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Diocese adopts new organizational structure; moves from districts to deaneries

News of the Diocese

May 9, 2024

Diocese adopts new organizational structure; moves from districts to deaneriesThe Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is adopting a new organizational structure with the establishment of 12 deaneries, which will equip parishes throughout the eight-county diocese to more effectively coordinate collaborative ministries and develop plans to bring more people into an encounter with Christ, while better utilizing the resources of its clergy. The deanery structure replaces the district structure that has been in place for a number of years.

All parishes within the diocese have been assigned to one of 12 deaneries based on geographic location, with each being led by an assigned dean – a pastor with significant experience – with the support of a new, full-time position in the bishop’s office led by Robert Koonce, director for deanery operations and planning. Koonce reports to Father Don Oleksiak, the vicar general and moderator of the curia.

Each dean is charged with fostering accountability in matters of parish governance, and helping with the care and support of their brother priests and deacons. They will call together a deanery committee that consists of lay staff, clergy, (active and retired) and religious, engaged in ministry in parishes and other ministries within the deanery. A deanery chair will be appointed to lead the process of developing and implementing a pastoral plan for each deanery.

The following priests were appointed by Bishop Edward Malesic to serve six-year terms as deans:

  • Father John Seabold – Lorain
  • Father Mark Latcovich – Suburban West
  • Father Tim Gareau – Suburban Southwest
  • Father Rob Ramser – Cleveland West
  • Father Jim Roach – Cleveland Central
  • Father John Retar – Cleveland East
  • Father Matt Cortnik – Suburban Southeast
  • Father Joe Previte – Suburban East
  • Father George Kusy – Lake-Geauga
  • Father John Valencheck – Summit South
  • Father Joe Warner – Summit North
  • Father Steve Moran – Wayne-Ashland-Medina

“Today’s challenges requires us to be more creative, more agile and more fruitful in our work,” said Bishop Malesic. “It is my sincere hope that these structural changes will equip us to be more effective at caring for one another and crafting innovative pastoral plans that bring many more people into encounter with our Lord.”

The bishop said the deans will facilitate conversations to ensure that pastoral plans are bold, manageable and that they are achieved. “Each dean will be a champion for the vision, developed at the grassroots level. The end goal is to make it clear that we are one church here in the eight counties that comprise the Diocese of Cleveland, laboring together to bring ourselves and others into intimate contact with God's overabundant love for humanity.”

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