I was born in Providence, RI, the second of four children in a close-knit family. I had a clear sense of vocation from an early age, and my sixteen years of seminary formation included Catholic, Protestant and Anglican theological training. I completed my doctoral degree in Congregational Studies in 1986. My spiritual gifts are pastoral care, community building, administration, preaching and evangelism.
As Curate in an inner-city multicultural church, I lived with people in crisis, transition, conflict, and confusion. I learned how to be a shepherd, counselor, and friend, as my parishioners struggled to recognize God in their personal wildernesses. My primary responsibility was to parish and local youth, mostly African and Spanish, as well as to newly married couples and the elderly, visiting hospitals and nursing homes. I came to understand how preaching the Gospel, the sacraments, pastoral care and building community effectively changed lives and inspired hope and faithfulness.
As its Vicar, the ‘bedroom community’ of Christ Church, Leicester taught me the value of living in a spiritually intimate community. I began to concentrate on congregational development, and studied at Hartford Theological Seminary. I learned that I had the pastoral gifts to bring an economic mix of people together, enable pastoral visioning and inspire positive results in conflict management situations. I learned how to be a priest, pastor and teacher at Christ Church. In my twelve years there I learned to appreciate the uniqueness of every relationship and love the complex diversities of the Body of Christ.
As Rector of St. Paul’s, Rome, I lived and worked with people of diverse cultures and religious backgrounds. St. Paul’s is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, ecumenical and interfaith community. Our ministries include the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, a sizable Latin American community, service to the elderly poor of the city as well as displaced youth. At the center of our mission and witness is a profound ministry of radical hospitality.
My spiritual and physical disciplines include praying and studying Scripture/theology each morning and taking physical exercise each day. I meet with my spiritual director monthly, and make a monastic retreat each year. I love community gatherings, theatre, music, travel and writing, and nothing invigorates me more than a challenge.