Craig Dyke to direct Office of Catechetics, Evangelization
By: By Jennifer Willems
Craig Dyke has been named director of the new diocesan Office of Catechetics and Evangelization. He and his wife, Amy, will continue to direct and oversee the marriage and family life efforts of the Diocese of Peoria, according to an announcement made Nov. 6 by Patricia Gibson, chancellor and director of the curia.
Employed by the diocese since 2005, Craig Dyke had served as director of the Office of Evangelization and Family Life since 2012. In that role he had overseen youth and young adult ministry, areas that will now be coordinated by Shirley Plaag. (See related story here.)
While he has worn many hats in his service to the Diocese of Peoria, Dyke said one thing has remained constant.
“It’s all the Gospel. Catechetics is a specific part of the big moment of evangelization,” he said. “Everything is evangelization. Everything.”
People evangelize while they spread the faith, but they are also evangelizing when they serve the poor and by their witness at work,” he told The Catholic Post.
“We’re always evangelizing. When we say, ‘I’m going to catechize now,’ it means that I’m going to proclaim Jesus Christ through a specific teaching of doctrine now,” Dyke said.
Passing on the faith has been his passion since long before he moved to central Illinois 10 years ago.
Raised in the Northeast, Dyke studied theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in 2003. He received a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry from Franciscan in 2005, with a specialization in catechetics.
He said he envisioned moving his young family to a parish somewhere and settling down as a director of religious education there, but God had other plans.
The Diocese of Peoria was looking for someone to assist Tim Roder, director of the Office of Family Life. Dyke interviewed and was hired as associate director in 2005, working primarily in the area of marriage preparation.
In 2010, he was asked to take responsibility for outreach to youth and young adults and was named director of the Office of Evangelization in 2011. When Roder left in 2012 to take a post with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Office of Evangelization and Family Life was formed with Dyke as the director.
In that role he has collaborated with the Office of Catholic Schools to plan and implement the annual Catholic High School Leadership Conference, worked with youth ministers and Catholic high school chaplains to offer the Diocesan Youth Rally, a pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and a Holy Thursday pilgrimage for young adults with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and facilitated attendance at the Steubenville Summer Youth Conference.
Incorporating Theology of the Body into various ministries has been an important aspect of his ministry. In addition, Dyke and his wife have also been responsible for promoting Natural Family Planning in the Diocese of Peoria.
What his new role will entail is still being developed, but he encouraged people to look beyond easy labels.
“They say, ‘This is evangelization’ and ‘This is catechetics’ and it’s all wrong,” according to Dyke. “As Paul VI said, as John Paul II said, catechesis is a moment in evangelization. So we can’t compartmentalize.”
The purpose of ministry is not necessarily to put on programs, but to offer formation so people in the parishes, having encountered Jesus Christ, may help others to experience life in Christ as well, he explained.
“The aim should be to build up parish life,” Dyke said. “We exist to help the parish evangelize.”