Rev. Robert Werth has been a priest in the Diocese of Rochester since May 25, 1979.Presently, he serves as co-pastor at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish as well as being Sacramental Minister at Nazareth Elementary School and Monroe Correctional Facility.He was a social worker for 5 years before studying for the priesthood.His current memberships include Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society board of directors, Clergy Caucus, Mercy Bridges Marketing Subcommittee, Diocesan Women’s Commission, Martin Luther King Jr. Greater Rochester Commission, Gateways Music Festival National board of directors, Unity Health System Community Affairs Committee and the National Association of Social Workers.
Brigit Hurley is a Policy Analyst with The Children's Agenda, an independent children’s advocacy organization in Rochester, NY.She serves as staff to The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative. Previously, Brigit worked at Catholic Family Center in Rochester, where she spent ten years in the Office of Social Policy working on issue advocacy and faith-based education and outreach on topics such as poverty, children's mental health, and immigration reform.Previous to that she served as Coordinator of the Rochester Toy Library.Brigit earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.She lives outside Rochester with her husband and 4 children, and worships at St. Monica’s parish on Genesee St.
Christine Nowak Kvam graduated from Notre Dame in 2004 and then attended Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now part of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry) and earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2007.Since returning home to Rochester in 2008, Christine has enjoyed teaching high school Theology at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women.This year she is teaching 9th grade Hebrew Scripture and 10th grade Christian Scripture. Christine and her husband, Chris, are members of Saint Mary’s Church where they have served on parish council and various other ministries.In addition to loving teaching, Chris, and Theology, Christine also loves her dog, Hildy (named after Saint Hildegard of Bingen, of course!).
Cathy Kamp is a Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph’s Church in Penfield. She received a Master of Divinity from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in 2012. Her ministry includes adult formation, scripture study, social outreach, pastoral care, and accompanying youth and adults on the journey to becoming Catholic in the RCIA. Cathy currently serves on the executive committee of the Pastoral Associates/Pastoral Ministers Association of the Diocese of Rochester.
Deni Mack, D. Min., served 20 years in Faith Formation and RCIA and 20 + years as Pastoral Associate. Deni and her husband Ron have four children and eleven living grandchildren. While working full-time for the church Deni earned three Masters degrees (Education, Scripture, Divinity) and a Doctorate in Ministry (Spiritual Theology).
“Nothing is more challenging, takes more out of me and seems to reach more people with God’s love than preparing, with care, homilies for the people of God.I am delighted this website gives voice to people applying biblical faith to life who love to tell the stories.Thank you for this opportunity.
I sit with the scripture and find it lives in people all around us.The cloud of witnesses we meet in daily life are joined to those in scripture and tradition; we are all one family.At least eight people a day ask for bus passes or food or rent assistance from our parish.We listen attentively and learn from them.Together we develop networks and partnerships to not only meet immediate needs but challenge the systems that keep people poor.The light of the Gospel shines on each person and event.People’s struggles drove me to accept a priest’s invitation to accompany his return to Seminary in 1972 and still they drive my dependence on God and desire to grow in compassion, love and service in response.
Deidre McKiernan Hetzler has a Masters degree in Theology from St.Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.She was the registrar and director of admissions at Saint Bernard’s for several years, and began her preaching experiences during that time. She served as pastoral associate at St. Mary's in Scottsville from 1989 to 1996 then as campus minister at St. John Fisher until 2001. Subsequently she was director of Catholic campus ministry at RIT until her retirement in late 2003. She was married to the late Joseph Hetzler for 53 years and now enjoys spending time with their grandchildren, leading tours to Ireland, and reading.
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Edward L. Palumbos was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rochester in 1972. He has served in pastoral ministry for 45 years and is currently the Pastor the Church of the Assumption and the Church of the Resurrection in Fairport, NY.He holds Masters degrees in Theology and Divinity (St Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, NY) and has done graduate studies in Creation Spirituality (Holy Names College, Oakland, CA).In addition to gardening and photography he is an avid railroad enthusiast.
After a decade in Clinical Chemistry, Gee Gee Micoli shifted gears to raise her five daughters. She and her husband have been involved in a multitude of ministries and committees over the years. In the fall of 1994, they participated in the 19th Annotations, the spiritual exercises based on the Ignation Exercises. In 2002, she graduated from St. Bernard’s School of Ministry and Theology with a Masters of Theology, which has enabled her to continue her work in the Church especially in adult education. In her free time, she studies piano and flute while setting aside time for oil painting and gardening where she utilizes the color schemes of the Masters in her gardens with her plethora of flowers. She and her husband tend to their fruit and vegetable gardens and, of course, their grandchildren.
Currently a storyteller with “Women of the Well,” author, and preacher, I have served Roman Catholic parishes as a pastoral associate and temporary pastoral administrator.From there I led the Diocesan Office of Women for two and a half years, before authoring two books on women in Church and Tradition, both published by Ave Maria Press.Holding a Master of Divinity degree from St. Bernard’s, I work toward the full equality of women in the Roman Catholic Church.
Why does preaching matter to me?
Can you remember a homily you heard manyyears ago?I can.It changed my life.In July, 1983, I participated in my first preaching workshop, given by Dominican Sister Joan Delaplane.A powerful preacher and expert professor of preaching, she “became” the man at the pool of Bethsaida, by the Sheep Gate.Ill for 38 years, Jesus confronted him with this question, “Do you want to be healed?”He replied (to us), “you may think that’s easy to answer, but it’s not.”As she listed all the reasons why she simply was not sure whether or not she wanted to be healed, I could literally feel a fire in my belly.Wow!I must learn how to do this!
Preaching is a sacred responsibility for me.I have worked long and hard to give my best: to pray with the Scripture, to meet with a homily team for an hour of conversation on the readings, to search out commentaries, and always to wait on the Spirit of God for a spark of truth, on which to build the reflection.Preaching is a joy, a challenge, and a calling.
Irene Goodwin is married with four children and seven grandchildren.She recently retired as pastoral administrator of the three-parish cluster of St. Columba-St. Patrick, St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Vincent DePaul.She has ministered as a faith formation director and pastoral associate in a number of city and suburban parishes in the Diocese of Rochester.She has a Masters of Divinity from St. Bernard’s Institute.
Jamie Fazio is the Catholic Chaplain at Nazareth College. He holds a Masters of Arts in Systematic Theology and a Masters of Divinity, both from Saint Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. He chairs the Daggy Scholarship program for the International Thomas Merton Society. He, his wife Irene, and two daughters live in Livonia.
Sister of St. Joseph Joan Sobala is currently working on a variety of spirituality and leadership development projects for the Sisters of St. Joseph. Including a weekly blog, which can be found at ssjrochester.org. Sr. Joan is a retired pastoral administrator for the Diocese of Rochester.
M. Lourdes Perez-Albuerne holds a Master in Divinity degree from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. She has worked as a community organizer for the Industrial Area Foundation, and has held several positions with the Diocese of Rochester, including: coordinator, Parish Social Ministry Committee Training Program;director, International Justice and Peace Commission; Pastoral Business Manager for the Roman Catholic Community of the 19th Ward; and Professor at Instituto de Pastoral Hispana, St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry.
She was a member of Steering Committee to start Progressive Credit Union, and has served as chair Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley. She has served on the boards of the Drug Rehabilitation Task Force of the Catholic Family Center, the Volunteers of America and presently on the Board of St. Peter's Kitchen Inc.
She is married to Dr. Evelio Albuerne and they have three adult children and six grandchildren.
Sister of St. Joseph Mary Ann Brunett has ministered in the Diocese of Rochester primarily as a teacher and Pastoral Associate.Presently Sr. Mary Ann is on staff at St. Martin’s Place providing services for the poor.Sr. Mary Ann has a Masters in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College.
Nora Bradbury-Haehl has worked with young people in the church for more than 25 years. She is the author of the Amazon Bestseller "The Freshman Survival Guide" for college students which was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman. Nora has presented at the National Catholic Youth Conference and leads workshops and retreats. She has written for Liturgy Training Publications. She now works as an editor for St. Mary’s Press, a national religious ed. and youth ministry publisher, and was a writer for their Breakthrough! Bible. She is active in interfaith work and loves creating opportunities for young people (and any people!) to have conversations that matter.
Paul F. English, CSB ismember of the Congregation of Saint Basil (Basilian Fathers).A native of Syracuse and one of seven children, he came to Rochester in 1974 as a freshman at St. John Fisher College, where he majored in Spanish.Along the way his interests included various forms of physical activity, involvement in music in both performance and worship, and in the activities of Campus Ministry.He grew close to members of the Basilians who served at the College and decided to pursue a Basilian vocation upon graduating.In his life as a Basilian, Paul has lived and served in various parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico.He is fluent in both English and Spanish, and spent many years in Hispanic Ministry in Michigan and Texas.He served eight years on the Basilian General Council, the leadership team of the community and in 2012 became pastor the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Irondequoit.
Paul J. Ryan has been an Executive Director with Legacy Senior Living since 2009; he embarked on this career change in 2004. Prior to that he served the Diocese of Rochester in creative ministries for 34 years. He worked in parish ministry and was a teacher/chaplain at Keuka, Elmira, and Wells Colleges. He also helped to develop thegroup home concept with the New York State office for the developmentally challenged. Fluent in Spanish, he served the Latin and South American Missions, working with indigenous people in Mexico, Chile and Brazil. In Mexico he directed the creation of self-sustaining co-ops, allowing the people to develop their own small businesses. He received his BA degree from St. John Fisher, and his M.Div. from St. Bernard’s Seminary. Paul J. Ryan is also a nationally recognized actor/model, a master scuba diver trainer and published author. He and his wife, Brigid, live in Henrietta, NY.
Ruth Marchetti is retired after working for 19 years doing justice and peace work with Catholic Charities agencies in the Diocese of Rochester.She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Penn State University and a Master’s in Education from Nazareth College. She worked as a teacher before her career with Catholic Charities.
Passionate about justice and an avid environmentalist, Ruth has been engaged with parish social ministry and community activism for many years. She is a founding member of RAICA, Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action (RAICA.net).Ruth is married to Al, mother to 5 children and step-children and grandmother of 5.
Sheryl Zabel, who holds a Masters degree and a Masters of Divinity degree from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, was a RCIA candidate in 1981-1982 at the Church of the Resurrection in Fairport. She has been a pastoral associate for over 27 years and currently serves at the Church of the Assumption in Fairport, where she coordinates liturgies and RCIA.Her other ministries include include Baptism preparation, First Communion, the parish prayer shawl ministry and funeral preparation.
Ruth is a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester. She has ministered throughout the Diocese at many parishes as a teacher in the Catholic school system, as a director of faith formation and as a pastoral associate.She is currently the pastoral associate at St. Catherine of Siena in Mendon. Ruth earned a Masters Degree in Religious and Pastoral Ministry at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Born and raised in Rochester N.Y., Sue Howard received an Associates degree in art with a pottery major. She later earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at RIT. She worked with the elderly for over 26 years, first as a therapeutic recreation specialist at the Shire at Culverton and Monroe Community Hospital, then as Director of Recreation at Wesley Gardens and finally as Director of Volunteers and Spiritual Services, also at Wesley.
During that time she and her husband raised two children and she went to St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry and earned her Masters of Divinity degree in May of 2003. Soon after, she began work as a pastoral associate responsible for liturgy as well as the RCIA at St. Andrew Church on Portland Ave., then at Annunciation Church after the parishes merged. In the fall of 2007 she began working at Blessed Sacrament, St. Boniface and St. Mary's Churches, where she is responsible for Young Adult and Young Family ministries, visitation to the home-bound and shares the funeral ministry.
A New York City native, Teryle Watson moved to Rochester in the late 1960s to attend the Eastman School of Music. She is a “Cradle Catholic” whose family represents almost all of the world's religions. Her parents, both converts, instilled in her a deep love for her faith and the liturgy of the church. She was raised in a magnificent parish in Harlem, New York, the Church of the Resurrection. She is a former member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester and credits“these incredible women” with allowing “my faith journey to blossom.” As a performer and music educator, her greatest happiness came as a music teacher for 32 years in the Rochester City School District.She has also served as a liturgical musician at Saint Philip Neri Church, Blessed Sacrament Church, Corpus Christi, Saint Augustine’s, Our Lady of Victory, Immaculate Conception and Memorial AME Zion Church. She was a member of the Diocesan Womens Commission, the Music Commission and has served the Office of Black Catholics and the Synod for the Diocese of Rochester. She and her husband, William Watson, have nine children, 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She will complete her circle of life on November 8 when she makes her commitment as an Associate Member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.