Craig Dyke to direct merged evangelization, family life office

The Diocese of Peoria has announced that the Office of Evangelization and the Office of Family Life have been merged into the Office of Evangelization and Family Life. Craig Dyke, director of the Office of Evangelization, has been named director of the newly merged office.

“Evangelization begins in the family, and it makes sense the two offices would come together,” said Dyke, who served as associate director of the Office of Marriage and Family from 2005 until his appointment to the Office of Evangelization in July of 2011.

In another move announced this week, Amy Dyke has joined the office staff as Coordinator of Natural Family Planning, a part-time role. (See related story.) Terri LaHood will continue as administrative assistant for the Office of Evangelization and Family Life.

The Office of Family Life has been without a director since Tim Roder left in May to join the Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, focusing primarily on the defense of marriage.

EMPOWERING THE LAITY
“It’s a great time for the merging of these offices,” said Craig Dyke of evangelization and family life, pointing to the just-begun “Year of Faith” and the recently completed “Growing in Faith Together” diocese-wide parish study that calls for greater cooperation between parishes.

While in the past he, Roder and other diocesan staff would travel the diocese conducting Pre-Cana, Christian Sexuality Workshops and Engaged Couple Encounter weekend retreats, “one person can’t do that on his own, and in fact one person shouldn’t do this on his own,” said Dyke.

“We in the diocese must be in the business of discipleship,” he said. “One of the primary duties of this office is to train, equip, form and empower the faithful so that they can effectively partake in the church’s primary mission: evangelization.”

In the new configuration, moderators and teams will be formed to conduct marriage preparation regionally.

Among Dyke’s first plans as director will be to invite all those involved in marriage preparation and Natural Family Planning to an appreciation day on Dec. 8 at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. The event — which will feature presentations by Mike Manhart, executive director of the Couple to Couple League, and Dr. Jill Stalling, an NFP-only OB/GYN with an office in Peoria — is intended not only to thank the dozens of volunteers but also further collaboration among them.

PROGRAMS TO BE RETAINED
Craig Dyke is a native of New Hampshire who has a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry with a specialization in catechetics from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Among the ministries he will oversee as director of the Office of Evangelization and Family Life are marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, youth and young adult ministries, Theology on Tap, Natural Family Planning, parish evangelization, and the widowed and divorced advisory board.

Dyke will also coordinate major annual events planned by the office including the March for Life Youth Pilgrimage, Marriage Mass and Date Night, the Silver and Golden Wedding Anniversary Mass, the Faith-Based Leadership Seminar, Mother-Daughter Tea, Marriage Retreat, Catholic High School Leadership Conference, Evangelization and Apologetics Seminar, and the Diocesan Youth Rally.

He called evangelization and marriage ministry “my two greatest passions,” and considers it a “privilege and a blessing” to have leadership opportunities in both areas.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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