Interestingly, throughout the pandemic,
our collections have gone up.
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Where are some of your favorite places to go in
Shaker? I love Pearl Asian Kitchen and I get takeout
from J. Pistone’s. I do all my own grocery shopping and
I love to shop at Heinen’s. It can be challenging, though,
because everyone wants to stop and talk, which I love.
For some reason, people who won’t say more than a few
words to me in church will open up when I’m on their turf,
and you can’t rush through when someone is telling you
their personal problems, so I have to kind of plan for that.
What do you appreciate most about living in Shaker
Heights? I love the diversity of people here, and
the always changing faces of new families coming in.
Because this is where I work and I live, I care a lot about
this neighborhood. I was at the forefront of helping to
create the Winslow Historic District, and the parish has
bought several homes on Winslow to help keep them
up. It’s important to me that the church and rectory
grounds be immaculate, that we be a good neighbor.
When I first came here, I started a parish block party,
which is a natural fit for Shaker. When the local politicians
came, as they do, they were taken aback by how many
people attended – I think we are definitely the largest
block party in Shaker.
What’s next on your agenda? I’m consumed with racial
equity and the widening gap between rich and poor.
Right before the pandemic, and before all the protests
surrounding George Floyd and others, we started a racial
equity series. Three hundred people showed up – roughly
200 white and 100 Black parishioners. People are hungry
to talk about it, to tell their stories. I’ve lived here 20 years
and I never knew this pain was out there to this extent.
I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know this.
We’ve always had an emotional response to these
issues; we need to also have an intellectual response. But
it can’t just be through legislation and education. It needs
to come from people’s hearts. (The series has continued
in a virtual format during the pandemic.)
What else do you want people to know about
I have a great life. I love being a priest, I love living here
in this neighborhood, I love being part of these families.
I have the life I always wanted. When my brother came
to St. Dominic for my anniversary celebration one
year, he stood up at the end of Mass and said to the
congregation, “Every week I know you hear stories about
us in the homily. But what you don’t know is that when he
comes home for Sunday dinner, he tells us stories about
you. And what our family has realized is that you are our
brothers and sisters.” SL
Hard Data from
an Accountant Turned Priest
We have more than 4,000 devices streaming our
Mass each week.
I am continually amazed at how every age group
consistently steps forward to share their time,
talents, and treasure. If I put a need in the bulletin
for a car for a family, I get four.
More than 1,000 parishioners have made
medical and service trips to St. Dominic’s
sister parish in El Salvador.
Right before the pandemic, and before all the
protests surrounding George Floyd and others,
we started a racial equity series. Three hundred
people showed up – roughly 200 white and 100
black parishioners. People are hungry to talk about
it, to tell their stories. I’ve lived here 20 years and
I never knew this pain was out there to this extent.