Fr. Jeffrey Kirby is a busy man. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities at Our Lady of Grace Parish near Lancaster, South Carolina, he is an author (13 books), radio and television speaker, adjunct professor of theology, and weekly contributor to the CRUX news site “Taking the Catholic Pulse”.
He earned a BA in History and an MA in Philosophy at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. From there he went to Rome to earn a Theology degree at the Pontifical Gregorian University, an MA in Bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Queen of the Apostles, a Licentiate in Moral Theology at Santa Croce, and finally a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Santa Croce in 2016.
Since his ordination in 2007, he has been a high school chaplain, scout chaplain, religion teacher, and the Vocations Director for South Carolina. Considering the discipline required to manage all these activities, it is not surprising that Fr. Kirby grew up in a military family and served for six years in the Army National Guard.
Today he is the pastor of a large parish about an hour south of Charlotte, NC, a city that is experiencing rapid growth as a center for banking and other businesses. Although only 4% of people in South Carolina are Catholics, the parish is steadily increasing. People from Mexico and South America immigrate to the area to fill construction jobs, and retirees and young families from the Northeast and Midwest arrive looking for a low-cost and low-tax place to live.
Drawing from his time at Santa Croce, Fr. Kirby cites three lessons that guide his pastoral work:
- Be holy where you are now (not worrying about the future)
- Always seek to be a leader in every situation
- Never forget the poor or those in need
Fr. Peter with Fr. Taylor Reynolds (on right) a diocesan priest who will graduate from Santa Croce with JCL in Canon Law in 2019
When he was a 15 year-old high school sophomore, Peter Faulk traveled from Louisiana to Denver, Colorado to attend the 1993 World Youth Day. The impact of hearing St. Pope John Paul II inspired Peter to foster a personal relationship with Christ that ultimately led to discerning his vocation as a priest.
After a period of secular university studies, Peter’s bishop sent him to St. Joseph Seminary in Covington, Louisiana (for philosophy). He then attended Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio (for theology) and was ordained in 2006. His first assignment was as an associate pastor in two parishes along with being assigned to work in the area of youth evangelization.
Due to the increasing numbers of Catholic Latino immigrants coming to Louisiana as agricultural workers, the bishop needed more priests who could speak Spanish. Fr. Peter was sent to a seminary in Mexico for an extended period of full-immersion to learn the Spanish language.Read more
People may casually address Fr. Patrick Beidelman as “Fr. Pat”, but his official title is “The Very Reverend Patrick Beidelman”. The “Very” is used for priests who are seminary rectors or rectors of cathedrals. Fr. Pat has worked in both settings, and currently he is the rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis and the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization for the archdiocese.
After his ordination in 1998, his early assignments included being an associate pastor, part-time high school chaplain, and later a pastor. Fr. Pat completed a Liturgical Theology degree from Santa Croce in 2009 in Liturgical Theology. He and his bishop chose Santa Croce because of their pastoral approach. Other excellent liturgical studies programs in Rome were heavily academic, requiring 4 or 5 years to complete, and the study of original sources in their original languages. The Santa Croce degree required two years of study and was ideal for pastoral work.Read more
Taking Evangelization to a Higher Level
Fr. Rocky with Drew Mariani of Relevant Radio®.
Fr. Francis J. Hoffman (“Fr. Rocky”) is a familiar priest to many Catholics, partly because he has been a weekly contributor to the Relevant Radio® “Morning Air® Show” for the past 13 years. Since the merger of Relevant Radio® with Immaculate Heart Radio this past July, his audience has expanded considerably. The potential audience in the USA totals 133 million persons via 127 AM/FM stations. Countless more people across the world can listen to programs through a free radio app.Read more
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. [This article by Sharon Otterman appeared in The New York Times on January 31, 2017. Bishop Barres is a graduate of The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross)
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Bishop John O. Barres, installed as the head of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Tuesday, pledged to bring a pastoral approach and a focus on personal spirituality to Long Island’s 1.5 million Roman Catholics.
In a ceremony rich with symbolism that dates back centuries, Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, read aloud the official letter from Pope Francis appointing Bishop Barres. Bishop Barres then walked with it down the aisle of St. Agnes Cathedral here, holding it aloft so all could see.
Father Michael J. Barrett has been named the new pastor of St. Agnes' parish in Manhattan. Fr. Barrett received a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and was a member of our first graduating class! Read the full article here.
On August 24, 2016, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley consecrated Fr. Mark O’Connor as Auxillary Bishop of Boston. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston – coincidentally, Bishop O’Connor received his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 1999 and 2002.Read more
Since graduating from Santa Croce (summa cum laude, 2001) with a doctorate in Sacred Theology, Pia de Soleni has been actively equipping Catholics for the “New Evangelism.” Her expertise in Thomistic Anthropology, Bio-Ethics, Feminism and Gender Studies, Marriage and Family, and Culture has provided many opportunities for her to educate and serve over the past fifteen years.Read more