- I have a B.A. in Psychology / Sociology from Rutgers University, Newark College of Arts and Sciences. I had enough credits for a Minor in Religious Studies, but the University did not formally have a Minor program in place until after I graduated.
- I have an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. I graduated summa cum laude.
- I have Catechist Certification in the Newark Archdiocese.
- I worked for 36 years in Youth Ministry in various parishes in the Newark Archdiocese, more specifically in Bergen County. I have been involved in church ministry in one form or another for 44 years.
- I have been working part-time for nine years as the Pastoral Associate for Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oakland, NJ, where I train and work with liturgical ministers, conduct a yearly Lenten series for adults, run the RCIA Program, facilitate a men's faith sharing group, create seasonal reflections (Advent and Lent), conduct workshops in child protection, and maintain the parish website, to name a few things. For the past two years I served as the Parish Catechetical Leader (coordinator of the Religious Education Program).
- Throughout the years I have served as: lector, cantor, choir member, catechist, Parish Catechetical Leader, Parish Council member, Liturgy Committee member, retreat team member, retreat leader, Confirmation Program supervisor, Catholic Identity Committee member, Middle States Planning Committee member, Middle States Select Committee member, Middle States Evaluation Team member, SEARCH retreat Board of Trustees member, editor for a county-wide retreat newsletter, Cub Scout den leader, Cub Scout Committee member, and Cubmaster.
My Teaching Philosophy
I became a teacher because many people who knew me used to ask, "Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher? I think you would be good at it." So I finally took their observations to heart. I am starting my 26th year here still doing what I love and what I feel I was called by God to do. (I started my time at SJR in the 1998-1999 school year.)
I see teaching as a form of ministry. I take my classroom instruction seriously, since the subject matter deals with the most important thing in existence, namely our relationship with Jesus Christ. Through the material, my hope is that students will come to know and understand Jesus better and as a result deepen their relationship with Him. I make it very clear that my goal in the classroom is to make my students better Christians, better men, better sons, better brothers, and better human beings. I truly want to form my students into the Faithful Man.
My Areas of Interest
I am an avid reader, and over the years I have read hundreds of books on an assortment of subjects. My preference is non-fiction: biblical archaeology, Church history, theology, apologetics, world religions, evolution, morality, forensics, paranormal research, physics and science, and human behavior. I do enjoy fictional works as well: Fahrenheit 451, A Tale of Two Cities, Frank Herbert's Dune trilogy and the sequels written by his son, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Catcher in the Rye, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Anna Karenina, to name a few. As soon as I finish one book, I have already picked up another one. I find reading to be a fantastic way to expand my mind, increase my knowledge, travel to imaginary places, and just relax and enjoy.
On the theological side, I consider myself to be well-versed in apologetics (a formal defense of the faith), "irregular" or "fringe" religious groups, the paranormal, and the Shroud of Turin. On the non-theological side I am fairly well-versed in forensic science and the study of dreams.
I enjoy studying history and foreign languages. I can speak Spanish fairly well, and I know just a little Italian, Greek, and German. Oh, and as my classroom walls (which are covered with posters) will attest, I have a "mild" interest in Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. I am also a big fan of Star Trek (The Original Series) and music from the 70s.
I wrote a 72-page booklet entitled Scripture Alone? 21 Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura (TAN Books, 1999) as well as a number of articles that have appeared in This Rock magazine (now known as Catholic Answers magazine) and one that appeared in New Oxford Review magazine. I recently completed a major expansion of my booklet, and Catholic Answers has agreed to publish it. I will post more details as they become available.
I have traveled to Bermuda, England, Scotland, the Caribbean, and Canada (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). I have visited 30 out of the 50 states.