. His is also a church lector.
He and his wife Margarita are very active in all aspects of the Church.
Zuleta is also the finance auditor for St. Patrick Church in Providence.
They have three children, Vanesa (Nicholas), David and Rebeca.
He graduated from University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.
Professionally he has worked as a Branch Manager for Citizens Bank for last 24 years.