Fr. Rene is a member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (Paulist Fathers) and Executive Director of the Catholic Information Center. He comes to us from Texas where he served 4 years as associate pastor at St. Austin’s parish in the Diocese of Austin. Fr. Rene was born in Belize and is the 7th of 9 children. He did his undergraduate studies at Spalding University and graduate studies in higher education administration at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Prior to getting his Masters of Divinity (with concentration on Hispanic Ministry) at the Catholic University of America in D.C. and being ordained a priest in 2012, he was principal of a Catholic diocesan high school in Belize.
He first came to Grand Rapids in 2006 during his Novitiate tour of Paulist foundations and later returned during his pastoral year in 2009-2010. He remembers a conversation he had with Fr. Joe Gallagher, CSP in 2006; When asked what made Grand Rapids so special, Fr. Joe answered without missing a beat, “its the people.”
Fr. Rene has a passion for evangelization, young adult ministry, Hispanic ministry and ecumenism, which was fueled by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” where Pope Francis highlights the importance of Christians to put aside suspicion and work to build trust as “pilgrim people journeying alongside one another.”
Phone: 616.459.7267 ext.1810
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
Kelly is responsible for communication strategy, branding, and marketing across various media outlets. She received her B.A. in Communications from Michigan State University. Her background is in customer service, sales training and product marketing. Kelly also serves on the Board of Directors for the First Tee of West Michigan.
Phone: 616.459.7267 ext.1809
Director of Programming
Irene has been with the Catholic Information Center for 35 years. Irene received her B.A. in Education and M.A. in the Art in Education from Aquinas College. She is responsible for the development, execution and follow up for CIC programming and special events. Irene also designs the CIC program guides and brochures.
Phone: 616.459.7267 ext.1801
Karen is responsible for hospitality, database management, scheduling and calendar systems, social media updating, and coordinating materials and information for meetings, events and presentations. Karen is a Davenport graduate and worked for Meijer Corporate Headquarters before joining the CIC. She is married and has one son, who is a junior in high school this year. She and her family enjoy long bike rides, boating and attending baseball games.
Phone: 616.459.7267 ext. 1803
Our Evening Receptionist is Esperanza Garcia.
Phone: 616.459-7267 ext. 1803
John Geaney, CSP is Director Emeritus of the Catholic Information Center and Rector of the Cathedral of St. Andrew. Born and raised in Malden, MA. Fr. G was ordained a Paulist Father in 1964, and holds an MA in Theology from St. Paul’s College, Washington, DC and an MA in Communications from UCLA. He has served as a long time radio host and an award winning producer of several types of adult and children’s television programming, talk shows, documentaries, and commercials. Fr. Geaney comes to Grand Rapids from Memphis, TN, where he served 8 years as Pastor of St. Augustine. Previously, he was Priest Director of Catholic Relief Services, and President of Paulist Communications, as well as Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Baltimore and a Chaplain at the University Catholic Center at UCLA.
Phone: 616.459.7267 ext.1905
After ten years as a Benedictine Monk, Fr. Joachim joined the Paulist Fathers in 1972. In addition to his theological studies, he has an M.S. in Counseling and is a certified presenter of Centering Prayer. He has served in parishes, Newman centers and information centers, specializing in a variety of ministries with African Americans and Hispanics. He has traveled extensively in the Dominican Republic, participating in and leading over thirty evangelization, construction, and medical missions as well as founding and directing a Spanish language total immersion program in Santo Domingo, from 1985-1995.
Fr. Bill is a West Coast person at heart. He grew up in Oregon and still visits his family there whenever he can. Other than the Pacific Northwest, his most favorite place on earth is Lake George, New York, where the Paulist Fathers have a vacation house on the east shore of the Lake. He loves working in his woodworking shop there. Fr. Bill was ordained to the priesthood for the Paulist Fathers in 1981 and has served 13 years in parish ministry in Layton, UT; Los Angeles, CA; and Portland, OR. He served 18 years in campus ministry in Santa Barbara, CA; Clemson, SC; and Berkeley, CA. He had a life-changing sabbatical in Ghana, West Africa, where he learned about culture-crossing and immersion in a new culture. He is interested in helping people develop an imagination for crossing into alternate cultural worlds.
Phone: 616.456-1454 ext.1906