She and a friend were asked to be co-directors of her parish youth ministry when they were ninth graders. Since then she’s done catechetical formation programs at nearly every level.
She brings that experience to her new ministry as Director of the Diocesan Office of Catechetical Ministry. She succeeds Maria Covarrubias, who held the position for 11 years before being named Director of the Diocesan Department of Ministry of Educational Services.
“I always felt a part of the Diocese – recognizing the importance of being informed and connected,” Gouveia says. “So there’s a sense of ‘welcome home, you’ve always been a part of us.’ ”
For the past 10 years, Gouveia was a central figure in the catechetical ministry programs at Queen of Angels Parish in Riverside. She served as Director of Catechetical Ministry, Coordinator of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and Youth Minister. In her position she managed 45 volunteers in different ministry teams.
“My time at Queen of Angels helped me develop that sense of community,” she said. “It was a blessing to be able to journey with families, trying to get them involved as much as possible in the Sacramental preparation of their children.”
That idea has been formalized this year by the Office of Catechetical Ministry under a proposed new model that calls for a greater role for parents in the formal religious education of their children.
“There is an excitement in being part of the birthing of this process,” Gouveia said of the new model. “We are looking at different ways to roll it out.”