Comeaux steps down as CCE director of Archdiocese

September 27, 2011

HOUSTON — Even at a young age, Anne Comeaux’s passion for catechesis had no global bounds. With a career spanning six different states and three countries, Comeaux decided to retire as the Continuing Christian Education director after 13 years of service to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

At a Sept. 1 farewell party at St. Dominic Chancery, the Galveston native recalled one of her first journeys in catechism, as a teenager traveling by ferry with a fellow Dominican High School student to teach First Communion to children in Bolivar.

“It has been a lot of years of catechesis … It has been a wonderful, wonderful life,” Comeaux said at the gathering. “I have been so blessed by God all my life, and have been blessed by the people of this Archdiocese. My passion for catechetical ministry found a wonderful home in this Archdiocese.”

Comeaux served for several years as a volunteer catechist in Galveston; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Lake Charles, La.; Pittsburgh; and Chicago. She also taught at Catholic high schools in Pittsburgh and Chicago. She also worked as parish director of religious education in three parishes for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and was a Diocesan Director of Religious Education in Wheeling, W. Va. for 10 and a half years before coming home to Texas in 1998.

“We appreciate the work that you have done in coordinating, orchestrating and leading the CCE Office,” Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said at the farewell party. “I want to thank you for the work you have done in the ministry and for the number of programs you have gotten off of the ground.”

Comeaux served as president of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership from 2003 to 2006.

“Anne is a leader in the field of catechesis in the United States,” said Jim Barrette, Secretariat Director for Pastoral and Educational Ministry of the Archdiocese. “There are probably not too many groups or institutions that are catechetical and don’t have some of Anne’s fingerprints on them. She has either been on a board, on a committee or written an article for them.”

Monsignor George Sheltz, Archdiocesan Chancellor and Moderator of the Curia, said he appreciated her efforts to be a resource for religious educators in parish communities.

“As a pastor, I was grateful for all of her hard work and leadership, especially going out to parishes and helping out with the different programs,” he said.

In a 2009 interview with the Texas Catholic Herald, Comeaux said CCE’s busy schedule meant there was an eagerness for catechesis in the local Church, even if it wasn’t always explicit.

“When you have all of these things going on, you just realize and appreciate the vitality that there is within the faith in this Archdiocese,” she said. “If nobody wanted to do anything about their faith, if parents didn’t care about their kids, or if adults didn’t want to know more about their faith, then we wouldn’t be nearly as busy as we are … but it would be a less spiritually healthy place to be.”

Mark Ciesielski, an associate director with the CCE Office, worked with Comeaux during the entirety of her career with the Archdiocese.

“She cared deeply about ministry and she also cared deeply about the person she worked with,” Ciesielski said. “And sometimes it manifested itself as a parent, sometimes as a grandparent but I think most of all as a friend.” †