St. Francis of Assisi Staff
11401 Leesville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613
Office Hours 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Main Phone Number 919-847-8205
Parish Fax Number 919-870-1790
The Franciscan School Fax Number 919-847-9558
Fr. Steve Patti x224
Fr. Steve was born in Boston and grew up in nearby Burlington, MA. He joined the friars in 1994 after having served for a year as a volunteer at St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen in Philadelphia staffed by Franciscan friars. He was ordained in 2001 and has served in Wilmington, DE; Durham NC (at Immaculate Conception); Providence RI; and at the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia.
Steve is a fan of all the Boston sports teams. He is an avid reader of fiction, history, poetry, and spirituality/theology, and also likes to go to the movies, and to visit art museums. When he gets the chance, he loves to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with family and friends, and to spend time at his family’s lake house near the New Hampshire/Maine border.
Tresa Pickup x249
Tresa is originally from Northern New York. She moved to Burlington, Vermont after meeting her husband, Lance. They lived there for 20 years before moving to Raleigh in 2006. Her two boys currently attend UNC Charlotte, both in the computer science field. Tresa began her story at St. Francis in the Stewardship & Development office in 2006. She has also worked with Family Formation & Education and Liturgy & Music. She is now enjoying her role as Assistant to the Pastor and administrator of the Parish Columbarium. Her responsibilities include helping families with funeral scheduling and planning, preparing sponsor certificates, overseeing sacramental records, processing stewardship forms, and coordinating the friars’ calendars. Tresa loves being at St. Francis where she gets to spend her time working and volunteering with like minded people in faith and she is a huge Hurricanes hockey fan.
Fr. Steve Kluge x226
Fr. Steve Kluge (pronounced Kloo-gee), originally from New Jersey, is a Franciscan friar currently serving in the parish. He loves holding the door on Sunday mornings greeting the Saints of God. He and Fr. Steve Patti were ordination classmates, ordained on the same day in 2001. He is a talented and good friar and we are very happy that he is part of the friar community at St. Francis. Click here for poems and reflections by Fr. Steve K.
Finance And Planning
Rob Neppel x243
Director of Finance and Planning
Rob is responsible for the financial well-being of the parish, parish schools and columbarium. He establishes annual budgets and works with the school principals and ministry leaders to ensure their operational needs are addressed while staying within their overall budgets. Rob serves as a financial advisor to the pastor as well as the parish Finance Council, Pastoral Council, and School Advisory Councils. He also provides support to the various parish oversight committees. Rob’s responsibilities also include overseeing the administrative and human resource aspects of the parish community as well as strategic long term planning.
Esperanza Neri x229
Coordinator of Finance for the Parish
Esperanza loves that living her faith is part of her job. She is one of those rare people who always has a smile for another. She handles parish finances and has been a long-time member of the parish.
Toni Hammes x265
Administrative Specialist - Stewardship and Advancement
Toni is one of the founding members of St. Francis, joining on April 25, 1982. She works in the areas of stewardship and membership and assists with the financials for the Franciscan School and St. Francis Preschool. Toni is also a tireless volunteer for the liturgical ministries group as a Eucharistic Minister, Master of Ceremonies, and Emmaus Minister. In the past year, she has crocheted dozens of beautiful hats for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Toni handles all of this and more, so long as nothing conflicts with the Hokies football schedule.
Marc Kielty x227
Director of Operations
Along with his team, Marc oversees the day to day operations of the parish. The Parish Operations staff view their primary role as supporting all of the church’s ministries. Providing a safe, clean and well maintained environment conducive to safety and successful ministry work is paramount. Additionally, as can be seen below, the operations staff is also responsible for assisting parishioners identify and use their personal gifts to serve the Lord, and one another; keeping parishioners informed through the communications office; maintaining the vast membership records and databases of our large parish; operating our active community center and many programs; and conducting classes under the Diocese’s guidelines in relation to providing a safe environment for our youth. We hope that you find our campus and staff welcoming, and are pleased to serve you.
Robert Bartos x263
Rob manages the daily operations of the church and the Franciscan School facilities. Rob is committed to providing staff services that will keep our campus clean, safe and pleasant for parishioners and students. Rob had a 25 year marketing management career and then became an NC general contractor and commercial construction project manager. Rob, wife Kate and daughter Lilli have lived in Raleigh since 1996.They also have four small dogs that love to RV with the family.
Tricia Henry x375
Coordinator of Community Life
Realizing her two beautiful babies were headed to school and her gifts of organization and planning were maxed out at home, Tricia found her calling as Coordinator of Community Life. After leaving IBM software project management roles, crossing over into the non-profit world was a natural fit with organizing parish athletics & classes, building the Assisi Café, developing Camp Francis, and acting as social director for parish events. Throw in the balance for family times at the beach or in the backyard with friends, Tricia still enjoys planning the next big family adventure or our next engaging St Francis initiative.
David Crout x234
Dave has several responsibilities that mainly revolve around technology and communication. He works on the parish website and database web portal, St. Francis Connect. He also assists with room reservations and the bulletin. He often conducts one-on-one tutorials and group training sessions to help the staff effectively use technology in their ministry.
Diogenes Ruiz x271
Coordinator of Communications
Diogenes (he’s the one on the right) is responsible for creative support to the many ministries at St. Francis, design and updates to the parish website, coordination of parish social media and layout of the bulletin. He also provides video and photography support to our various ministries. Diogenes enjoys writing and is the author of two Christian fiction novels on Amazon, A Rabbit’s Tale: An Easter Story, (winner of two awards) and Persistent Evil. He is currently working on a third. He and his wife, Karin, have been St. Francis parishioners since 1987.
Trina Sugrue x245
Admin Specialist - Safe Environment & Welcome
Trevor Thompson x270
Director of Justice and Peace
If you are looking to do some service in the community, go on a mission trip, or learn more about how our faith calls us to be in solidarity with and be an advocate for others, Trevor can find an opportunity that works for you and your family. Inspired by Pope Francis’ challenge for the church to be a people of communion and mission, Trevor provides pastoral leadership in the area of pastoral care, outreach, social justice, and adult formation. He loves walking with people on a journey of faith seeking understanding. He also loves to cook, care for his homestead, and watch and play ball with his kids.
Kathleen Owen x241
Coordinator of Care and Wellness
Kathleen helps support the many ministries of Care and Wellness. After years in the business world, she found that being on staff at St. Francis provided her the opportunity to really make a difference. Her favorite parts of being at St. Francis are meeting new people, hearing their stories, helping them find a deeper connection to the parish and open doors for people to see the ways their spiritual life can guide, comfort and make a difference in their own lives. Oh, and hugs! Kathleen loves hugs! When she has time, Kathleen loves to knit, cook, walk on the beach, watch the sun set into the ocean, sit with a cat or dog in her lap, and laugh.
Jackie Adamo x268
Administrative Specialist, Care and Wellness
Jackie shares her many skills aiding, and serving others in a positive and uplifting way. She provides administrative support to the Coordinator of Care and Wellness and collaborates with all Care and Wellness ministries supporting them with organizing events, advertising, managing volunteer needs and creating flyers/postcards/brochures and web pages etc. Jackie also provides administrative and website support to Justice and peace. Jackie has worked at St. Francis since 1999 and has loved the opportunity to help many people both in and out of the parish and to be able to spread & share God’s love with others. What brings Jackie the greatest joy in her role is sharing happiness and helping others. Jackie also loves spending time with her husband and kids, traveling, and volunteering in care facilities.
Becky Cawley x267
Justice and Peace Specialist
Becky is responsible for developing, presenting and facilitating educational and faith formation programming and for collaborating with and assisting other parish ministries, especially youth, integrate justice and peace into the overall mission of the parish. She is also responsible for promoting justice and peace programming, events and ministries and for supporting and assisting these ministries. What brings Becky the greatest joy in her role is inspiring and engaging parishioners in this most important work of justice and peace and then walking with them as this reality unfolds in their lives. She also loves spending time with her husband and kids, especially outdoors.
St. Francis of Assisi Preschool
Cathy Ashton x240
Assistant Principal for Preschool
Cathy Ashton has been the Assistant Principal of Preschool Ministries since June 2012. Her main responsibility is to direct the preschool. She oversees the curriculum and instruction for ages 2-Prepartory Kindergarten. Cathy is so happy to have the opportunity to work with the wonderful, faith-filled women that staff the preschool and to serve so many young families as they embark on their journey through education. When Cathy is not here, she can be found playing tennis or enjoying some form of exercise, or preparing for the next family gathering or visit with friends.
Shelley Freeman x262
Shelley has been a member of Saint Francis since 1999. She began working in the preschool in 2003 teaching in the two year old program and then in 2012 became the administrative specialist. She has three children that have all gone through the preschool, The Franciscan School and Cardinal Gibbons. She loves working with the families and helping out in the classroom so that she can still interact with the children. When not working at the preschool she enjoys running, reading and spending time at the beach.
The Franciscan School
Mike Watson x301
Mike is the Principal at The Franciscan School. He works closely with the faculty on their professional development, implementing the Diocesan Curriculums at the school, and ensuring the best educational environment for the students. Prior to his role as Principal, he was the Assistant Principal since 2010 and was a middle school science teacher at the school prior to his appointment to administration. He is professionally licensed in the State of North Carolina as a K-12 Principal and Middle Grades Science teacher.
Marie Leone x255
Receptionist (Main Number)
Marie was an ITA in kindergarten for four years. She had the best times with her students. She was asked to switch roles and be the Franciscan School Receptionist and Admin Assistant. She enjoys greeting the families and welcoming the students each day. Marie is an early “bird” and starts her day off at 7:00 a.m. with Morning Care, which is a part of Bridges. She started the program 15 years ago with Father Dan. As an EM for Saint Francis Marie tells us that the best part of being an EM is on all school Mass days when she gets to place her hand on the younger children’s shoulders and tells them ‘that Jesus is always by their side”. Marie loves being with family and sharing all her families stories whenever they are together.
Michele Northington x254
Assistant Principal, K-5 Grades
Michele serves in the education ministry at St. Francis of Assisi as an assistant principal at The Franciscan School. She works closely with students, parents, and colleagues to help provide an atmosphere that supports and enhances our mission and allows each student the opportunity to have a successful educational experience. Michele’s responsibilities also include overseeing the Bridges Programs, our morning care and after school care programs.
Joanne Sullivan x 251
Joanne has been a parishioner since August 1992. She graduated from Catholic University of America, with her BSN and worked in the hospital setting for several years before becoming a school nurse at The Franciscan School in August of 2000. She and her husband Kevin have 3 grown children, 2 dogs and a cat. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, running, biking, swimming and trying out new recipes. What she loves best about St. Francis is that everyone is welcome.
Lura Tysiac x469
Coordinator of Marketing and Admissions
As the Coordinator of Marketing and Admissions, Lura is responsible for the development and implementation of all marketing activities for the Franciscan School, as well as leading families through the admissions process at the school. She conducts private tours of the school campus for prospective families, plans and organizes Open Houses and helps families apply and enroll their children at the Franciscan School. Originally from Anderson, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University, Lura embraces hot, sunny days and enjoys dancing ballet, running and watching college football.
Laureen Wacenske x314
Laureen is the counselor for all grades at The Franciscan School and has been a part of the school since it opened its doors in 2000. As counselor she provides classroom guidance, individual and group counseling for children, and consultation with teachers and parents, ultimately seeking to assist each student in having the best school experience possible. Laureen received a BA degree in Psychology with a teaching license from Lenoir-Rhyne University and an MS degree in Community and School Counseling from NCSU. She is married to her college sweetheart, Jeff, and together they have one son, Matt. Her role as school counselor at TFS enables Laureen to combine her passions for children, faith formation, and education.
Jim Wahl x230
Director of Liturgy and Music
A native of Southern California, James has been on staff at St. Francis since 2010. He is the Director of Music and Liturgy and has served as a pastoral musician since high school and professionally for over twenty years. Before moving to the East Coast, he ministered at parishes in California and Arizona, including the Cathedral of Phoenix. Aside from his role at St. Francis, James composes and presents children’s music for World Library Publications. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and a Master’s degree in Liturgical Music Composition from St. John’s University in Minnesota. He and his wife Tami have four boys, two still in the house!
Jennifer Fiduccia x238
Director of Family Fomation
Serving professionally as a cantor since age fourteen, Jenn began her full-time career as a Youth Minister while completing her degree in vocal performance at New York University. Having served in many ministerial and musical roles for parishes and the Archdiocese of Newark, Jenn, her husband Pat, and four children, moved to North Carolina in 2009. She began her service at St. Francis in 2011 as Coordinator for Families with Youth and now serves as Director of Formation. Aside from her roles in ministry at the parish and diocesan level, writing and performing music (https://soundcloud.com/jennjinks), and raising her young family, Jenn is pursuing her Masters in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas.
Thomas Bulick x239
Coordinator, Middle School Formation
Sarah Bowser x496
Coordinator Children's Formation
Sarah is part of the formation team as the Coordinator of Children’s Faith Formation. God has blessed her immensely in the past year: She graduated from the University of Notre Dame (where she studied psychology and theology) in December. She married her seventh grade crush on June 11th, and moved from Michigan down to Durham shortly afterwards.
Coordinator of Family Life
Jason joined the staff at St. Francis of Assisi in 2011, after completing studies at St. Olaf College and St. Thomas University up in Minnesota, and a diaspora experience in New Jersey. He and his family have been in the Raleigh area since 2009.
Jason is responsible for preparation for the sacraments of Marriage and Baptism, including the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). He also supports married couples in our community, ministry with our Young Adults Community, and retreat opportunities for adults in their 20s and 30s.
Alex Mancuso x223
Coordinator of High School Formation
The Franciscan spirit found its way into Alex’s life while she attended Siena College and volunteered with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry. Her time with FVM was life changing. She found incredible amounts of joy ministering to parishioners and children in Camden, NJ. Her Franciscan experiences helped her discover that sharing her faith, being a joyful presence, and sharing her love for nature is what she is called to do… Coordinator of High School Formation is a perfect fit! Not only does she bring her faith and sense of Franciscan values but also a passionate heart for nature, traveling, cooking and her favorite hockey team, the NY Rangers!
Trish Adamkowski x236
Trish is a long time member of the parish and joined the staff in 2012 as Administrative Specialist in Youth Ministry. Her main areas of responsibility are registration, coordination of volunteers for Youth Ministry nights, and communication for the Family Formation department. Born and raised in Upstate NY, Trish is happy to be in the South where the snow only makes brief appearances.
Martina Dumberger x264
Martina supports the Family Formation Team in the logistical aspects of youth Confirmation and Youth Ministry retreats. Her tasks include preparing and facilitating the registration process, managing the Confirmation database, guiding families through the sacramental preparation process, recruiting and managing volunteers, among others. She enjoys working with her team and serving her faith community.
Terri Layer x289
Administrative Specialist, Sunday Formation Programs K-12
Terri enjoys helping families, especially the ones she has known from the time of their marriage preparation and baptism of their children, to continue on the faith journey as their kids begin faith formation in our Cross Walk (K-5) program. She supports the team with family formation registration (K-12). A true Buffalo Bills fan from Western NY, before joining us in the spring of 2012, she worked for NFL HOF Quarterback Jim Kelly. As one of 11 children, she feels blessed to be part of the St. Francis family amid an exceptional staff and wonderful volunteers.
Jennifer McCourt x269
Jennifer joined the Family Formation team in September 2014 to provide administrative support for children’s faith formation (grades K-5). This includes Cross Walk (K-5), sacramental preparation for Reconciliation and First Eucharist, and Vacation Bible School. Jennifer can be found emailing registration announcements or program updates and working with parents to ensure the details are in place for their child to attend these events. When not at St. Francis Jen’s often cruising around the Leesville area with her three kids – who are also in the Faith Formation program.
Mary Lacy Simmons x488
Coordinator of Liturgy & Weekend Experience
Mary Lacy is responsible for the administrative functions of the Liturgy & Music office. She prepares liturgy documents for the weekend Masses and funerals, recruits and coordinates the Liturgy & Music volunteers, maintains the Liturgy & Music database and web page, orders liturgy supplies, as well as coordinates special Masses throughout the year, especially in November, Advent, Lent & Easter.