Clergy & Staff

Clergy

Father Sojan George
Pastor
sgeorge@sfatx.org \\ ext. 226

Fr. Sojan was born on May 20, 1975 in Kerala, India as the 4th of 5 children. He has two brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers is a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He joined the seminary in 1990 and was ordained a priest on Jan 01, 2000. Fr. Sojan has been serving in the diocese of Fort Worth since 2002. He served as the Parochial Vicar in three parishes from 2002 -2006. From 2006 -2011 he served as the pastor of the parishes in Decatur, Bridgeport and Jacksboro. In 2011, he was appointed as the pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Wichita Falls. In 2016, he was appointed as the Rector of St. Patrick Cathedral.  Fr. Sojan was appointed as the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi on Feb 14, 2019.

Deacon Thomas Bates
Deacon and Director of Marriage & Family Life
tbates@sfatx.org \\ ext. 237

Deacon Tom has a BS in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech, and three master’s degrees: MBA and computer science from Texas A&M and theology from the University of Dallas. His wife, Diane, has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and is actively involved with Magnificat, a woman-to-woman ministry. Deacon Tom enjoys serving the parish as a deacon, assisting young couples with marriage preparation, and doing anything else the pastor might task him with. He has 3 sons and 1 granddaughter.

Deacon Paul Mahoney
Deacon // Contact through the parish office

Paul was ordained a Deacon by Bishop Olson of Fort Worth on August 10, 2020, and immediately began serving the St. Francis community. Paul is originally a parishioner of Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Colleyville where he was actively involved in parish ministry for over 10 years. Paul and his wife Karen have been married for over 30 years, and he enjoys a career in the building products and home services industry. Paul and Karen have two sons.

Deacon M.C. Marquez
Deacon // Contact through the parish office

Deacon MC Marquez has been a deacon since May 1984.  He and his wife Elsie have been married for 50 years, have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. Deacon MC and his family have been members of St Francis since 1965. Deacon MC’s duties include baptisms, adoration, weddings, blessings and funerals.

Deacon Perfecto Santiago
Deacon // Contact through the parish office

Deacon Perfecto was born in the Philippines and completed Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of the Philippines. He retired from USDA Senior Executive Service in 2010 after 42 years of service. He received the Sacrament of Holy Order as a Permanent Deacon at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on Aug. 26, 2000. Prior to serving at St. Francis, Deacon served at St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel, Maryland as a deacon for 19 years. He is married and is blessed with 2 sons and 4 grandchildren, who all four received their First Communion at St. Francis.

Staff

Xiomara Antonelli
Parish Secretary
xantonelli@sfatx.org \\ ext. 221

Xiomara (“Zee”) Antonelli. Zee has been a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi since 1998 with her husband Jim and sons Dylan and Cole. She was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and baseball.

Elena Bassinger
Evening Receptionist / Nursery Coordinator
edavis@sfatx.org \\ ext. N/A

Elena and her family have been parishioners for almost 20 years. She was born in Southern California and lived for a time in Las Cruces, New Mexico but moved to Texas as soon as she could. She loves the parish so much that in 2016 she decided to become the evening receptionist and recently added Nursery Coordinator to her duties. Elena also volunteers with the wedding ministry. She is married to the love of her life, Tony and has three wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter in law.

Karen Bedore
Preschool Director
kbedore@sfatx.org \\ ext. 230

Karen was born and raised in Houston, going to Catholic Schools from kindergarten through college. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. Karen started working in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1992, at her home parish preschool as a 2 year old teacher & assistant director. In 2003, she became Director of the SEEDS Preschool at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Houston. Karen left Houston in 2011 to move to Weatherford, TX, when her first grandchild was born. Her son and daughter-in-law live in Weatherford with their two boys, and her daughter and son-in-law still live in Houston.

Donna Buccino
Safe Environment Coordinator
dbuccino@sfatx.org \\ ext. 229

Donna Buccino has been working  at St. Francis Church since February 2009, and she has been a parishioner for the past 10 years. She has been married to the same wonderful man for the last 23 year and they have 3 beautiful children.

Gabriel Garcia
Facilities

Brenda Garza
Communications
bgarza@sfatx.org

Brenda Garza was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico where she graduated with a BA in Graphic Design. After several years of working in a design agency, she moved to Asturias, Spain to be a missionary in a community of Catholic Artists where she met her husband. Two years later they moved to Puerto Rico to work with the Diocese of San Juan. While in P.R., Brenda received training in Level 1 of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Brenda, her husband, and their 5 children moved to Texas in 2009 and joined St. Francis as parishioners shortly after. Brenda is passionate about communicating God’s love to the people of our parish and is happy to use her talents to build up the kingdom of God on earth.

 

Scott Immel
RCIA Coordinator & Tribunal Advocate
simmel@sfatx.org \\ ext. 234

Scott was born and raised in Colorado and lived in California for 33 years before moving to Texas. He has BS degrees in Biology and Psychology and a law degree from Western State University College of Law at Argosy University. He is married, has five children, and has been a member of the parish since 2007. Scott is a Certified Catechist and a Ministry Leader by the St. John Paul II Lay Ministry Institute and serves as a Tribunal Advocate for the FW Diocese Marriage Tribunal. He is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, an instituted Acolyte in the Diocese of FW, Eucharist Minister, Lector and taught in the High School Confirmation Catechesis four years prior to his engagement in RCIA and Adult Catechesis.

Tim Jara
Director of Evangelization & Catechesis
tjara@sfatx.org \\ ext. 240

Tim grew up in the DFW area with three adventurous siblings and a love for the outdoors. After encountering Jesus in high school, he went on to study at Franciscan University of Steubenville and earn degrees in theology and catechetics with a focus in Youth Ministry. He then moved down to Austin, TX where he served as a youth minister for two years. In spring 2017, he joined the parish family of SFA and tied the knot with his high school sweetheart, Katie, in July of that year. Tim’s passion is sharing Christ with young people. He also loves camping, shooting stars, good movies, and paper airplanes.

Eleanor Kiesewetter
Parish Census
ekiesewetter@sfatx.org \\ ext. 227

Eleanor was born in New York and moved to Texas in 1977. She found her way to Grapevine and St, Francis of Assisi in 1988. She has worked at the parish for over 10 years, and participated several years before that as a volunteer. Eleanor loves to travel and try new things.

Amanda Lindayag
Catechesis & Evangelization Administrative Assistant
alindayag@sfatx.org \\ ext. 243

Amanda graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2019 with a degree in accounting and a minor in music. Immediately after graduating, she served as a missionary with NET Ministries for the following two years. From 2019-2020 she traveled in the northeast region of The United States and from 2020-2021 she traveled in Glasgow, Scotland. Amanda is also a graduate of Holy Trinity Catholic School and has come back to St. Francis of Assisi to work as the new administrative assistant. She is very excited to be part of the team and ready to continue sharing the work of the Lord. 

Eric McKuzes
Business, Finance & Facilities Manager
emckuzes@sfatx.org \\ ext. 225

Having been a member of St. Francis of Assisi since 2006, Eric and his family have grown with St. Francis of Assisi. Eric moved to Grapevine in 2001 and married his wife, Desiree, at SFA in 2009. You’ve probably seen Eric, Desiree, and their two daughters walking the halls at St. Francis. During his time at the parish, he even served five terms as the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Before his position at St. Francis of Assisi, Eric worked in International logistics for 15 years.

Mary M.
Outreach Ministry
Outreach: 817-488-5444

Mary M. has been Director St Francis Outreach for over 17 years. Her personal goal has been to always have the food pantry stocked and ready for anyone looking for food to feed their families. Mary has been blessed with an amazing husband Thomas for over 30 years, two great children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.

Laura Nelson
Director of Children’s Catechesis
lnelson@sfatx.org \\ ext. 241

Laura Nelson, her husband, and three children have been parishioners at St. Francis since 1999.  Laura has taught Music and Movement at our parish preschool since 2005.  Since 2010, Laura has also been writing and speaking about Catholic topics. She is listed with CMG Booking, a Catholic Speaker’s Bureau, and writes two blogs: greenforgod.blogspot.com and suburbansainthood.com.  She also contributes to the popular website, Catholic Mom and writes for Faith Catholic Publishing in their Homilies and Commentaries division.   Laura has a passion for providing engaging and inspirational catechesis to both young and old alike.

Jose Salazar
Director of Youth Ministry
jsalazar@sfatx.org \\ ext. 243

Jose graduated from The George Washington University in May 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion with a minor in American Studies. Growing up in Tennessee, Jose worked with the Diocese of Knoxville with youth ministry before working as an assistant youth minister in Maryland while at school. He’s very excited for the opportunity to serve the youth and share his love for the Lord and bring others to Him.

Sister Edid Torres, MCSH 
Hispanic Ministry & Catechesis 
etorres@sfatx.org \\ ext. 239

Sr. Edid Torres was born in Caltepec, Puebla, Mexico, and entered the Congregation of Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 2000.  Her mission experience in the United States has been in the states of Texas and New Mexico. She thanks God for every experience that has helped her grow and mature in her faith.

Orlando Vera
Director of Music & Liturgy
overa@sfatx.org \\ ext. 228

Having previously served as a volunteer for many years with the English and Spanish choirs here at St. Francis, Orlando is excited to serve as the Director of Music and Liturgy and support the rich musical tradition of St. Francis Parish. Orlando has a diverse background in musical styles and has previously served in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth as Director of Music and Organist at St. Peter’s Parish in Lindsay and Organist and Cantor at St. Mary of the Assumption in Fort Worth.