Meet the team!
The primary mission of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization is to implement the Bishop’s vision of how the Catholic faith should be taught and spread throughout the Diocese of Covington in order to form and support disciples of Christ. The office functions as an extension of the bishop’s ministries to teach — by coordinating and supervising all parish-based and in-school religious education programs from early childhood through adult faith formation; to sanctify — by providing means to assist Catholics in living good and holy lives; and to govern — by developing and overseeing policies that assist in promoting a good and complete Catholic education.
The office provides a catechist certification and adult faith formation program for all religion teachers, catechists and general faithful in the diocese. The classes are taught by diocesan priests, deacons and qualified lay persons. A two-year variation of the certification and adult faith formation program is part of the permanent diaconate formation program.
Under the umbrella of its Family Life Ministry, the Office oversees marriage preparation for engaged couples, enrichment programs for marriage and family life, Natural Family Planning education and support, ministry for separated and divorced persons and ministry for those who have lost a spouse.
The office also helps to develop and oversee diocesan youth, young adult and campus ministries, programs and events, serving on both Thomas More University and Northern Kentucky University campuses.
The office was officially formed in July 2006 (under the title Catechesis and Formation) when Bishop Roger Foys separated the diocesan Department of Religious Education from the Department of Catholic Schools and hired a director to oversee its policies and programs and organize the formation of faith in Catholic schools, parishes and adult faith formation programs. Family Life, Youth and Young Adult ministries were added to the department in 2009.
Under the leadership and guidance of Bishop Foys the responsibilities of the office have grown substantially and become more fine-tuned over time. For example, 2018 saw the launch of the “Frassati Project,” a bold initiative to better engage young adults in the life and mission of the Church. In 2019 the entire office was restructured in order to better serve the parishes, schools and faithful at large.
Recently, Bishop Foys promulgated that a new religious education series — the Sophia Institute for Teachers’ “Spirit of Truth” — be implemented in all parish and school, K-8, religious education programs beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Currently the “Didache Semester Series” is used at the high school level but the “Spirit of Truth” high school textbook series has just been released and has been approved in the diocese as a sound and useable option. Both of “Spirit of Truth” and “Didache” series have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and are in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Our office is an extension of Bishop Foys’ teaching ministry and he has always had a clear vision of how passing on the faith and spiritual formation should be organized in this local Church. Our bishop is a great leader, and through his guidance and that of the Holy Spirit our work in the Lord’s vineyard has been very fruitful. All of us have been very fortunate to have him as our shepherd and chief catechist these last 18 years. He has truly brought our diocese to the light.
The office is structured in a way that is meant to be a ministry for the ministers. We serve pastors, directors of religion, RCIA directors, married couples, youth ministers and the religion teachers by providing skill-development, resources and faith formation programs that will help them spread the Gospel of Christ in homes, schools and parishes. Our fundamental mission comes from Jesus’s words at the end of the Gospel of Matthew — to “make disciples of all nations.” We pray that we can continue to live out this mission, always led by the Holy Spirit and through the love of Jesus Christ.
Ellen Ruehl Chadwick
Holly Graziani Danneman
Ann Marie Dierker
Mary Ann Zalla
Rev. Eric Andriot
Sr. Cathy Bauer, O.S.B.
Sr. Clare Marie Borchard,
Sr. Patricia Jean Cushing, SJW
Rev. Mr. Gerald Franzen
Claire Therese Heyne
Mary Kay Laird