First Responder

Courtney Minerd named victims’ assistance coordinator

Patrick Ryan (Courtney’s brother),Courtney Minerd (holding daughter Josephine) and her husband Matthew

Courtney Minerd compared her new role as Victims’ Assistance Coordinator for the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as being a “first responder of sorts.” As a licensed psychologist for almost four years, she has helped promote healing in multiple inpatient and outpatient settings to individuals who have experienced sexual trauma, from children to adults confronting childhood or adolescent memories.

As Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, she will aid in the immediate pastoral care and healing of the victims and their families in matters of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy, religious or lay staff. Originally from Beaver County, Courtney graduated from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. as a psychology and anthropology major and earned a Ph.D. at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va.

She works in a private practice in Greensburg, Pa. and teaches psychology as an adjunct professor at Saint Vincent.
Courtney said she became aware of her new position when she and her husband Matthew met Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick, OSBM, former Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, during last year’s St. Nicholas Charity Dinner at St. John the Baptist Cathedral Center in Munhall, Pa.

Matthew teaches philosophy and moral theology as part of the core faculty at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS.
Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Providence had His hand in that. I did not look for this position nor was I really aware of it. We met Sister Barbara Jean…and she met my husband Matthew, who teaches at the Seminary. Then she found out I was a psychologist…and called us out of the blue asking if I would be interested.”

Courtney, who succeeded Sister Barbara Jean in January, and Matthew live in Uniontown, Pa. and attend St. John the Baptist. From an early age, Courtney knew she wanted to help people. “I was always interested in working with people. I knew I was headed in that direction. I did an internship at Adelphoi Village (in Latrobe, Pa), which is for juvenile delinquents and that sold it for me. That’s when I was sure that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

“I think the biggest thing that attracted me to working (at Adelphoi) is figuring out where families really struggle…It was very interesting how important the family was in forming them and how much having a little bit of a family life when they came to live in a group home could really shift them back in the right direction.”