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John's church

St. Athanasius Church
Brooklyn New York , 11204-2569

About John
  • Education: I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, a Bachelor of Science in Human Services and a Master of Science in Human Services. Presently I am completing a Master of Social Work degree at Fordham University and a Master of Arts in Religion degree at Reformed Theological Seminary. The MSW and MAR are part of a double major program. (What was I thinking?) Two more years and I’ll be done, then on to a Master of Divinity.
  • Experience: Presently I am Pastoral Associate at St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst Brooklyn working in social outreach programs, liturgy, worship and adult education. One day a week I direct the Religious Education Program at Most Precious Blood Church, also in Bensonhurst. Last year, in order to complete the MSW internship requirements, I taught 8th grade at Most Precious Blood School. From 1994 to 2001 I was Pastoral Associate at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Williamsburg Brooklyn directing the parish Religious Education Program, Music Program, Liturgy and Outreach Programs. Before Our Lady of Mt. Carmel I was the Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Grace Church in Gravesend Brooklyn. Before going into full time parish ministry I taught 7 & 8th grade at St. Cecilia’s School in Greenpoint Brooklyn while I was the part time Director of Music, Liturgy and Outreach at St. John the Evangelist Church in Sunset Park Brooklyn. I began teaching at St. Joseph’s School in Jamaica Queens and was part time Director of Music, Liturgy and Adult Education at St. Pius V in South Jamaica Queens. It was at St. Pius where I began my involvement in Religious Education.
  • Family: Mom (Ann) and Dad (John) live in Queens in the house where I grew up. They are active in the parish where I attended Elementary School and celebrated Baptism, First Confession, First Communion and Confirmation. My sister (Carole) lives in Pennsylvania with my brother-in-law (Eric) my four nieces(Christina, Ashley, Erika and Samantha)and my nephew (John). I have a wonderful goldfish who always listens to my homilies, sermons and lessons. Sometimes (s)he helps me study for my theology exams. His/her name is FISH since I can’t tell if (s)he is a boy or a girl.
  • What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: Could listen to me all day! (No wonder I am single!)
  • Best advice given to me about preaching: Be yourself and try not to imitate another person in their style, delivery or approach.
  • Books that have had an impact: There are so many books that have made an impact on my life but these are the most recent (and the ones I can remember): Night by Elie Wiesel; The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Don’t be Afraid Gringo: The Story of Elvia Alvarado; The Upside Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill; The Church and the Homosexual by John J. McNeill; Becoming A Man by Paul Monette; Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas; Muy Macho:Latino Men Confront Their Manhood Edited by Ray Gonzalez; Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky; On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; Praying Our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp, OSM; How Can I Find God? Edited by James Martin; Conversaciones: Relatos por padres y madres de hijas lesbianas e hijos gay Edited by Mariana Romo-Carmona.
  • Something funny that happened while preaching: Lights went out due to a thunderstorm. A congregant stood next to me with a candle to provide light and then bumped into me, pouring wax on the homily and my arm. In the process of telling me she was sorry, as I wanted to reassure her that it wasn’t a problem, I got too close to the candle and the page caught on fire. I gave up right there and we sang a song. (I had my guitar in the sacristy- convenient back up plan!)
  • What I want on my tombstone: Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit.
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