We are located at:
11401 Leesville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613
Office Hours 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Main Phone Number 919-847-8205
Parish Fax Number 919-870-1790
The Franciscan School Fax Number 919-847-9558
Kathy Sales x488
Director of Pastoral Ministries
Kathy has 20 years of experience in pastoral ministry at both the parish and campus ministry level. In her role as Director of Pastoral Ministries, she serves as coordinator with our various pastoral ministry areas to support their work as well as assisting Msgr. Clay with the implementation of a renewed vision for the parish community. Kathy holds a Master’s in Library Science from Kent State University and a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from the Athenaeum of Ohio. She is a Spiritual Director with a certificate of completion from the Haden Institute. Kathy and her husband, Doug, became members of SFA in 2019 when they moved to Raleigh from Dayton, Ohio. An ex-librarian, Kathy devours books in her free time, as well as enjoying new bike and trail ways in the Triangle. She is a foodie and is passionate about sharing delicious healthy recipes.
Stacey Shine x249
Administrative Assistant Pastoral Ministries
Stacey has been a member of the parish for 20+ years. She joins the staff as an administrative assistant in Pastoral ministries. She has over 20 years experience in advertising, design, and marketing. She has spent the last several years teaching in the public school system. She is highly organized and will be working directly with Kathy Sales and the rest of the pastoral staff on many different projects. Stacey was born and raised in the New England area and spent many years in Boston. In her free time you will probably find her painting with watercolors. She has blended her love for architecture and animals together to create original paintings of people’s homes and pets. She also loves spending time with her family, hiking and looking for new gluten free recipes.
Chris Damico x222
Director of Engagement & Development
Chris has 18 years of marketing and sales experience, with 11 of those years being a parishioner at St. Francis serving as a ministry leader and volunteer. He is well known in the parish and has a solid track record of engaging others towards a common mission, through sharing the Good News and inviting others to live out their baptismal offices of priest, prophet, and king/queen. Chris especially enjoys spending time with his 16 year old stepson Tavis and 5 year old daughter Kallie Mae and in his spare time, you can find Chris reading, working out or listening to a podcast.
Jeanne Lewin x239
Director of Faith Formation
Jeanne has served in the Diocese of Raleigh for seventeen years at various parishes ministering to children and families from elementary through high school including First Eucharist and Confirmation. Her experience extends to Young Adults, adult formation, RCIA for both the English and Hispanic communities. Jeanne has a passion for Ignatian Spirituality, Finding God in All Things, and the Franciscan charism of serving others through Catholic Social Teaching and Social Justice issues. She looks forward to collaborating with various parish ministries in fostering a loving and inclusive model within the middle school and high school programs. This fall Jeanne will return to working on her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Fordham University. Jeanne and her husband, Eric, enjoy organic gardening, cooking/baking, and visiting the mountains in NC as often as possible. They have two adult children, Matthew and Sarah and love taking care of their lemon beagle dog and three cats.
Marisa Ferrara x223
Coordinator of Elementary Formation & First Sacraments
Marisa graduated from New England Conservatory in 2011 and taught music to PK-8 and led ministry in Massachusetts until August of 2018 when she relocated to Raleigh. For the past three years, Marisa ministered to the teens but is so excited to lead our elementary youth closer to Christ! In the warm weather you’ll find her on a Vespa scooter or playing outside with her husband and toddler! Her time at St. Francis is life-giving and she learns new things every day!
Andrea Javier x489
Coordinator, Play and Pray
Andrea is a M.A. graduate with a professional teaching background and first-hand experience working with preschool and elementary-aged children. She has a deep personal connection to St. Francis of Assisi Church due to being a life-long member of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to regularly working for the Play N’ Pray program for 2+ years, volunteering as a faith formation Family Village Leader during the pandemic, volunteering as a Den Leader in the parish-sponsored Cub Scouts pack, and being a parent of a recent St. Francis of Assisi Preschool graduate.
Martina Dumberger x264
Martina supports the Formation Team in the logistical aspects of sacramental preparation for Baptism (ages 7& under), First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, Youth Confirmation and Marriage. Her tasks include preparing and facilitating the registration process, managing the databases, guiding families through their sacramental preparation journey, recruiting and managing volunteers, among others. She enjoys working with her team and serving her faith community.
Justice and Peace Ministries
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, charitable outreach, social justice, community organizing, and adult formation. He loves accompanying people who are seeking ways to grow deeper in their spirituality. Trevor has Masters degree in Franciscan Spirituality from St. Bonaventure University and a Doctorate in Ministry from Duke Divinity School at Duke University. He additionally recently completed a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and is licensed as a marriage and family therapist in North Carolina. He also loves to cook, care for his homestead, and watch and play ball with his kids.
Tim Fasano x705
Coordinator of Justice and Peace
Tim brings a Franciscan heart and spirit to this position where he has the joy of helping our community integrate the principles of justice and peace that are so central to our faith. Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, Tim helps the Justice and Peace team in developing and implementing programing, in collaboration with various ministries at our parish, that assists us in living our Catholic and Franciscan call to be salt and light of the Gospel in our world. Tim also works closely in support of many of our service ministries. Outside of parish life, Tim is working towards his masters of social work. He also loves spending time outdoors with friends, whether it is hiking or playing sports.
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!
Tim Hetzel x 244
Coordinator of Liturgy and Sacraments
As the Coordinator of Liturgy and Sacraments, Tim works to form and minister to over 800 liturgical ministry volunteers at our parish. Tim works seamlessly between Formation and Liturgy, highlighting the collaborative necessity of these two important aspects of parish life. In this capacity he is an important resource not only for our weekly liturgical life, but also for sacramental preparation and rites.
Parish Life Ministries
Beth Gaudette x241
Director of Parish Life
Beth grew up down the road from St. Francis and rode her bike to basketball camp when the gym was still in Fellowship Hall. Her father would proudly acclaim that Beth attended 13 years of Catholic school. She is a licensed clinical social worker and obtained her Master’s in Social Work at NC State. However, her true loyalties lie with UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied as an undergrad. The role of Director of Parish Life combines two of the most significant identities for Beth as a Catholic Social Worker. Professionally, Beth worked in community mental health for several years; and continues to have a passion for holistic care that addresses spiritual, biological, social, and psychological needs. If you require support within the Parish, Beth can connect you to one of our care and wellness ministries.
Ashley Watson x444
Coordinator of Community Programs
Ashley has been a part of the St. Francis parish since 1988 when she moved here with her family from Florida. Being only 5 years old when she moved here she has grown up in the St. Francis Community and now she’s excited to raise her son in the same community she grew up in. What began as a part time job in 2010 working for and with her Community quickly developed into a full time career. Ashley is not only organizing and managing the summer camps of Camp Francis, Exercise and Parent Child Classes throughout the year, but now the Coordinator of Community Programs. When Ashley is not at work, she is a busy mom to her 13 year old son Jack! She loves to go on fun outings with him. She enjoys scrapbooking and kayaking in her down time, perhaps while drinking a cold glass of sweet tea or Dr. Pepper!
Some other fun facts… She is one of 4 children and loves to wear flip flops ALL THE TIME!
Mary Arleth 358
Coordinator of Athletic Programs
Mary comes to us from Staten Island, New York, where she was born and raised. For 20 years, Mary worked for the N.Y.C. Police department. Sergeant Mary has been a part of our St. Francis community for many years and joined OUR force here at the Community Center in 2014. Mary is our coordinator for the Athletics program and loves working with the kids! When she is not here, she and her husband, James run a household full of boys! She has a 22 year old, 18 year old and a 13 year old. They are all very active in sports!
St. Francis of Assisi Preschool
Heidi Hobler x240
Heidi and her husband relocated from upstate New York in 2001 and joined the St. Francis community later that year. Heidi not only has a background in education, but also in speech-language pathology. Her twins are alumni of the preschool and she joined the staff in 2010 as a teaching assistant while also working as a pediatric speech therapist. Before becoming director, Heidi was a teacher in one of the 3-year old classes. She feels blessed to be able to work with children, to serve with caring staff, and to worship all in one place. She hopes to share her passion and commitment to the children and families of the preschool with the whole church community. Heidi is excited to combine her education and therapy knowledge in her role as director of the preschool.
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
Dawn Smith x254
Dawn is the Principal at The Franciscan School. She has served as Assistant Principal at TFS for two years. Dawn is an experienced teacher, presenter with a demonstrated history of commitment to personal growth and innovative changes. With almost three decades of teaching experience, Dawn’s expertise includes educational leadership, curriculum design, professional development, classroom management, middle grades education, budgeting and fostering a growth mindset. Previously she served as the Assistant Head and middle school math teacher at Cary Academy. Dawn earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the State University of New Yor
Colette Dziadul x651
Assistant Principal, Middle School
Colette Dziadul is the Assistant Principal for 6th-8th grade at The Franciscan School. Colette, an educator/administrator for over 38 years of which 20 of those years were spent ministering in catholic schools, earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Albertus Magnus College (founded by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs) and a master’s degree in counseling from Connecticut State University.
Colette came to TFS in 2016 with a passion for teaching young disciples about Christ. “As students begin to understand their purpose in the world and become rooted in their faith they must also become critical thinkers, reach their academic potential and be good citizens”. By providing opportunities for students to become more active participants in their faith as well as rigorous academic expectations we are creating lifelong learners who are valuable members of the Church and community.
Colette and her husband relocated to Raleigh in 2013 at which time they found their “home” at St. Francis of Assis and quickly became involved in serving the Community.
Katie Hall x255
Katie is the receptionist at The Franciscan School. She’s a TFS Alumni who attended the school Kindergarten through 8th Grade, graduating in 2011 before going to Cardinal Gibbons High School. She attended NC State and graduated in December 2019 with a double major in Math and Art & Design with a focus in animation and interactive media. She has a passion for math, art, reading, and swimming and has worked with children regularly since the age of 15 when she began coaching swim team and teaching swim lessons. She loves that she can continue working with children and families alongside her own former teachers within the TFS community.
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.
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.
Reji John x228
Coordinator of Finance for the Schools
Reji first started attending St. Francis when it was just a “small church in the woods,” after being transferred here from New York. He felt the Franciscan spirit and felt welcomed from the first day he stepped onto the campus and was attracted to its simplicity and its mission statement of offering Hope to those who hunger for human dignity, and extending Hospitality to all. After over 3 decades of working in corporate finance, he felt a desire to live his faith and joined the staff, serving as the Coordinator of Finance for TFS and the Pre-School. He feels it’s a true blessing to be part of this staff and Parish Community.
Marc Kielty x227
Director of Facility 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.
Joe has been on staff with the facilities maintenance department since 2010, and now manages its day-to-day operation. He is passionate about ensuring every parishioner and visitor to the campus receives the best possible experience and strives to keep the facilities as well-running and welcoming as possible. With a diverse skill set across trades, Joe’s background is in commercial and residential electrical, but his passion is woodworking. Joe and his family have been involved at St. Francis since the mid-1990s when they relocated here from New York, and he is excited to raise his own family in the community. When he is not working, Joe enjoys coaching youth sports, caring for his aquatic pets and spirited golden doodle, and spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.
Human Resources, Administration, and Communications
Trish Adamkowski x236
Coordinator of Human Resources
Trish is a long time member of the parish and joined the staff in 2012 as part time administrative specialist in youth ministry. In October of 2016 she transitioned into the position of Human Resources Coordinator. She is also the contact person for the Columbarium and Memorial Plaques. In this new role Trish is able to utilize her background in human resources while continuing to work with the parish and the schools. Born and raised in Upstate NY, Trish is happy to be in the South where the snow only makes brief appearances.
Maggie Vladyka x245
Maggie has lived in Raleigh since 2015 and is excited to help serve the parishioners of St Francis of Assisi. Maggie, her husband and daughter live in Knightdale. Maggie matriculated from NJ and is eager to put her organizational skills and office skills to work for the parish. Maggie excels in Excel and often approaches problems and issues from a unique perspective. Maggie is active in many aspects of the Special Needs Community, it is a cause close to her heart. Maggie has an artistic flare and is not afraid to put her talent to use. She is often referred to as a “master of all trades” and gives 110 % to all her endeavors. Maggie has numerous hobbies and passions, baseball being at the top of that list as well as camping.
Toni Hammes x265
Administrative Specialist - Stewardship
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. Toni also the church receptionist contact. 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.
Diogenes Ruiz x271
Diogenes is responsible for creative support and communications coordination for the parish. With over 30 years experience in marketing communications, Diogenes oversees the many platforms used to distribute parish information. He and his wife, Karin, have been St. Francis parishioners since 1987. Diogenes is also an award winning author of two Christian fiction novels, A Rabbit’s Tale: An Easter Story, and Persistent Evil. He is also the recipient of Hispanic Business Magazine’s Entrerprenuerial Spirit Award, and The Fr. David McBriar Collaborative Ministry Award.