Msgr. Joseph E Stearns
Monsignor Joseph E. Stearns was born in 1945 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the youngest of five children to Pauline (Cote) and Peter Stearns. Msgr. Stearns studied at Eymard Prep Seminary of Blessed Sacrament Fathers in Hyde Park, New York and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. Ordained to the Priesthood on May 20, 1972, in Miami, he served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of the Lakes in Miami Lakes, Little Flower Parish in Coral Gables, and Sacred Heart Parish in Homestead. Monsignor was serving as Pastor of St. Margaret Parish in Clewiston in 1984 when the Diocese of Venice was established. His next assignment was as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda, then as Pastor of St. William Parish in Naples, and finally, before retiring, as Pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish on Siesta Key. As announced from the Office of the Bishop on June 11, 2010, then-Pope Benedict XVI, bestowed Papal Honors on Msgr. Stearns, along with four other Diocesan Priests, in recognition of their dedication and exemplary service to the Church. This Papal Honor elevated him to the rank of Monsignor, as Chaplain to His Holiness. This group of priests was the first to receive this honor in the history of the Diocese of Venice. Through the years, Msgr. Stearns has served on numerous advisory boards including the College of Consultors and the Presbyteral Council. Having retired in March 2015, Monsignor has assisted at several Parishes including Incarnation Parish in Sarasota and Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch.
Father David M. Foley
Born in 1939, in Somerville, Massachusetts, Father David M. Foley is the only child of Catherine (Maloney) and David Foley. Father Foley studied at the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers Minor Seminary in Wellesley, Massachusetts, then later at the Theological College of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Ordained to the Priesthood on May 20, 1972, in Bartlett, Tennessee, for the Diocese of Memphis, Father Foley served in Parishes in Memphis, Selmer, Millington, Ripley, Dyersburg, Bolivar and Covington until his retirement in 2002. Upon his retirement, Father Foley moved to Collier County where he assisted at several Parishes through the years.
Father Adrian M. Wilde, O. Carm.
Carmelite Father Adrian M. Wilde was born in 1946 in Birmingham, England, and is the second child of six children born to Margaret “Peggy” (Lees) and Marcel Wilde. Father Wilde joined the British Providence of the Order of Carmelites in 1965 and started his novitiate at Aylesford Priory, Kent, England. After being professed there in 1966, Father then continued his studies in Dublin, Ireland, and next at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. After his Ordination to the Priesthood in Kent on July 16, 1972, Father Wilde was assigned to Aylesford Priory and Allington Castle in Kent, English Martyrs Church in London, Hazelwood Castle in Yorkshire, and as Director of the Shrine of St. Jude in Faversham. Taking part in an applied theology sabbatical at the University of California – Berkeley, Father Wilde then began assignments with the Pure Heart of Mary Province of the Carmelites in the U.S. and served at Parishes in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and then in Houston Texas. He became a U.S. citizen in 2007 and in September 2008 was assigned as Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Grove City. After six years in Grove City, Father Wilde travelled to El Salvador, Peru and Australia, before helping at the Carmelite Chapel in Peabody, Massachusetts, and in a semi-retired status at a high school in Encino, California. In 2019, Father Wilde returned to Florida and became a member of the community at Carmel at Mission Valley in Nokomis where he is currently Prior.
Deacon Raymond J. Barrett
Deacon Raymond J. Barrett was born in 1933 to Margaret A. Barre (Beuhne) and William F. Barrett. Deacon Barrett studied at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on September 30, 1972; part of the second Diaconate Class for the Archdiocese of Washington. Before relocating to Florida, Deacon Raymond served at Parishes in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, as well as in Prison Ministry, Hospital Ministry and assisting for 20 years at a retired priest nursing home in Washington. He also worked with the Little Sisters of the Poor. In the Diocese of Venice, Deacon Barrett served at St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres until his retirement in 2013, and continues to assist when he is able. In September 2022, Deacon will celebrate 66 years of marriage to his wife, Valerie (Lord). The couple have been blessed with five children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Before retiring in 1989, Deacon Barrett spent his career as a printer and proofreader for the U.S. government. In addition, for 61 years, he served as a volunteer firefighter for Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Father Hugh J. McGuigan, OSFS
Father Hugh J. McGuigan, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, was born in 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second of the nine children of Jeanne Marie (Tomas) and Hugh A. McGuigan. Father Hugh studied at Allentown College (now de Sales University), in Center Valley, Pennsylvania; De Sales School of Theology with Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and Nova Southeastern University. After serving as a brother with the Oblates for 25 years, Father McGuigan was Ordained to the Priesthood on May 31, 1997, in Wilmington, Delaware. As a priest, Father McGuigan served at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, first as Dean of Students, and then as Principal. On weekends, Father assisted at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Cape Coral, Resurrection Parish, St. Cecilia Parish, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and Our Lady of Light Parish, all in Fort Myers. Following his time at Bishop Verot, Father McGuigan was assigned as Parochial Vicar to Our Lady of Light Parish and was installed as the Pastor in 2005 where he continues in this role.
Father Patrick T. O’Connor, OSFS
The fourth of five children born to Kathleen (Smith) and Joseph O’Connor, Father Patrick T. O’Connor, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, studied at De Sales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania; De Sales School of Theology with Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; and Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Ordained to the Priesthood on May 31, 1997, in Wilmington, Delaware, Father O’Connor served at Parishes in Reston, Virginia, and Shallotte, North Carolina. Within the Diocese of Venice, Father O’Connor has previously served as a Chaplain at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Immokalee and St. Ann Parish in Naples. In 2009 he was assigned as Administrator of Jesus the Worker and San Jose Mission, both in Fort Myers. There he was instrumental in the construction of a new Church for Jesus the Worker and was named Pastor in 2014 when Jesus the Worker was erected as the 60th Parish in the Diocese of Venice. For the past 15 years, Father O’Connor has ministered in the Spanish-speaking immigrant community after teaching himself the language.
Father Leszek M. Sikorski
Father Leszek M. Sikorski was born in Drezdenko, Poland in 1964, the youngest of the three children of Lucja (Duzalska) and Zygmunt Sikorski. Father studied in Poland and then at Ss. Cyril and Methodius National Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan; at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland; Fordham University in the Bronx, New York; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia; and the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. After his Ordination to the Priesthood on October 25, 1997, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Father Sikorski served as Parochial Vicar at St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral and Sacred Heart Parish in Punta Gorda. While earning an advanced degree, Father Sikorksi served in the Bronx. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in March 2004 into the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps. While serving in the U.S. Navy, Father Sikorski served aboard numerous vessels as well as at bases in the U.S. and throughout the world, including Japan, Bahrain and Spain. Part of Father’s service included taking part in numerous humanitarian missions, as well as being instrumental in supervising the renovation of two chapels. Since 2020, Father has been assigned as a Command Chaplain with the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), a nuclear aircraft carrier currently under construction in Newport News, Virginia. As part of his military service, Command Chaplain Sikorski has earned the Fleet Marine Forces Qualified Officer pin, as well as the following decorations: four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon among additional service awards.
Deacon Henry de Mena
Born in 1956 in East Orange, New Jersey, to Agnes (Walsh) and Henry de Mena, Deacon de Mena earned a degree in chemical engineering from the New College of Engineering and then a degree in counseling from Seton Hall University. Deacon de Mena was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on May 2, 1997, in Paterson, New Jersey for that Diocese. After serving at Parishes in Cedar Knolls and Madison, New Jersey, Deacon de Mena relocated to Florida. He now serves at St. Agnes Parish in Naples. Deacon Henry is married to Dorine (vander Schraff) and the couple have two children and one grandchild. Although still serving as a consultant, Deacon de Mena retired from a career as a chemical engineer in 2012. Also a bereavement counselor, he offers bereavement courses within the Diocese of Venice.
Deacon Mark Miravalle
Deacon Mark Miravalle was born in 1959 in San Francisco, California, to John L. Stone and Nora Miravalle. He studied at the St. Ignatius Institute of the University of San Francisco and later at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome, Italy where he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and Doctor of Sacred Theology. Ordained a Permanent Deacon on June 7, 1997, in Hopedale, Ohio, Deacon Miravalle has served at Parishes in Steubenville and Hopedale, Ohio, and currently assists at Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria as a Visiting Professor of Mariology at Ave Maria University. Beginning in 1986, he served as Professor of Theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, specializing in Mariology (he is the St. John Paul II Chair of Mariology) and Spiritual Theology. The author of more than 20 books in Mariology and Spiritual Theology, Deacon Miravelle was the founder and senior editor of Ecce Mater Tua, an international journal on Mariology research, and is also president of the International Marian Association. Deacon Marivalle and his wife Lisbeth Joslyn have eight children, and 12 grandchildren.