Meet the New Deacons
Published: February 16, 2012
Deacon Thomas K. Badger
Age: 63 Date of Birth: Oct. 3, 1948 Place of Birth: Ocala, Fla.
Family: He and his wife, Harriette (Fritsch), have been married for 39 years and have four daughters, Elizabeth, Kristen, Jenna and Catherine, and six grandchildren.
Education: Bachelor of science in nursing from the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas; master of science in health care management from Troy University, Troy, Ala.
Work Experience: Served for 24 years in the U.S. Navy as a nurse in various positions, retiring in 2000 with the rank of captain. He then worked at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center, serving as nurse recruiter and later as coordinator of Community-Based Outpatient Clinics in the Atlanta metro area. He retired in 2010.
Hobbies and Interests: Travel, reading, stamp collecting.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Pastoral care to the sick and hospitalized, liturgy, church environment, military support ministry, vocations committee, volunteer at the VA hospital, chaplain services.
Future Ministries of Interest: Social justice
Parish Where Assigned: St. Ann Church, Marietta
Favorite Quote: “Keep smiling!”
Most Admired Person: Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Kolkata
Deacon Michael Richard Briggs
Age: 57 Date of Birth: Sept. 2, 1954 Place of Birth: Boynton Beach, Fla.
Family: He and his wife, Laura Marie, have been married for 18 years and have three daughters, Margaret Mary, Susan Elizabeth and Anna Maria.
Education: Palm Beach Junior College in Lake Worth, Fla.; studied theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla.; studied moral theology at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. His professional accreditations include Florida state building contractor, plumbing contractor and wildlife trapper and Georgia realtor.
Work Experience: He is the owner of the Apache Sprinkler Company Inc. and Briggs Nursery in Loxahatchee, Fla.
Hobbies and Interests: Fishing, NASCAR, antique cars.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Hospice. religious education, family and life
Future Ministries of Interest: Vocations
Parish Where Assigned: St Anthony Church, Blue Ridge
Favorite Quote: St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel daily and when necessary use words.”
Most Admired Person: St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina
Deacon Dennis Michael Carazza
Age: 63 Date of Birth: April 23, 1948 Place of Birth: Albany, N.Y.
Family: He and his wife, Cathy, have been married for 38 years and have a daughter, Megan DeAsis.
Education: Bachelor of business administration, Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.; Juris Doctor, Albany Law School, Albany, N.Y.; master of laws (taxation) New York University School of Law, New York, N.Y.
Work Experience: Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army, retired; SunTrust Bank, trust officer and advisor, private wealth management, Atlanta.
Hobbies and Interests: Avid N.Y. Yankees and N.Y. Giants’ fan, NASCAR, travel and cruises, health and fitness.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Baptism preparation, youth ministry, adult faith formation, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and minister to the homebound, lector, Eucharistic adoration, Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Future Ministries of Interest: Justice and charity, community outreach, adult education and confirmation, RCIA, youth ministry, marriage preparation, vocation awareness, pastoral care.
Parish Where Assigned: St. Mary Magdalene, Newnan
Favorite Quote: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
Most Admired Person: Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Savannah
Deacon Thomas F. McGivney
Age: 45 Date of Birth: Oct. 3, 1966
Place of Birth: Staten Island, N.Y.
Family: He and his wife, Maryann, who met each other in high school, have been married for 20 years and have three children, Jacqueline, Matthew and Kaitlin.
Education: Bachelor of arts in psychology, New York University, New York, N.Y.
Work Experience: Operations’ director of the Atlanta office of the investment advisory firm Sovereign Legacy. He and his wife own and operate a small business, and he has been a stay-at-home dad, recording artist and musician and co-owned and operated a publishing company.
Hobbies and Interests: Avid New York Yankees’ fan and baseball fan, Cooperstown visitor each year for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, enjoys watching his children’s soccer games, playing and listening to music, woodworking, writing, reading.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Extraordinary minister of holy Communion at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Atlanta, parish and assisted living communities. Member of Knights of Columbus and small faith group, Eucharistic guardian, baptism preparation, past lector ministry director, shelter volunteer and volunteer at North Fulton Community Charities.
Future Ministries of Interest: Training to be a Scout chaplain; interested in prison ministry and in Street Grace, which seeks to galvanize resources against child exploitation in Atlanta, a major human trafficking hub.
Parish Where Assigned: St. Thomas Aquinas, Alpharetta
Favorite Quote: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Most Admired Person: Best friend Martin Rivas, “who has steadfastly shared in my experience of tragedy, joy and success, wherever I am.”
Deacon Mark Daniel Mitchell
Age: 52 Date of Birth: Dec. 17, 1959 Place of Birth: Albany, Ga.
Family: He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 26 years and have two children, William and Morgan.
Education: Bachelor of science in geology and master of science in geology, both from the University of Georgia, Athens.
Work Experience: Registered professional geologist and president/chief operating officer of Genesis Project, Inc., an environmental consulting firm with offices in Smyrna and Charlotte, N.C. The primary focus of the company is to assist clients in the investigation and remediation of environmentally impacted soil, surface water and ground water at industrial and commercial facilities; due diligence investigations; maintaining compliance with state and federal environmental regulations as well as water supply development.
Hobbies and Interests: Backpacking, classical guitar, cycling, fly-fishing and golf.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: St. Thomas bereavement ministry, St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteer, Jamaica outreach ministry volunteer, lector, acolyte, ministry to the sick and homebound, baptismal preparation and marriage Sponsor Couple.
Future Ministries of Interest: Involvement in peace initiatives in the Holy Land, water supply development in underdeveloped countries, Tribunal case sponsor and youth/young adult/adult education ministry.
Parish Where Assigned: St. Thomas the Apostle, Smyrna
Favorite Quote: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:14-18).
Most Admired Person: St. Mary, the Mother of God
Deacon Barry Scott Phillips
Age: 48 Date of Birth: Aug. 28, 1963 Place of Birth: Greenville, S.C.
Family: He and his wife, Donna Welborn Phillips, have been married for 20 years and have one son, Tyler.
Education: Microcomputer Applications Degree, Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, S.C.
Work Experience: Thirty years’ experience in the printing, postal and graphic arts industry. Employed for the last 20 years at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, S.C.
Hobbies and Interests: Walking, cycling, fishing, Clemson University sports.
Parish Ministries Already Experienced In: Director of religious education, parish council, Knights of Columbus, lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, volunteer hospital minister, liturgy committee, coordinator of young adult ministry, parish webmaster, adult faith catechist, Christ Renews His Parish, former youth director, former RCIA director.
Future Ministries of Interest: Religious education, ministry to the sick, prison ministry.
Parish Where Assigned: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hartwell
Favorite Quote: St. Hippolytus: “God wished to win man back from disobedience, not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will a call to liberty.”
Most Admired Person: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day
Deacon José Adán Ortiz Velásquez
Age: 68 Date of Birth: Oct. 24, 1943
Place of Birth: Medellin, Colombia, South America
Family: He and his wife, Lucy Mejía, have been married for 42 years and have four daughters, Sandra María, Gloria Cristina, Olga Lucía and Liliana Patricia.
Education: Certificate from Colegio La Salle, La Estrella, Antioquia, Colombia; bachelor’s from Colegio El Rosario, Itaguí, Antioquia, Colombia; technical education in electronics and in textiles, Medellín, Colombia; five years of study in evangelization at the Pontifical University Bolivariana; certificate for five years of study in the permanent diaconate, Archdiocese of Medellín.
Work Experience: Polímeros Colombianos, Medellín, Colombia, processing synthetic fibers as a textile technologist; evangelization in parishes in Colombia for five years and the United States for nine years.
Hobbies and Interests: Fishing, poetry and reading.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: In Spanish at St. Lawrence Church for nine years served as lector coordinator and in marriage preparation, RCIA, baptismal catechesis, coordinator of men retirees for Christ Renews His Parish, and coordinator of Bible school.
Future Ministries of Interest: Pro-life work, AIDS ministry, pastoral work in alcoholism and drug addiction.
Parish Where Assigned: St. Lawrence, Lawrenceville
Favorite Quote: “Yo soy el camino, la verdad y la vida,” dice el Señor. (“I am the way, the truth and the life,” said the Lord.) (John 14:6)
Most Admired Person: Blessed John Paul II
Deacon Edward (Ed) Arthur Santa
Age: 74 Date of Birth: June 22, 1937 Place of Birth: Providence, R.I.
Family: He and his wife, Linda, have been married for 26 years and have five children, Lisa, Suzanna, Cynthia, Shelia and Shaun, and five grandchildren.
Education: Pre-dental at Loyola University, New Orleans; D.D.S. from Loyola University Chicago. Postgraduate dental residency, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash. Graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Work Experience: Military service includes service in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Belgium and within the continental United States. Retired in 1988 after his last assignment in Alaska and practiced dentistry full time for 10 years in Cobb County and then part time for Cobb County Health Department. Retired in 2009. Military honors include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Metal with two Oak Leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Military Medical Merit Medal and Dental Corps Fairbank Medal.
Hobbies and Interests: Travel and reading.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Acolyte, lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and to the sick, sacristan, senior high mentor program, Knights of Columbus.
Future Ministries of Interest: Liturgy, religious education and ministering to the sick, the elderly and the poor. Also to become more active in St. Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Relief Services.
Parish Where Assigned: Transfiguration Church, Marietta
Favorite Quote: Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Kolkata: “Live simply so that others may simply live.”
Most Admired Person: Blessed John Paul II
Deacon Dominic Saulino Jr.
Age: 55 Date of Birth: July 4, 1956
Family: He and his wife, Judi, have been married for 29 years and have one daughter, Lauren.
Education: Bachelor of science in civil engineering, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.
Work Experience: Associate vice president and director of transportation for the Atlanta office of HNTB Corp., a transportation consulting firm.
Hobbies and Interests: Spending time with family, golf and reading.
Particular Ministries Already Experienced In: Facilitator of Transfiguration Cancer Support Group, chair of the Holy Name Society, member of “Ministers of Caring” who bring Eucharist to the homebound, lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
Future Ministries of Interest: Recently completed training to provide pastoral care to patients in Hospice Atlanta. Looking forward to teaching adult education classes and administering the sacraments within the faculties of a deacon.
Parish Where Assigned: Transfiguration Church, Marietta
Favorite Quote: To paraphrase Luke 6:41-42: “Don’t worry about the splinter in someone else’s eye when you have a wooden beam in yours. Get rid of the beam in your own eye so you can see clearly to remove the splinter from your neighbor’s eye.”
Most Admired Person: Deacon Tom Coffey, who has “a very caring and compassionate spirit. Tom is a great preacher and has the grace to give sound spiritual advice.”
Deacon Tom G. Walter
Date of Birth: April 16, 1952
Place of Birth: Chicago
Family: He and his wife, Susan, have been married for 35 years and have a daughter, Kathryn Moya, and a son, Patrick, and three grandchildren.
Education: Bachelor of science in sociology and master of science in education in counselor education, both from Illinois State University, Normal, Ill. Doctorate in counseling and student affairs administration, University of Georgia, Athens.
Work Experience: For the past 22 years, Vice President for Student Affairs, Gainesville State College, Gainesville. Previously served as director of counseling and student development, Reinhardt College, Waleska; director of residential life, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, La.; counseling center director, North Georgia College, Dahlonega; and resident director, Department of Housing, West Virginia Institute of Technology, Montgomery, W.Va.
Hobbies and Interests: Reading, contemporary Christian music, traveling and time with family.
Parish Ministries Already Experienced In: Parish pastoral and finance councils, choir, lector, coordinator of lector ministry, liturgy committee, adult education/enrichment, Catholics Come Home, RCIA, acolyte, hospital ministry, Christ Renews His Parish, catechist.
Future Ministries of Interest: Serving at Mass, preaching, coordination of lector ministry, liturgy committee, adult education/enrichment, Catholics Come Home, RCIA, hospital ministry, Christ Renews His Parish, catechist.
Parish Where Assigned: Prince of Peace, Flowery Branch
Favorite Quote: “In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him is life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in the darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.” (John 1:1-5).
Most Admired Person: Blessed Pope John Paul, the Great