By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published July 10, 2014
Father Luis Alvarez
Birthdate: May 26, 1983
Birthplace: Puerto Rico
Parents: Luis Alnedo Alvarez Rodriguez and Carmen Maria Velazquez Melendez.
Family: Father Alvarez has a younger brother, Jonathan Luis, and two half-siblings, Alexander and Emily.
Education: Attended Georgia Tech for undergraduate studies and participated in Navy ROTC while there.
Seminary: St. Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Hobbies: Reading, jigsaw puzzles, music, movies and video games
Languages spoken: English and Spanish
How have you changed since entering seminary? “Between entering and completing seminary, I believe the most impactful change in me has been an even greater understanding and appreciation for God’s gift of life to all of us and how we can take it for granted so easily. The death of my grandparents a few years ago also helped me in a very real and concrete way to understand the grieving and mourning process firsthand.”
What ministries interest you most? “Coming from a Benedictine seminary, I realize that I have developed a natural charism for liturgy and music, which I know I will naturally incline towards, but I am really looking forward to serving the ever-growing Hispanic ministry of our local Church in whatever capacity I may be best suited to minister to the people of God and ultimately for their salvation.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Church, Flowery Branch.
Father Brian Baker
Birthdate: Feb. 1, 1979
Birthplace: Newport News, Virginia
Parents: Nicholas Baker Jr. and Claire Baker.
Family: Father Baker has an older half-sister, Laura, older brother, Nicholas, and younger twin siblings, Thomas and Jennifer.
Education: Attended Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, and studied biology, biochemistry and psychology.
Music: Before he was a seminarian, his singing talents won him an audition before the celebrity judges on “American Idol” that aired in 2003. He also won a VIP spot for “American Idol” auditions by participating in a radio contest in 2005. That time he was cut from the first rounds of auditions, a “great moment of humility.” This past Easter, while a seminarian in Rome, he was selected to chant the “Exultet” at the Easter Vigil celebrated by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Seminary: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy.
How have you changed since entering seminary? “Through seminary, I’ve grown closer to the Lord and have learned to rely on him more completely, especially in prayer and the sacraments. But through that closer relationship with him, and with the people he has called me to serve for love of him, I’ve grown in a deeper understanding of who I am. My truest identity has been revealed to me by preparing for and receiving the vocation to which he has called me.”
What ministries interest you most? “I look forward to celebrating the Holy Eucharist and ministering the sacrament of reconciliation.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at St. Brigid Church, Johns Creek, in July and August. He will return to the Pontifical North American College in Rome this fall to study for a licentiate in sacred theology.
Father Matthew Dalrymple
Birthdate: Aug. 16, 1979
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Parents: Jack and Sally Dalrymple, of Roswell.
Family: Father Dalrymple’s brother, Andy, and sister-in-law, Caroline, live in South Carolina.
Education: Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Dedman Law School at Southern Methodist, where he received a law degree in 2005. He practiced law with private firms and then was an assistant district attorney for Dawson County, Georgia.
Seminary: Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, and the Pontifical North American College, Rome, Italy.
Languages spoken: English and Italian
Call to priesthood: “While in graduate school, I was expecting to one day have a natural family, and I was working on a law degree, but in prayer, I sensed the Lord was asking for something. A friend and classmate at the time was a consecrated man living celibately for the kingdom of God, and this disarmed me to what celibacy was about. He was a normal guy, just completely dedicated to God. In prayer, I asked the Lord what he wanted with my life, and I got the sense in prayer that the Lord was inviting me to live completely dedicated as his Son did.”
How have you changed since entering seminary? “Since I entered seminary, the Lord has built up in me greater faith, hope and love.”
What was the year as a transitional deacon like? “In preparing to be a priest, the ministry of deacon prepared me well since it is a training in service. As a deacon, I have been serving those around me and assisting priests in sanctifying, teaching and governing the flock entrusted to their care.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Church, Flowery Branch, in July and August. He will return to the Pontifical North American College in Rome in the fall to complete a licentiate in sacramental theology.
Father Desmond Drummer
Birthdate: May 22, 1983
Birthplace: Petersburg, Virginia
Parents: Darlyne McClinton Drummer of San Antonio, Texas, and Donald and Sharon Rogers Drummer of New Jersey.
Family: Father Drummer has a twin brother, Demond, and an older stepsister, Nikki.
Education: Studied economics and public health at Morehouse College, Atlanta.
Seminary: Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois
Hobbies: An “unapologetic political junkie.”
Call to the priesthood: “I’ve been blessed to have incredible pastors throughout my life, both as a Protestant and a Catholic. I’m especially inspired by my former Pentecostal pastor in San Antonio, Rev. Dr. Claudette A. Copeland. I met Msgr. Edward Branch in the spring of 2003 when I sought to learn more about the Catholic Church. Father Branch was there for me at a most critical time in my life. Looking back, it was not only his insight in matters spiritual and religious that made him relevant. Father Branch possessed a keen awareness of history, culture, politics, and psychology. He was a global citizen. His ministry involved the entire scope of human affairs—and he was intentional about this. Father Branch made the priesthood look good!”
How have you changed since entering seminary? “I’ve become more aware of how religion can harm people. Many Catholics I have encountered have been harmed or discouraged by the way Christian teaching is presented to them. We can do better. We must do better! I think Pope Francis is helping us with this.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell.
Father Junot Nelvy
Birthdate: Feb. 8, 1982
Birthplace: Les Cayes, Haiti
Parents: His mother is Dieuvelie Nelvy. Father Nelvy’s father died when he was 3.
Family: Father Nelvy has two older brothers, Patrick and Romain, and one older sister, Romene.
Education: Georgia Tech to study English, where he completed study in spring 2009.
Seminary: Notre-Dame Seminary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
Hobbies: Loves comedy and action movies and listening to music. The former professional guitar player still enjoys playing guitar.
Languages spoken: Haitian Creole, French and English
Call to the priesthood: Father Nelvy has had a desire to be a priest since he received first Communion at the age of 11. He began to discern the priesthood in his early 20s. “It is, in fact, through a lot of prayers and self-reliance on God’s providence that I was finally convinced I must pursue the vocation to the priesthood.” He was inspired by many good priests, in Haiti, in the seminary, and in the archdiocese, particularly Father Jack Durkin and Father Gilbert Exumé. “Above all, for me the answer to this great vocation of the priesthood is all inspired by the love we all share in Jesus Christ. It is a call that required a generous answer.”
What ministries interest you most?: “I am very interested in the ministry of marriage and family. However, I am totally open to serve wherever I am needed. It’s not about me picking what I like to do, but it is all about serving the good people of God in any area where I am needed the most. … Wherever I go, I am truly confident that God will provide the necessary grace to do the work that He will have for me.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw.
Father Rey Pineda
Birthdate: Sept. 14, 1988
Birthplace: State of Guerrero, Mexico
Parents: Rey and Teresa Avellaneda Pineda, of Lawrenceville.
Family: Father Pineda is the older brother to siblings Lisbeth, Edgar and Griselda.
Education: 2010 graduate of Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, the college’s last graduating class. He studied philosophy.
Seminary: Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois
Hobbies: Father Pineda enjoys cooking, and his father is a chef.
Languages spoken: English and Spanish
How have you changed since entering seminary? “Zeal for God and his mission is always there. But it changes in how it shows through in our life. The Gospel says there is a time for all things; this is very true. Sometimes the academics were heavy and other times, the human formation was demanding, but all together there was growth.”
What was the year as a transitional deacon like? “This last year has been one of the most intense; for many reasons, but especially because of how God showed me time and again that he is always with me. God is faithful, even when we are not.”
What ministries interest you most? “I would like to work with the youth and with some efforts to minister to the growing immigrant reality in the United States.”
First assignment: Parochial vicar at St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceville.