On March 12, 2016 I was installed as the pastor of this most vibrant and truly Roman Catholic Christian community. That day was awesome and humbling all at the same time. It was a time for family, friends and the very supportive people of this community to come together and celebrate a transition. This transition is new manifestation of the calling that came from God and has led to an active ministry as an ordained priest here in New Mexico.
Immediately before being named the pastor at San Felipe de Neri, I was honored to be the pastor of another historic church. For eight and one half years I served in the San Miguel and Missions Community in Socorro County about an hour South of Albuquerque. As the pastor of TEN churches and TWENTY-ONE Cemeteries in Socorro County I never dreamt I was being prepared to be the spiritual leader of yet another holy, historic and venerable church like San Felipe here in Old Town.
Other prior assignments in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe have included The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, Spanish language study in Cuernavaca Mexico, The Shrine of St. Bernadette and the Aquinas Newman Center on the campus of the University of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico I also worked in Campus Ministry at Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana.
Being a student of Theology and Philosophy was my task in the years leading up to ordination in 2000. At the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, http://www.ai.edu/ I studied and received two Masters Degrees one in Divinity and one in Theology. My focus of work was in Liturgy. More specifically, my Masters project was entitled, “The Church Mouse and the City Mouse: A comparison and contrast of post-Vatican II worship spaces in the rural and urban areas of Illinois and Missouri.” It was really great to study different kinds of communities and how they were reflected in the particular worship spaces they were using on a regular basis.
Before seminary training began I was mostly a banker in Chicago. I worked off and on for the Harris Trust and Savings Bank ending my 13-year career there as a Banker in the Private Banking Department. The team I last worked on focused solely on customers who were Corporate Executives in the greater Chicago-land area. Some of those folks have kept in contact with me over the years to this very day.
On the personal side, I am the second oldest child in our very Roman Catholic family with Mom (Rosemarie) and our just recently deceased Dad (George). They were married just under 59 years before he passed in May of 2016. Mom and Dad retired from Chicago to Sun City Arizona about 20 years prior to Dad’s going to God. Mom and Dad enjoyed the great friends they made there, mostly through their church, St. Clement of Rome in Sun City. Mom now resides in a lovely assisted care home in Sun City where she has made lots of friends and has a full life. My older sister Judy a school teacher in Surprise Arizona, married to a lovely husband (James) AND is the Step-mom of two great young Moms. Tiffany, Judy’s oldest is married to Darryl and has three children, Aubrey, Gavin and Emma and they live in the Sacramento California area. Stephanie is Judy’s younger daughter is a nurse and married to Les and lives in Pennsylvania. Steph and Les have a daughter Ainsley who is just like her MOM in many ways . . .. My younger brother Mickey is married to Debbie for 22 years now and they have 5 children, Ashley, Charlie (my Godson), Kate, Brian and Dana. They live in New Lenox Illinois about an hour South of Chicago. Our youngest sister Marianne is married to Ray and they live in Worth Illinois a Southwest suburb of Chicago. I was just newly ordained a deacon when they were marrying so I was able to preside at their wedding. Mar and Ray have a beautiful daughter Erin who is just approaching her teenage years. Mar and Ray also have little Tommy George who is just starting school. Yes, I was able to baptize many of these children in my short years of priesthood already.
To close this short (?) biography, I would just like to welcome anyone who is visiting Albuquerque and/or Old Town to stop in and say, “Hi!” Our nearly 300 + year old community is in the heart of Old Town Albuquerque and is really hard to miss. Like many old time societies where the life of the whole group was focused on the church, we are one of the main attractions here in Old Town. We are quite a community that thrives on our Christian hospitality. The spirit of this community is one that is truly attractive which is why many of our regular parishioners come from many miles away to participate in the life of this holy, historic and venerable parish. Please stop by, say, “Hi!” and join us for one of our wonderfully vibrant liturgies.
God's blessings to you,
Fr. Andy, Pastor
San Felipe de Neri
Old Town Albuquerque, NM