New structure places focus squarely on fulfilling missionary mandate of Unleash the Gospel, Fr. Pullis says

DETROIT — Seeking to be more in line with the mission articulated by Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron in his pastoral letter, Unleash the Gospel, the archdiocesan Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools announced changes March 26 to its organizational flow chart to be a more missionary Church.

In an email to Curia staff, Fr. Stephen Pullis, director of the department, outlined a new structure that “will have a stronger focus on aligning our work to the call of Unleash the Gospel, helping our department take up the call for the 'renewal of structures to make them Spirit-led and radically mission-oriented.'” 

Several offices and ministries fall under the Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Schools' umbrella, including:

  • the Catholic Youth Organization
  • the Office of Catechesis, led by Sr. Kathleen Matz, CDP
  • the Office of Catholic Schools, with Kevin Kijewski as its superintendent 
  • the Office of Youth Ministry, led by Laura Piccone-Hanchon 
  • the Office of Black Catholic Ministry, led by assistant director Leon Dixon
  • the Office of Hispanic Ministry, led by assistant director Karla Flores

The department also contain the Office of Evangelization, led by a director to be appointed by July 1. The office oversees Young Adult Catholic Ministry, led by Patrick Howard, and the newly created Family Evangelization Team, made up of Anita Houghton, Michael King and Tara Stenger, in conjunction with David Grobbel, marriage support specialist.

“One key change is the creation of a ‘Family Evangelization Team,’” Fr. Pulllis said. “The focus of this part of the Evangelization Office will be centered on supporting families — particularly through our parishes — in the areas of family identity, family mission and family accompaniment. We look forward to the great work that will be done to assist our Catholic families to know who they are, what they are called to do, and how they can get there.”

The changes to the department take effect immediately.

Fr. Pullis said the department will continue to focus on supporting parishes, schools and apostolates, as well as the rest of the archdiocese's Central Services, with the goal of “fulfilling the mandate” of Unleash the Gospel.