STAFF BIO'S

 

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Fr. Jeffery "Jeff" Walker, STL

Pastor

fr.jeffwalker@sttomsbg.org

Fr. Jeff was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Toledo on the Feast of St. Thomas More (June 22) in 2013 and has been the pastor here at St. Tom's since July 1, 2020. His home town of Custar is just a short country drive from Bowling Green and since he went to middle school and high school in BG, he considers himself a "BG Townie". He was a Catholic Falcon, too! He was studying Foreign Langue Education at BGSU his freshman year when he became involved in Catholic Campus Ministry and began discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

 

He finished his undergrad at St. Joseph Seminary at Loyola University Chicago and went on to spend the five years of seminar at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. He earned a graduate degree in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a post-grad degree, called a Licentiate, in Sacramental Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm. His first parish assignment as a priest was at St. Rose Parish in Perrysburg and then he spent three years as the Parochial Vicar for the three Catholic Parishes in Sandusky and the Priest Leader of Sandusky Central Catholic High School before coming back to BG. In his free time, you might see him at the movies, re-reading something by CS Lewis, or even at Cedar Point or one of the Orlando parks. You’ll hear those things pop up in his sermons as well.

Fun Fact: Fr. Jeff has a particular devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dr. Deacon Daniel "Dan" Brahier

Deacon

deacondan@sttomsbg.org

Deacon Dan was appointed our parish Deacon by Bishop Daniel Thomas, and soon after also took over as Director of RCIA. He received his BSEd and MEd from BGSU, and PhD from the Univeristy of Toledo. Deacon Dan originally was a parishioner of St. Rose Catholic Church in Perrysburg, where he and his beautiful bride Anne currently reside. They have three grown sons (John, Luke, Mark), 1 grandson (Stephen), and one daughter-in-law (Annie). He is also an active Professor of Mathematics Education at BGSU, and founded the ACTION program for all incoming Math Education students. When he isn't on the campus of BGSU or here at St. Tom's, Deacon Dan enjoys playing and writing music, as well as hiking and backpacking.

Fun Fact: Deacon Dan has recorded 7 albums of music and continues to write and record to this day in his home studio.

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Theresa Williams

Parish Manager

theresa@sttomsbg.org

 

Proudly known as "T-Dubs" to all of her adopted student children, Theresa serves as our Parish Manager. She grew up originally in Fostoria, OH and received her Associates Degree in Accounting from the University of Findlay. She has been married to her best friend Paul for 45 years and have 4 sons (Ross, Joel, Derek, Logan), 2 daughter-in-laws (Jennie, Lisa), 4.75 grandbabies (Aubrey, Tyler, Leah, Riley, and baby Williams on the way!), and 1 crazy Golden Doodle furbaby Cooper. Out of the office Theresa enjoys camping, biking, swimming, and hiking!

Fun Fact: Theresa is terrified of any creature with either no legs or too many legs! She recently survived an attack by a centipede in her office! (Thanks Ray)

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Justin Leiner

Director of Campus Ministry

justin@sttomsbg.org

Originally born and raised in Palmer, Alaska, Justin graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Theology from St. John's University in Minnesota and is currently working on his Master of Sacred Arts in Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization from Phoenix University. Immediately after college he served as one of our FOCUS (Fellowship Of Catholic University Students) missionaries for three years, where he was able to travel to France and Columbia on mission trips and Poland for a pilgrimage. He then took a year off to serve as a missionary at the Pines Catholic Camp. His family isn't as close as he would like (Hawaii and Germany!), but he is excited to call St. Tom's his home away from home. Justin enjoys hiking, walking in the woods, any kind of board game, poetry, swing dancing, and finding new adventures. 

 

Fun Fact: The first time Justin tried swing dancing as a freshman in college, he dislocated his knee! But he still enjoyed it and kept with it! 

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Edward "Ed" Gerrity

Director of Music

edward@sttomsbg.org

Joining our team Easter of 2020, we are happy to have Ed as our Director of Music at St. Tom's. He was born in Arlington, VA and grew up in Buffalo, NY. Ed studied music and philosophy at both Ohio State and University at Buffalo, where he graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He is married to his wife Jessica, and have four children (Madelyn, Abigail, Jackson, Isla). He previously worked as the Music Director and/or educator in both NY and OH, most recently in Bellevue and Sylvania. Aside from everything music, Ed enjoys watching year-round sports, traveling anywhere and everywhere, and is a PROUD Disney fanatic. 

Fun Fact: Ed has played music gigs across the country, including at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and the Drake in Chicago. 

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Sophia Bauer

Director of Marketing | Administrative Assistant

sophia@sttomsbg.org

Sophia is our Director of Marketing & Administrative Assistant since 2017, and served as a Co-Music Coordinator at St. Tom's for two years while in Undergrad at BGSU. She was born in Virginia Beach, VA and was raised in the opposite side of Ohio in Newport, and is the oldest of four. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from BGSU and decided not to leave. She met and married her crazy husband Joseph at St. Tom's, both being in undergrad together and ending up tying the knot in the Summer of 2018. They currently have two fuzzball cats (Goose and Callie) who are their spoiled children for now. She loves to crochet, play boardgames and cards, and visit any local coffee shops in the area, sipping on a good cup of French Vanilla Cappuccino (if possible in her cozy pj's and fuzzy socks). 

Fun Fact: Sophia proudly knows how to use a Ripstick, but has yet to master the art of skateboarding.

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Kathy Helm

Bookkeeper

kathyhelm@sttomsbg.org

Kathy is our newest member of the team, serving as our Bookkeeper. She lives in Luckey, OH and attended Eastwood High School. She received her BSBA from The Ohio State University and returned to BGSU to work for a majority of her career. She retired from the College of Business where she was the Director of Budgeting. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Board of Directors of the Cocoon Women's Shelter as Treasurer, and worked part-time for the Wood County Committee on Aging. Kathy enjoys golfing in the summer and whenever the weather is warm enough to stand being outside!  She enjoys discovering golf courses around NW Ohio and SE Michigan throughout the seasons!

Fun Fact: Kathy enjoys any chance she can to try out a new recipe to add to her ever-growing collection!

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Raymond "Ray" Kagy

Director of Buildings & Grounds

ray@sttomsbg.org

Ray has served as our Director of Buildings & Grounds since 2014. His address says he's from Helena, but he's truly a Bradner resident. He graduated from THE Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science. Before joining the team at St. Tom's, Ray worked for the Andersons Retail Group for about 24 years. He later left Anderson and joined our team shortly after becoming Catholic through the RCIA Program. He is single and has a brother and sister to keep him in line, as well as 1 niece, 2 nephews, and 1 great niece. They are all special in his life!

 

Ray likes to work at his family farm and travel. He and his brother even did a cross country trip once to McAllen, TX to visit their grandparents!

Fun Fact: Ray graduated from OSU on Friday, June 13, 1986. Go Bucks!

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John Souder

General Maintenance

john@sttomsbg.org

John is Ray's right hand man as our General Maintenance worker. He was born and raised in Fostoria, OH, and found out about St. Tom's form his friends, Theresa and Paul! He graduated from St. Wendelin High School in 1969, and later completed a 4-year apprenticeship Journeyman Millwright from Union Carbide in Fostoria. John worked as contract Millwright at Davis Bessie Nuclear Power Station for a few years and later retired from Maintenance at Autolite in Fostoria in 2014. He was fortunate to visit friends in Brussels, then visited Paris and nearby countries. He even paid a visit to Hawaii! He and his wife Peg will be celebrating 40 years of Marriage this June. He and Peg raised 3 beautiful daughters (Marcy, Megan, Molly) and continuously enjoys his 3 grandsons (Graham, Drew, Owen). He is also blessed with 3 great son-in-laws (Brett,John, Will). If John isn't tinkering on something in the garage or maintenance room, chances are he is Autocrossing with his car with the Northwest Ohio Region of the Sports Car Club of America (as he has for the past 45+ years!).

Fun Fact: John loves getting behind the microphone and announcing at any autocross events.

 

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Kathy Wojciechowski

Sacristan

kathy@sttomsbg.org

Kathy happily serves as our parish Sacristan. She was born and raised in Toledo, OH, and worked for an insurance company for a number of years until she got married and moved to BG. Kathy was able to take a few psychology courses at BGSU as an auditor! She was married to her best friend Tom on January 28, 1967 and just celebrated 54 years of marriage.  Her and Tom have 4 children (Tom Jr, Ed, Stacey, Lisah) and 5 grandchildren (Brooke, Sam, Katie, Abby, Lily). The Wojos were able to take family vacations together for 26 years, and Kathy even traveled outside the sates to Rome and Fatima, The Holy Land, and Germany. Their oldest son, Tom was baptized on their first wedding anniversary in the church where they were married—St. Adalberts in Toledo . For a number of years, Kathy was also a parishioner at St. Al's and was the Clown Ministry at St. Al's (and still can be considered such!). She loves serving the students in any way needed, and making her famous Wojo cookies. 

Fun Fact: Kathy was gifted the last U.S. Flag flown in Iraq for supplying her son-in-law and fellow US troops stationed there with her Wojo cookies.

 
 

Heather Fleury

FOCUS Team Director

heather.fleury@focus.org

As a missionary, Heather's greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ. Her life has been transformed by Jesus and she want nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-hanging message of the Gospel. Heather looks to Jesus’ own example to find the best method of reaching the world. Jesus has impacted her life in ways that she can not describe. College is such a crucial time in our lives, and it's up to us whether or not to practice our Catholic faith in those four years. Heather graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, a non-FOCUS school but it was through meeting missionaries that her friend and and she started a FOCUS bible study at their Newman Center, attended conferences, and went on mission trips! In 2016, Heather had an incredible opportunity to go on a mission trip for a month and to spread God's endless love to the most generous, and loving people in Tanzania, Africa! Her relationship with God is forever growing each day, and is so in love with Christ, He has poured His love into her soul, and its a burning flame that will never burn out! 

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Julia Waters

FOCUS Missionary

julia.waters@focus.org

Throughout Julia's time at the University of Iowa, she knew the Lord had placed a desire in her heart to grow in her faith but had no idea what that meant or looked like. Julia found herself struggling to allow the Lord into her life until she met a FOCUS missionary her sophomore year, participated in a Bible Study, and continued to grow in the Catholic community on campus. Throughout encountering God the Father in daily prayer and learning her identity as a beloved daughter, Julia's college experience was completely transformed. It has been a beautiful blessing to be inspired to boldly live her faith and a gift to share it with her peers, especially her sorority sisters. As a student and now as a missionary, her greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ. Julia's life has been transformed by Jesus and she wants nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. Julia is beyond excited to invest in the women the Lord places in her life at BGSU because the salvation of souls is an adventure she is excited to be a witness to! 

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Jenna Dedek

FOCUS Missionary

jennifer.dedek@focus.org

As a missionary, Jenna's greatest desire is to lead all students to the the total fulfillment, freedom, and purpose of a life with Christ. Her life has been transformed by Jesus and she wants nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. In His ministry on earth, Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. She looks to Jesus’ own example to find the best method of reaching the world. Jenna has been constantly amazed by the different souls she has encountered on campus.

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Josh Paiement

FOCUS Digital Campus Team

joshua.paiement@focus.org

Josh is a cradle-Catholic and was blessed to have parents who provided him with 14 years of awesome Catholic education. However, his personal faith became reduced to just another subject in school; he understood the 'what' of the faith, but not the 'why'; Josh believed in Jesus but he didn't belong to Him. Josh went on to college where he played two-years of college football and joined the fraternity, Sigma Chi, and soon enough was heading down the road of the 80% of Catholics who leave the faith by the age of 23*. He fell into the college culture that is yearning for authenticity, meaning and identity, but failing to find it out in the world. After suffering a football-injury Josh transferred down to Oregon State University where he completed his Bachelor's in Kinesiology. 

*Faith in flux: Changes in the Religious Affiliation in the U.S. (Pew, 2009)

While at OSU Josh was invited to a retreat put on by the OSU Newman Center, there, for the first time, he experienced the truth, goodness and beauty of his Catholic faith. After that he drastically dove deeper into his faith, serving as Outreach Coordinator, leading retreats and sharing his experience and faith with the students on campus. Josh has always had a passion for coaching (He coached high school football for 3 years) and upon receiving his Masters in Teaching he was blessed with a few job opportunities to teach and coach in Eugene. However, after being invited by a FOCUS missionary to SEEK 2017 in San Antonio, Josh experienced first-hand the Universal Church with hearts on fire for the Lord. Having never been exposed to something so fulfilling, he realized that everyone needed to know just how much they are loved by God the Father. Although he had some awesome, "sure-thing" opportunities back at home, Josh felt that God was calling him to something greater, that He needed him for something greater.