Diocese restructures two offices, establishes one

To strengthen and better support the Diocese of Richmond’s parishes and ethnic and college communities, Bishop Barry C. Knestout announced the restructuring of two Pastoral Center offices and the establishment of a new office, effective Jan. 26, 2021.

The Office for Evangelization will now support youth, young adult and campus ministries, and the newly restructured ministries of marriage and family life. A new, stand-alone Office of Social Ministries and Respect Life has been established.

Andrew Waring, acting director of the Office for Evangelization, has been promoted to director. He joined the Office for Evangelization in 2014 as associate director for campus ministry.

Prior to working at the Pastoral Center, Waring served as the director of campus ministry at Old Dominion University and was employed by the Youth Apostles Institute. He has also served the Catholic Campus Ministry at George Mason University and Marymount University.

Waring earned a master’s degree in religious education with a concentration in youth and young adult ministry from Fordham University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history and religious studies from James Madison University.

The newly established Office of Social Ministries and Respect Life will support all aspects of social ministries, prison ministry and Respect Life ministries.

Rachael Laustrup, associate director of social ministries for the diocese, has been promoted to director of the Office of Social Ministries and Respect Life. She joined the diocese in 2018.

Laustrup holds a master’s degree in international human rights from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of San Diego. She also holds certificates in international human rights law and restorative justice ministry. Laustrup has also worked with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Micronesia.

The Office of Christian Formation has been realigned to incorporate Hispanic Christian formation, previously overseen by the Office of Ethnic Ministries.

The Office of Ethnic Ministries will continue to focus on the pastoral, sacramental, devotional, linguistic, cultural and communal support of ethnic groups within the diocese. These groups are the Asian, Hispanic and Native American communities. The diocese continues its search for a director of ethnic ministries.

The Office for Black Catholics remains unchanged as a stand-alone office supported managerially by the Office of Ethnic Ministries.

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