July 27, 2007

New director of catechesis begins archdiocesan ministry

By Sean Gallagher

Kenneth OgorekWhen Kenneth Ogorek moved to Indianapolis earlier this month to begin his ministry as the new director of catechesis for the archdiocese, the occasion was something of a homecoming for him.

Raised in South Bend, Ind., Ogorek did his undergraduate studies at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. Two of his siblings and their families currently live in Indianapolis.

But he has also looked forward to helping lead catechetical ministry in central and southern Indiana because of the leadership of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein in this field.

“He has such a great reputation for catechetical leadership,” Ogorek said, “so the opportunity to work with an archbishop and a staff that are so well known for being excellent Catholic educators—that in and of itself was exciting.”

Ogorek is taking over the ministry that Harry Dudley left when he was named the director of religious education for the Archdiocese of Washington last December.

Ogorek will also be collaborating with Annette “Mickey” Lentz, archdiocesan executive director for Catholic Education and Faith Formation.

“I am very pleased to have Ken join the staff of the Office of Catholic Education,” she said. “He brings much diocesan experience with him as a catechetical leader.

“I look forward to working with him. Ken’s energy and enthusiasm for the ministry of catechesis is exciting.”

Prior to coming to the archdiocese, Ogorek had been the director for catechesis in the Pittsburgh Diocese and served under another bishop, Donald Wuerl, known for catechetical leadership.

Archbishop Wuerl was named to lead the Washington Archdiocese in May of 2006.

For Ogorek, there was yet another factor that drew him to Indiana: the high standing of catechetical ministry throughout the archdiocese that is known across the country.

“From Tell City to Cambridge City, from Universal to Aurora, the archdiocese has an excellent catechetical reputation far beyond its borders,” he said. “I’m eager to learn more and more about how our Catholic faith is proclaimed throughout central and southern Indiana.”

In his ministry as director of catechesis, Ogorek will give direction and oversee all faith formation in central and southern Indiana. He will work closely with pastors and parish administrators of religious education.

An early opportunity for Ogorek to make connections with parish catechetical leaders will be at an archdiocesan conference for school and parish administrators of religious education to be held in early August in Nashville. Ogorek also plans to visit parishes across the archdiocese.

“The conference will be a great opportunity for me to meet a lot of the catechetical leaders and to be reacquainted with some others,” he said. “I’m looking forward to making some of those visits, and just learning one-on-one how the effort is going and, most importantly, what I might be able to do to be of service.”

Ogorek, however, sees aiding the families of the archdiocese in passing on the faith to the next generation as the ultimate purpose of his ministry.

“The older I get, the more I see the wisdom of the Church’s teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children,” said Ogorek, who is married and has three children.

“So what I’m really looking forward to is working very closely with parish administrators of religious education and principals in serving the families of the archdiocese.”†


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