The Most Rev. Nelson J. Perez, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, announces the appointment of Gregory A. Coogan to serve as secretary for catechetical formation for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Coogan comes to the Diocese of Cleveland from the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey where he was serving as the Director of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries. In making this announcement, Bishop Perez offers his deep appreciation to the members of the search committee who worked diligently to identify and interview prospective candidates and who confidently came to the unanimous decision to recommend Coogan.
As Secretary for Catechetical Formation in the Diocese of Cleveland, Coogan will be responsible for providing leadership, direction, and resources to parish and Catholic school catechetical leaders and catechists in the Diocese of Cleveland. He will also serve as an agent and delegate of the bishop in all catechetical matters regarding Catholic parishes, schools, and Newman Catholic Campus Ministry. In addition, he will provide the spiritual, organizational, fiscal, and administrative strategic leadership and direction necessary to lead and assist those who carry out various catechetical ministries within the diocese all the while ensuring that the principles and teachings of the Church and the norms and the directives of the bishop are promulgated and honored as they relate to Catholic education.
Coogan carries with him significant experience in the field of youth ministry having coordinated young adult ministry for the Diocese of Buffalo as well as holding several other youth ministry positions at the parish, high school and university levels. Coogan holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies degree from The Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Urban Studies degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He also earned a Certificate in Philosophical-Theological Studies from St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York.
“I believe that the development of disciples of all ages and the use of one’s God-given strengths is the key to growing and supporting the mission of effective catechetical ministry,” said Coogan. “I hope to partner with the entire diocesan community, inviting all to be intentional and evangelizing disciples who make a difference living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In March of 2019, Bishop Perez announced that, after proper consultation, the former diocesan position of Secretary for Catechetical Formation and Education/Superintendent of Schools was to be split into the two separate positions of Secretary for Catechetical Formation, and that of Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Frank O’Linn was named Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools at that time.
After an extensive period of research, experts had unanimously recommended to Bishop Perez that the leadership of catechetical formation and the leadership of Catholic school education be two distinct yet collaborative roles. This separate yet collaborative organizational model is effectively functioning in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and the Diocese of Columbus, to name a few.