FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2024
Contact: Dennis Biviano, Public Relations and Media Specialist
(330) 744-8451, ext. 320; email@example.com
New roles also for Father John-Michael Lavelle, Meagen Farrell, Michael Houy, Cindee Case
Youngstown, Ohio – The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, announces personnel and structural updates to the Diocese of Youngstown’s Department of Communications, which was established in July 2022. These changes will further execute the department’s mandate of innovating the diocese’s print, digital, television and radio presence. They build upon the successful launch of The Catholic Echo magazine and multimedia hub, and additional advances in social media, internal communications and media relations.
Among these enhancements, the Diocese of Youngstown is pleased to welcome Dennis Biviano as Public Relations and Media Specialist, effective January 8, 2024. Biviano brings 20 years of TV News reporting experience to the Communications Department. He is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Warren and Kent State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism. He has worked as a Multimedia Journalist in the Mahoning Valley for WKBN & WYTV, as well as Charter Communications (Spectrum News 1) for seven years. He will serve as the diocese’s chief point of contact with journalists.
Biviano lives with his wife Jessica and son in Niles where they are active members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
Effective January 15, 2024, Bishop Bonnar has also expanded the responsibilities of The Very Rev. John-Michael Lavelle, Vicar for Missionary Discipleship, to include oversight for the Department of Communications, while continuing his oversight of the Department of Missionary Discipleship, the Office of Stewardship and Development and the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Father Lavelle is also pastor of St. Michael Parish in Canfield.
Father Lavelle’s expanded appointment will include an alignment of the communications and missionary discipleship teams, with current personnel also taking on additional responsibilities. Meagen Farrell, Communications Specialist, has been appointed Communications Manager. Michael Houy, currently a development specialist, has been named Social Media and Development Specialist. Robert Gavalier continues as Multimedia Specialist and Katie Wagner as Editor-in-Chief of The Catholic Echo.
In accepting oversight of the communications department, Father Lavelle takes over for Justin Huyck, who has completed his service as Director of Communications in order to accept a position as Editor for Pastoral and Parish Resources with Liturgical Press, a Catholic and ecumenical publisher. Cindee Case, who has served as diocesan Social Media Minister since 2021, has been appointed by Bishop Bonnar as Consultant for the Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry.
Bishop Bonnar comments, “Since my installation as Bishop in January 2021, I have placed an emphasis on communications, as I believe it is essential for missionary discipleship. I am confident that Father Lavelle and the entire team will continue to build on the success of the past few years, so that the Church’s voice can echo to all people. From our magazine to our podcast to social media, communications can help us accompany one another and journey together. With great joy, I want to welcome Dennis Biviano in a special way, because he brings many gifts that will help us tell our story to Catholic parishioners and the wider public.
Biviano comments, “It’s a humbling experience to return to my roots in the Mahoning Valley, where most of my immediate family still resides. I am proud to begin this next chapter of my career and excited to work with a hard-working and dedicated communications team.”