Rev. Fr. Christopher James Cicero
Father Cicero was raised in Warren, Ohio where he attended Catholic schools including John F. Kennedy Catholic High School. As a seminary student at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, Father received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and History. He completed his seminary formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest on July 17, 2010. While in Rome, he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and a License of Sacred Theology in Marriage and Family from the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Father was assigned as pastor to St. Jude and Our Lady of Lourdes in February of 2014.
Mr. Chris Evans
Deacon (St. Jude & Our Lady of Lourdes)
Deacon Chris Evans, who serves both St. Jude and Our Lady of Lourdes parishes, was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by the Most Rev. Bishop George Murry on Sept. 14, 2013. Deacon Chris and his wife, Connie, are both upstate NY natives. Married in 1987, they have four children and two grandchildren. Currently living in New Waterford for the past 15+ years, the family has also lived in various other states throughout the country as well. Twice in Ohio. Deacon Chris’s career background is in aviation maintenance and in the ’90s was a maintenance supervisor for US Air at the Pittsburgh Int’l Airport for many years. Currently, he is an enterprise software sales consultant in aviation and, over his career, has traveled to many parts of the world. He enjoys serving the church and participates in various apostolates and ministries.
Mrs. Janette Koewacich
Director of Religious Education (St. Jude & Our Lady of Lourdes)
Janette completed her Master’s Degree in Religious Education in May of 2017 from Loyola University in New Orleans. Prior to this, she graduated from YSU with a degree in Elementary Education. Her teaching experience began in the Austintown Local School system and then she was called to teach at Our Lady of Peace in Canton and also Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Austintown. In 2009, she began working as the Coordinator of Ministries at St. Charles Parish and in 2014, became the Director of Religious Education. Janette and her husband Rick live in the Youngstown area and have been married for 25 years. They have three children, Ricky, and twins, Carly and Joey.
Ms. Natalie Wardle
Youth Ministry Director (St. Jude & Our Lady of Lourdes)
Natalie was born and raised in Austintown, Ohio, where she still resides. After majoring in Integrated Language Arts and having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Youngstown State University in 2002, Natalie worked both as a private tutor and also as a substitute teacher at St. Brendan School for the 2003-2004 school year. She began working in youth ministry at St. Charles Parish in Boardman in 2005, where she continues to serve as Coordinator of Youth Ministry. In 2015 she began performing the same role for St. Brendan Parish in Youngstown as well. Natalie currently attends Walsh University in North Canton where she is working toward a Master of Arts in Theology.
Mrs. Judy Shields
Director of Music and Organist (St. Jude)
Judy majored in Piano Performance at Roosevelt University under Dr. Rudolph Ganz and at the University of Illinois under Dr. Malcolm Bilson. She has a Bachelor of Church Music from Westminster College where she minored in Voice and a Master of Music in Organ Performance from YSU. In addition, she has taken several Conducting courses and workshops with James Jordan who is recognized and praised around the musical world as one of the nation’s pre-eminent conductors, writers, and innovators in choral music. The most published performer/author in the world, he has authored more than 30 books on all aspects of the choral art. Judy has served as a music director in the Diocese of Youngstown for many years including St. Joseph, Blessed Sacrament, and St. Charles in Boardman. At St. Charles, she was the Director of Music and Liturgy and formed the Youth Orchestra with Tom Ruggieri, the Director of the Boardman H.S. orchestra. She also directed the adult choir and formed the handbell choir and the resurrection funeral choir. As the Director of Liturgy, she was in charge of the formation and training of the liturgical ministers. She is looking forward to building an adult choir and working with the children in the catechetical program to include them in the music of our liturgy and prayer at St. Jude.
Mrs. Candy Cope
Director of Music (Our Lady of Lourdes)
I am privileged to remember my baptism. Fr. Bruce baptized and confirmed me at the Easter Vigil mass in 1978 at Our Lady of Lourdes; I was 22. Even as a young adult, I could not comprehend what a blessing I had just received. I was married in the church the previous summer and had completed a series of classes with Sr. Rose. Until those classes, I had little religious education but I had experienced the Catholic Church throughout my life. I took music lessons from a wonderful catholic woman named Margaret Nastas for more than 10 years. During that time we traveled to many cities to compete; Margaret never missed daily mass and she often took her students with her. Though my mother introduced me to Jesus through songs like Jesus Loves Me and The Old Rugged Cross, Margaret taught me to be a musician. Through the years, my journey with Christ has taken me down many paths. I spent many Sundays at Grandma’s singing praise to God through hymns. I sang in my high school chorus and learned more hymns and songs. I was the featured singer and steel guitar player in my family’s square dance band for several years in my teens and we never ended the evening without a hymn to God. When my youngest child started CCD, I became involved in the program. Sally Guy and I introduced music into the classrooms so the children could participate more fully in the mass. When the choir director bought a new home and moved to a new parish, Fr. Torok asked me to take her place. That was more than 20 years ago. I always feel closest to God when I’m singing. Music is a beautiful gift descended from heaven above. I’m pleased and privileged to share it.
Ms. Mary Burkey
Parish Secretary (St. Jude and Our Lady of Lourdes)
Mary Burkey has been a member of St. Jude Parish since January 1972. She’s been parish secretary for St. Jude 40 years, and for Our Lady of Lourdes for 1 year. During her time at St. Jude she has participated as a member of Parish Council, Finance Council, Women’s Guild, Choir, Parish Life Committee, Family Life Committee, Christ Renews His Parish and the Small Christian Communities. Mary graduated from St. Xavier Academy in June 1967. She is the mother of 3 girls: Michelle (Rick), Lisa (Rob), and Denise, and has 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. Mary loves living in Columbiana. She also loves her job as secretary for St. Jude and Our Lady of Lourdes and attributes that to the kind and loving people she encounters in both churches. Mary holds a Bible Study in her home two evenings a month, has an active card club, and keeps busy with her home upkeep and family, and truly loves where God has brought her in life.
Mrs. Anna May Hatch
Custodial Sacristan (St. Jude)
Anna May has served our parish in many capacities. Currently, she works in Liturgical Ministry and Liturgy and is our custodial sacristan. She has been a member of St. Jude Parish for forty-five years. Anna May and her husband Mike have been married for 61 years and are the proud parents of 8 children, 21 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Coordinator of Apostolates and Evangelization (Our Lady of Lourdes)
Mr. John Kubler
Custodian (Our Lady of Lourdes)
Mr. Albert Guesman
Hall Custodian (St. Jude)