New leadership, restructuring and renaming in Diocesan offices

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SAN BERNARDINO—With the beginning of the ministerial year July 1, several changes in Diocesan departments and offices have been announced.

MES Director

 Maria Covarrubias has been named Director of the Ministry of Educational Services (MES) for the Diocese. She has served as interim director since March when Mary Jansen left the position. The MES Department includes the Offices of Catechetical Ministry, Catholic Schools, Charismatic Renewal, Young Catholics, Campus Ministry, and the new Office of Marriage and Family Life.

 Covarrubias has been the Director of the Diocesan Office of Catechetical Ministry since 2008. She pioneered the Diocesan Marriage Initiative in 2010 and has recently proposed a new model for catechesis that engages families to a greater extent in the religious education process. This year, Covarrubias was awarded the Papal Pontifice et Ecclesia Award, the highest honor bestowed on a layperson in the Church. “We will continue to live our diocesan vision and values in the specific areas of ministry supported by the many gifts each person brings to the department,” she said of her outlook as Department Director. “I am most humbled for this appointment and thank God and Bishop Barnes for their trust in me.”

Office of Advocacy

 The name of the Diocesan Office of Advocacy and Justice for Immigrants has been changed to the Office of Advocacy. The change was made to clarify that while the Office does do advocacy work on the issue of immigration, it also addresses many other issues related to public policy advocacy. 

Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation

 As part of a restructuring effort in the Ministry of Educational Services Department, the Diocesan Office of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation has been dissolved. Diocesan ministerial support for Small Faith Communities and programs that address evangelization of adult Catholics will continue to be provided through the MES Department.

Transitions Ministry

 The Diocesan Transitions Ministry, under the direction of Dr. Marco Elias, will no longer be a diocesan office and is no longer within the Department of Pastoral Planning. Dr. Elias will offer the Transitions Ministry under the Diocesan Office of Priest Personnel.