Coordinator, Office of Intercultural Ministry


Contact: Abbey Schuhmann, 601-949-6934, [email protected]


Title: Coordinator, Office of Intercultural Ministry

Department: Department of Faith Formation

Reports To: Director, Department of Faith Formation


Summary Objectives:

The development of Intercultural Ministry across the Diocese

Develop a greater awareness of the need for and appreciation of intercultural ministries across all traditions, ethnicities, and geographical areas within the diocese, drawing on the insights and recommendations of the report, “Sharing the Gift: Developing Fruitful Intercultural Ministry.”

Training and Support

Identify and share best practices, with an emphasis on faith formation, in intercultural ministry. Work with those involved at the diocesan and local parish level to develop leaders tasked to meet the needs of our various intercultural communities.

Position Type: Exempt, Full Time

Work Environment: Regular work/office hours 35 hours a week. Travel required; mileage reimbursed. Some nights and weekend work.


Education and Experience

Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s degree in Theology/Pastoral Ministry or another religious studies field preferred.

Minimum five years’ experience in parish pastoral ministry. Diocesan experience a plus.

Key Skills and Competencies

Practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church.

A willingness to contribute to and work with the other teams in the Diocese of Jackson.

Experience of working successfully across a wide range of different cultures.

Experience of developing and providing training, preferably in a church context.

Excellent communication skills (written and verbal).

Able to facilitate conversations with and between different groups.

Great networking skills.

Fluency in both Spanish and English preferred.

Experience of building and leading successful teams, with a track record of working collaboratively.

Experience with supervision of staff preferred.


Summary of Essential Job Functions:

Providing resources and training for pastoral care taking place in the various cultural communities throughout the diocese.

Providing a link with the Office of Youth Ministry and the other Offices in the Department of Faith Formation to ensure a ministry of presence to youth of all ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences.

Providing diocesan wide events that celebrate our unique cultural experiences while inviting the larger community.

Assisting pastors, parish directors and pastoral leaders in educating the people of God on our responsibility to welcome new members from other cultures as their parishes grow in diversity.

Father Ryan was ‘consummate gentleman’

By Laura Keener, Editor.

Father James Ryan, a beloved priest of the Diocese of Covington for 44 years, died Sept. 7. He was 75 years old.

Father Ryan was the oldest of four children — Barbara, Robert and Kathleen — of James and Lois (Vaught) Ryan. When he was six years old his parents died in a tragic accident. His father had touched a live wire while adjusting the TV antenna on the rooftop of their home. Mrs. Ryan ran to his assistance and grabbed the ladder — neither survived. The children went to live and attended school at St. Joseph Orphanage, Cold Spring, and their uncle, Father Robert Ryan, who was still in seminary at the time, became their legal guardian.

Following graduation from Covington Latin School, Father Ryan attended college at St. Pius X Seminary, Erlanger. After graduation Father Ryan went to Catholic University to continue his seminary studies. After a semester there he chose to take some time off and worked at the Enquirer for a year. He attended Xavier University, Cincinnati, and earned a master’s degree in education. He taught Latin and history for four years at St. Thomas High School, Ft. Thomas. He returned to the seminary at Mount St. Mary Seminary, Cincinnati, and in 1971 received a maser’s degree in theology.

Bishop Richard Ackerman ordained him a priest for the diocese May 17, 1975 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington.

His first assignment following ordination was teaching at Covington Latin School. He became headmaster of Covington Latin School in 1983. In the spring of 1987, Bishop William Hughes accepted his resignation from that position and he resumed teaching full-time at the school that Fall.

Mark Guilfoyle, partner, DBL Law and a former Covington Latin School student, said that Father Ryan was a favorite among the students.

“He was an academic but he also had a great sense of humor and he was great teacher. What he did a Latin School was really special, he impacted and changed a lot of lives and I count myself among those,” Mr. Guilfoyle said.

As headmaster, Father Ryan established the development office at Covington Latin School and the formation of a long-range planning group and expanded the Religious Formation and Fine Arts requirements.

“He was everything you want to see in a priest,” Mr. Guilfoyle said. “He was erudite but yet he could speak a common language that everyone could understand. He was a great homilist, very devoted to his vocation and a real model for people in how to live their lives.”

What was most impressive about Father Ryan, Mr. Guilfoyle said, was his depth of knowledge on almost any subject. “You could ask him about any subject and he would have a depth of knowledge that would take your breath away … He was just an extraordinary person who heard the call, answered the call and lived the call; that’s the kind of example Catholics need to have and he gave it to us in spades.”

In 1990 Father Ryan attended Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and earned a master’s degree in canon law. In 1992 he served full-time as judge at the diocesan Tribunal Office; and a few years later part-time, after becoming pastor in 1994 at St. Philip Parish, Melbourne, taking up the pastorate from his late uncle, Father Robert Ryan.

Other pastorates included St. Joseph Parish, Camp Springs (1998–1999), and St. Henry Parish, Elsmere (1999–2015).

In 2002 Father Ryan was appointed to the Diocese of Covington College of Consultors.

He retired in 2015, taking up residence at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Ft. Mitchell, where Father Daniel Vogelpohl, also a member of the ordination class of 1975, is pastor.

“We were ordained together and have been close friends ever since. We taught high school together, we have traveled extensively together, and, in his retirement, we have ministered together at Blessed Sacrament,” Father Vogelpohl said.

Father Vogelpohl shared some of his fondest memories of Father Ryan in his parish bulletin the Sunday after Father Ryan’s death.

“Father Ryan was more intellectual than physical. On his first bicycle trip to Europe with the Latin School in 1977, it only took three days for him to shove his bicycle over a cliff and replace it with a moped,” Father Vogelpohl wrote.

“Father Ryan thoroughly enjoyed classical music. WGUC is the only station his car radio was ever tuned to. He subscribed to the Cincinnati Symphony for years … when listening to classical music on the radio he would often hum along with the score. He could identify nearly every musical piece in the standard classical repertoire,” he said.

“Father Ryan loved the Church,” Father Vogelpohl wrote. “He particularly loved the liturgy and ceremonies of the Church. When he celebrated Mass he was always attentive to what he was doing and had a deep appreciation of what the ritual meant … He always tried to engender that same appreciation for the liturgy in the hearts of all the participants. He particularly loved major liturgies of the Church. He thrived on ‘smells and bells’ and ‘pomp and circumstance.’”

In 2016 Father Ryan was appointed chaplain at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Over the years he was also chaplain to the Notre Dame Sisters, Covington, and the Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery, Villa Hills. In a 2015 article celebrating his 40 years as a priest, Father Ryan said, “The happiest thing a priest does is celebrate the Mass … I’ve been very blessed to be able to do that at the places I’ve lived, but also, with the Sisters…”

In 2017 he returned part-time to the diocesan Tribunal, being appointed Judicial Vicar pro-tempore.

“When he came in he came in cheerful; he would stop at every door and greet everyone,” said Sister Margaret Stallmeyer, director, Tribunal Office.

Sister Margaret said that whenever she called Father Ryan she always found a welcome ear and she enjoyed his thoughtful and wise counsel.

“You knew he loved being a priest and doing what he did. When you think of all the different volunteer things that he did he never seemed overburdened. I feel very privileged that I have had these two years working with him. He was a good priest … He’s the kind of person that you think when I retire I want to do it like he did.”

Bishop Daniel Conlon, of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, a friend of Father Ryan’s, was the homilist at his funeral Mass, Sept. 17, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington.

“Father Ryan was a faithful priest, serving the Lord by serving his people. He was also authentic,” Bishop Conlon said. “His priestly ministry came from the heart. He truly enjoyed being with people. His beliefs coincided with those of the Church. He respected the bishops and pastors he served under.”

Father Ryan is survived by his sisters Barbara Gregory and Kathleen Ealy (Lee) and sister-in-law, Mary Beth Feldhake Ryan.

“Jim’s years of priestly service to the Diocese of Covington were marked with dedication and blessed with much success,” his sisters wrote. “What Jim wrote following our Uncle Father Bob Ryan’s funeral applies equally to him. ‘His fondest wish and most ardent prayer would be that the Church always be blessed with an abundance of dedicated priests and religious. To which we can only add Amen!’ Jim would say, whether it be to a religious, married or single life, your call is a gift. Thank you to him and to each of you who are called, chosen and faithful to your vocation. Don’t we all hope, when our time comes, to hear the voice of God say, ‘Alleluia, welcome home good and faithful servant!’”

Father Ryan is interred at St. Stephen Cemetery, Ft. Thomas.

“The death of Father James Ryan leaves a void in our presbyterate that will not soon be filled,” said Bishop Roger Foys. “Father Ryan was the consummate gentleman, exhibiting kindness and compassion toward all he met. Whether as teacher, administrator or pastor, he took up each assignment with enthusiasm and grace. His sharp mind and quick wit were obvious even in a casual conversation. He was a witness and example to all priests — young and old — of what a good priest should be. As we mourn his loss to us on earth we rejoice that he will be received now by the Lord he loved and served so well.”


Scholarship Tax Credits

How to answer pro-choice arguments: Part 3 — Hard cases

By: Caitlin Shaughnessy Dwyer.

This is the conclusion of a three-part series about a simple strategy that can help make difficult conversations about abortion a little easier. The strategy is centered on asking one simple question: “If you were convinced that the unborn child is a human life, would you still support abortion?”

In Part 1, we explored how to converse about the science of fetal development. In Part 2, we outlined how to speak about the legal and philosophical concept of personhood. In this article, we address how to engage people who support their pro-choice position by citing certain “hard cases” like extreme poverty, rape or the endangerment of the mother’s life.

Many abortion proponents contend that a baby places too great a burden on mothers living in extreme poverty. A woman should not be “forced” to have a baby under these circumstances. The mother “needs” the abortion to survive.

One approach to this topic is what pro-life apologist Trent Horn calls TOAT: “trot out a toddler.” This technique demonstrates the illogic of the pro-choice argument by applying that illogic to a toddler, rather than to an unborn child.

In this case you could say, “I agree with you that many women find themselves pregnant in very difficult circumstances. In fact, many women are parenting in poverty. I think society has a duty to help these parents and children. But do you think that if the parents of a toddler do not have the financial resources to take care of their child they should be able to terminate that child’s life?”

The answer, of course, is no. You can then ask, “What is the difference between an unborn baby and a toddler?” The person will most likely point to an arbitrary distinction in size, development, location or degree of independence, and you can highlight the problems with those distinctions, as explained in Part 2.

Another method would be to cite the long-held principle from criminal law that necessity is not a defense to murder. Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens (1884), a classic case taught in law schools to illustrate this principle, concerns sailors lost at sea who cannibalized their cabin boy to stay alive. When rescued, they defended their misdeed as “necessary.” However, they were tried and convicted of murder. The key holding from the court was that one person’s subjective “need” can not negate another person’s objective, inherent and unchanging right to life.

Roe v Wade inexplicably departed from this principle by ignoring the personhood of the unborn (see Part 2). Politely invite your listener to consider whether the mother’s subjective needs are truly a valid reason to override the objective personhood rights of an innocent unborn child and validate ending her child’s life.

Another difficult objection concerns rape and incest. An essential starting point for discussion of this issue is sincere empathy for the wronged women involved and recognition of the horrific nature of the crimes committed against them.

After acknowledging this reality, you could explain that, in the immediate aftermath of rape, it is morally permissible in Catholic teaching to try to avoid pregnancy through the use of high dose progestin. A woman can (and should) go to a hospital after she is assaulted. As part of her exam, doctors can determine whether or not the woman has recently ovulated. If she has not ovulated (and therefore pregnancy is not yet possible), this hormone can be given to suppress ovulation in order to avoid pregnancy.

Nevertheless, there are some instances when rape or incest produces pregnancy. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 1.5 percent of abortions each year is sought due to rape or incest. Notice that this is a very small percentage and it is highly questionable to legitimize all elective abortions in the name of the small number of abortions sought for these difficult reasons.

In addressing these instances, it may be helpful to first point out that nothing can undo the violence committed against these women. An abortion cannot erase the crime.

Second, you could ask: “If your father committed a violent crime, would it be permissible to punish you for his crime with the death penalty?” This would, of course, be completely unjust, which is the point: The question highlights the injustice of aborting the innocent child conceived in rape or incest.

The circumstances of a child’s conception do not alter the fact that he or she is a human being. As Trent Horn puts it, “Rape is a horrifying evil, but should our answer to the evil of rape be to commit further evil against an innocent person?”

Finally, let’s address cases in which abortion is sought to safeguard the life of the mother. First, you can note that cases in which a mother’s life is truly at risk are extremely rare.

Second, you can point out that, even when the mother’s life is at risk, there are still two patients present, both of whom are entitled to the highest standard of medical care. The Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” applies to both. The physician should render every effort to preserve the life of each patient, and should never intentionally end the child’s life to protect the mother’s life.

Third, you can acknowledge that in certain instances it is morally permissible to allow the termination of the unborn child’s life, but only if that result is an unintended effect of administering life-saving treatment to the mother — also known as the principle of Double Effect.

In sum, there are many ways to discuss “hard cases” with an abortion proponent — ways that express empathy without sacrificing reason, logic or moral principle. While it is useful to have an answer to these tough questions ready at hand, it is important not to allow them to distract us from the fundamental question in the abortion debate, namely, “Who are the unborn?” Always direct the conversation back to that question, because the correct answer — living human beings with the inviolable rights of personhood — is the linchpin to the entire topic and the key to a persuasive defense of the right to life

Caitlin Shaughnessy Dwyer is an instructor of Theology at Thomas More University. She and her family are members of St. Pius X Parish, Edgewood.

The principle of Double Effect

The doctrine of “double effect” is rooted in the fundamental moral principle that one can never intentionally choose evil in order to try to achieve good. However, a person can choose a good action that has a bad effect if three factors are met:

(1) the person does not directly will (i.e. “intend”) the bad effect;

(2) the bad effect is not the direct means to the good achieved;

(3) the good achieved is proportionate to the bad effect.

For example, if a pregnant woman is dying of uterine cancer, a doctor could remove her cancerous uterus even if the unintended side effect is the death of the child. The chosen act (removing the diseased organ) is good; the bad effect (the death of the child) does not directly lead to the good effect (mother’s life saved); and the good achieved (a life saved) is proportionate to the bad effect (a life lost).

Teaching Assistant

Julie Learning Center, located in Park Hills Ky has an available position for a teaching assistant on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:30 pm until 6:00 pm for the current school year.  This position requires someone who is able to work effectively with four and five year old children in a pre-school setting.  Previous experience in a daycare or preschool is preferred.  Contact Mary M. Hedger, Executive Director, at 859-392-8231 to apply or for more information.