Two diocesan departments unite - Catholic Courier

Two diocesan departments unite

In an effort to enhance collaboration, the diocesan offices of Catholic Schools and Evangelization & Catechesis are being reunited under a combined ministry grouping. The newly combined Office for Faith Development Ministry is headed by Anthony S. Cook III, who has served since 2013 as superintendent of schools and director of the Catholic Schools office.

The changes, announced in July by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, reprise an earlier structure: The two educational departments formerly operated under the umbrella of Faith Development Ministry until the early 2000s.

As the new director of Faith Development Ministry, Cook assumes the administrative duties of Maribeth Mancini, longtime director of Evangelization & Catechesis, who retired June 30. He will continue to direct the schools office and serve as its superintendent.

Also as part of the reorganization, Bishop Matano announced the following appointments:

* Shannon Loughlin has been named associate director of Evangelization & Catechesis. She assumes this role concurrent with her duties as diocesan director of young-adult and campus ministry, a position she has held since 2003.

* Father David Tedesche has been appointed as theological consultant for both Catholic Schools and Evangelization & Catechesis. Father Tedesche also continues in his role as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish and Ss. Mary and Martha Parish in Auburn. Ordained a diocesan priest in 2013, Father Tedesche is to receive his licentiate in sacred theology in biblical studies this fall from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

* Jona Wright has been hired as associate superintendent of Catholic schools. She replaces Jeffrey Green, who held that role for one year before moving to the Greece Central School District. Wright comes to the diocese from the Penfield Central School District, where she served as curriculum and development director. She also has administrative experience in the Wayne and Sodus school districts.

In his column for the August 2014 Catholic Courier, Bishop Matano wrote that he hopes reuniting the departments of Catholic Schools and Evangelization & Catechesis "will provide close collaboration between parish catechetical programs and Catholic-school curricula, as well as developing an even stronger rapport between the educators in these two vital areas of diocesan life."

Cook said he envisions the increased connection to manifest itself "especially in areas of shared ministry." For example, he noted that many diocesan Catholic-school families experience faith formation and sacraments through their own parishes, "which is a fundamental component of the Department of Evangelization & Catechesis." He added that "many of our families interact as part of the (Catholic) school community in CYO sports and Scouting, which are part of youth ministry in Evangelization & Catechesis."

Cook credited Mancini — who worked for the Rochester Diocese for 32 years — with promoting closer bonds between her former department and the Catholic schools.

"I am so proud and honored to say that I had the opportunity to team with Maribeth Mancini. She was increasingly interested in assisting Catholic schools in the formation of principals and teachers," he said.

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