Msgr. Michael Clay

Msgr. Clay was born in Philadelphia PA, the first child of George and Mary Ann Clay. After several moves in connection with his father’s naval duties, his family finally settled in New Bern, NC where he attended elementary, junior high, and senior high schools. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education, the Master of Liturgical Music, the Master of Divinity, and the Doctor of Ministry in liturgical studies degrees from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He prepared for the priesthood at the North American College in Rome and at Theological College in Washington. He was ordained on November 15, 1980 by Bishop Joseph Gossman.

Within the Diocese of Raleigh, he has served as vice-rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral and pastor of St. Peter Church in Greenville, St. Thomas More Church in Chapel Hill, and St. Ann Church in Clayton. At the diocesan level, he has served as vocation director, director of the permanent diaconate, director of liturgy, and legislative lobbyist at the NC General Assembly.

He is returning to the diocese after completing an eight-year appointment by the Bishop of Raleigh from The Catholic University of America where he has served as associate professor, department chair of Pastoral Studies, and associate dean for graduate ministerial studies.

At the university, he has taught a course on baptismal priesthood at the undergraduate level, courses in pastoral theology, homiletics, and ritual praxis at the graduate seminarian level, and multicultural ministry at the doctoral level.

For over 30 years he has been an internationally recognized authority on the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and has presented workshops on the RCIA in over 70 dioceses in the United States and Canada. He is the author of A Harvest for God: Christian Initiation in the Rural and Small-Town Parish published by Liturgy Training Publications and over 12 articles on Christian initiation and liturgy. He is currently completing a manuscript on homiletics.

He received the Bishop’s Medal from Bishop Gossman in 2005 and was named a Chaplain to His Holiness with the title, Monsignor, by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.

Father Jairo Maldonado

Fr. Jairo (high-row) Alberto Maldonado-Pacheco is a native of Colombia, South America. He was born in Ábrego, in the state of North of Santander, in 1989. He is the second child of Daniel Maldonado-Ortíz and Roquelina Pacheco-Jiménez. He has three siblings: Elizabeth, Mairena, and Juan Camilo who is the youngest. His home parish in Colombia is “Divino Niño.” He attended Colegio Carlos Julio Torrado Peñaranda High School and studied philosophy at Fundación Universitaria Cervantes-San Agustín while discerning a religious vocation with the Augustinian friars. He came to the United States in 2013 to study English as a Second Language (ESL). In 2014 he joined the Diocese of Raleigh and attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood PA, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (2016), the Master of Divinity (2019) and the Master of Arts in Theology (2020). He was ordained to the Priesthood on June 6, 2020. His home parish in the diocese is St. Therese in Wilson. He will begin his service as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi on September 1.

(Read September 2020 article in NC Catholic featuring Fr. Jairo)

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