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New director named for diocesan Office for Human Life

News of the Diocese

March 24, 2021

Mary P. von Carlowitz is the new director of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s Office for Human Life. Her responsibilities include planning, coordinating and effectively integrating activities of the office within a consistent ethic of life.

She will coordinate public information and education of papal encyclicals and teaching documents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition, von Carlowitz will coordinate and integrate pastoral care services. She also will network with parishes, national, state and local pro-life organizations around public policy efforts on behalf of issues that impact human life from conception until natural death. Assisting parishes and other diocesan organizations to carry out efforts that support consistent ethic of life activities is also part of her role.

“I am delighted that Mary von Carlowitz has accepted the role as director of the diocesan Office for Human Life,” said Bishop Edward Malesic. “Although there are many causes our Church stands for and is vocal about, the right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration so that people can have the chance to secure all the other benefits that life can afford. I know Mary will lead the office with maximum determination.”

“I am so incredibly humbled to be able to accept a position as significant as working to defend human life,” von Carlowitz said. “We are all, always called to champion the most primal and fundamental of rights – the foundation that presages all other personal rights – the right to life.”

Von Carlowitz earned a master’s degree in theology from Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe. She also has a bachelor’s degree with dual majors in diplomacy and foreign affairs, and history. Von Carlowitz is a certified lay ecclesial minister. She is a member of the National Association of Lay Ministers and the National Christ Child Society.

In addition, she has extensive experience in parish faith formation and ministry, serving most recently as the co-director of faith formation at Church of the Gesu in University Heights. Von Carlowitz also spent many years at the Catholic community of St. Gabriel in Concord as coordinator of youth and young adult ministry, and parish and school ministry.

And she has practical experience with human life in her own family, which includes eight sons, a daughter, four daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.

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