June 8, 2021 // Diocese

Loesch appointed to head Secretariat for Pastoral Ministries and Catechesis

Carl Loesch

FORT WAYNE — Carl Loesch has been appointed to lead the Secretariat for Pastoral Ministries and Catechesis, a new secretariat of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades decided to combine the offices and ministries of the prior Secretariat of Catholic Education and Secretariat of Evangelization and Discipleship into one new secretariat, named the Secretariat for Pastoral Ministries and Catechesis. In doing so, the Catholic Schools Office will no longer be within a secretariat. The superintendent of schools will now report directly to the vicar general, rather than to a diocesan secretary, and will serve on the Bishop’s Cabinet. 

The Secretariat for Pastoral Ministries and Catechesis will encompass the offices and ministries of the two former secretariats, with the exception of the Catholic Schools Office. It will also be a liaison with men’s ministries like Rekindle the Fire, women’s ministries like Kingdom Builders, and the Cursillo movement. 

Bishop Rhoades expressed deep gratitude to Deacon Fred Everett for his outstanding service to the diocese for the past 33 years, most recently as secretary for evangelization and discipleship. With the support of Bishop Rhoades, Deacon Everett will be retiring from diocesan ministry to pursue wider service to the Church’s mission. 

Bishop Rhoades expressed deep gratitude to Loesch for accepting the new position of secretary for pastoral ministries and catechesis. The changes will be effective July 1. 

Loesch is looking forward to serving the diocese in the new capacity, he shared.

“Our focus will be to implement Bishop Rhoades’ vision for evangelization and catechesis and to support the important ministerial work done in our parishes. I have a great amount to learn, but I will be blessed to work with and learn from my new co-workers who serve in these diocesan offices.”

Dr. Joseph Brettnacher will continue to lead the Catholic Schools Office. After an especially challenging year, that leadership is something for which Loesch is deeply grateful. He is also appreciative of the dedication shown by the principals and teachers who were the face of Christ to the children entrusted to their care. 

“It was tough, but I am thankful for all that they did for the children of our Catholic schools and parishes. I am also grateful to our priests who continued to offer the graces of the sacraments during the pandemic,” he said.

“I have found great solace and encouragement attending daily Mass in parishes in Fort Wayne and in South Bend during the pandemic. I pray, especially in this Year of St. Joseph, that we may all follow his example of quiet, humble service, and trust in God’s plan so that we may bring the joy of Christ to others.”

A theology teacher for nine years at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, Loesch also coached wrestling and served as the school’s service coordinator. He was principal of Marian High School in Mishawaka for 10 years and led the Secretariat for Catholic Education for seven. 

He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology, as well as a master’s in education and one in educational leadership, from the University of Notre Dame, studying for one undergraduate semester at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute outside of Jerusalem.

The roots of the Loesch family in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend go back to the 1860s and St. Aloysius Parish, although he was baptized at Queen of Angels Parish and his mother sang at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Both parents taught math at the University of Saint Francis in the early 1960s. 

Loesch grew up in Chicago and met his wife, Marie, when they were freshmen in high school at Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights. Marie directs the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at St. Matthew Cathedral Parish, South Bend, where the couple and their four boys are members.

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