Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Meet the permanent deacons ordained Feb. 6

Published February 19, 2016

ATLANTA–An introduction to the eight men who were ordained to the permanent diaconate for the Atlanta Archdiocese on Feb. 6:

David A. Barron                          

Age: 54, born June 20, 1961, in Evansville, Indiana. Married to Michelle for 24 years, with son, John, and daughter, Haille.

Assigned to Holy Family Church, Marietta.

Education: University of Evansville, Indiana, bachelor of science in business; master of business administration, Nova University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Work experience: Assistant women’s tennis coach, 1985-1990,University of Florida, Gainesville; head men’s tennis coach, 1990-2000, Florida State University, Tallahassee; sales, 2000-present.

Parish ministries: RCIA, altar servers, lector, adoration, Habitat for Humanity, Eucharistic minister, Eucharistic minister for the homebound, Life Teen, CRHP.

Ministries of interest: Embrace, Amigos for Christ, Catholic Relief Services.

Additional languages: Some Spanish.

Hobbies, interests: All types of outdoor activities, reading (especially history).

Favorite quote: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” (Abraham Lincoln).


Julian Peter Harris II

Age: 65, born July 15, 1950, in Marietta. Married to Kyong Ok (Kay), with son, Robert, and daughter-in-law, Pam.

Assigned to Transfiguration Church, Marietta.

Education: Georgia State University, Atlanta, bachelor of science in education (1976), master of education (1978), educational specialist in science education (1994) and master in educational administration add-on (1996).

Work experience: Davison’s Department Store (Macy’s Atlanta), 1968-1978, sales and operations; two elementary schools, McNair Middle School (1989-1999) and Riverwood International Charter High School (1999-2012), teacher, coordinator and administration, 33 years.

Parish ministries: St. Vincent de Paul Society, ministry of caring, pastoral care, RCIA/OCI, catechist, Faith and Light/inclusion ministries, Holy Name Society, perpetual adoration, Knights of Columbus, men’s club, parish advisory council, liturgy council.

Ministries of interest: Serving the poor/poverty education, Family Promise, senior care, prison ministry, Right to Life, Embrace, Pax Christi, airport ministry, marriage preparation, pastoral care.

Hobbies, interests: Ballroom dancing, travel, walking/hiking, reading, science and technology.

Favorite quote: “To be just, it is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self-interest as the driving force of society” (Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ, 1907-1991).


Jack Stephen Herndon 

Age: 66, born April 1, 1949, in Santa Paula, California. Married to Kathleen for 45 years, with sons, Charles, Stephen and William, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Assigned to St. Marguerite d’Youville Church, Lawrenceville.

Education: U.S. Navy at Great Lakes, Illinois, technical education in electronics.

Work experience: Ricoh Americas Corporation, Tucker, senior specialist for 37 years. Previously six years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician. Served as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Navy at Da Nang, Vietnam.

Parish ministries: St. Vincent de Paul Society, lector, Eucharistic minister, acolyte, RCIA director and facilitator, adult education.

Ministries of interest: Prison ministry, homeless shelter.

Hobbies, interests: Amateur radio (holds an extra class license), reading, photography, computers, history.

Favorite quote: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God” (Leo Buscaglia).


Dr. Thomas M. Kretzmer       

Age: 57, born Jan. 25, 1958, in Teaneck, New Jersey. Family includes father, Richard M. Kretzmer.

Assigned to St. Peter the Rock Church, The Rock.

Education: St. Lawrence Seminary, Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin; Kennesaw Jr. College; Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee, doctor of optometry.

Work experience: U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Saratoga CV60, aviation medical tech, 1976-1981; Kennestone Hospital, nursing assistant, 1981-1986; optometrist, solo practice, Thomaston, 25 years.

Parish ministries: Sacristan, parish council, finance, stewardship, liturgy, Knights of Columbus (financial secretary), adult education, Eucharistic minister, lector, RCIA, catechist, House of Care coordinator.

Ministries of interest: Hispanic community outreach.

Hobbies, interests: Hunting, reading.

Favorite quote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried” (G. K. Chesterton).


Kapya M. Ngoy

Age: 45, born Sept. 16, 1970, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Married to Mwisangie Ngoy for 17 years, with son, Jordi , daughter, Laetitia, and son, Yannick.

Assigned to St. Marguerite d’Youville Church, Lawrenceville.

Education: Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, bachelor of science in civil engineering technology.

Work experience: Civil engineer, independent contractor.

Parish ministries: St. Vincent de Paul Society, extraordinary minister of the sick, Eucharistic minister, RCIA facilitator, music ministry, Knights of Columbus.

Ministries of interest: Ministries to the poor.

Additional languages: French, Lingala, Swahili, Kiluba, some Spanish.

Hobbies, interests: Judo, soccer.

Favorite quote: “A coeur vaillant rien d’impossible.” (“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”)


Dr. Robert Thomas Perri

Age: 65, born July 13, 1950, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Married to Linda for 40 years, with daughter, Jennifer Lynn Kovach, and one grandson.

Assigned to Prince of Peace Church, Flowery Branch.

Education: St. Louis University, bachelor of arts in philosophy; University of Minnesota Medical School, doctor of medicine; University of Minnesota,internal medicine internship and residency; University of Minnesota, hematology-oncology fellowship; Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama, certificate in ecclesial ministry.

Work experience: St. Paul (Minnesota) Ramsey County Hospital emergency room, staff physician; University of Minnesota/VA Medical Center, Minneapolis: staff hematologist-oncologist (associate professor); director, Flow Cytometry Laboratory; chair, Cooperative Cancer Study Group; chief, VAMC hematology-oncology fellowship program; research investigator, career development award; instructor, Medical Students Blood Course; medical career advisor for students, interns/residents and fellows.

Parish ministries: Lector, Eucharistic minister, acolyte, RCIA, Catholics Returning Home, St. Vincent de Paul Society, cancer support group, hospital ministry, Bible study group.

Ministries of interest: Hospital ministry, Scripture study, RCIA.

Hobbies, interests: Travel, music (guitar and piano), art, reading, chess, billiards.

Favorite quote: “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10).


Paul F. J. Schueth

Age: 53, born Feb. 7, 1962, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Married to Betsy for 30 years, with son, Michael, daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Jared DeFiore.

Assigned to Good Samaritan Church, Ellijay.

Education: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, bachelor of science in marketing/management, minor in psychology, 1984.

Work experience: The Coca-Cola Company, senior national sales executive. Prior experience with Arby’s and Kraft Foods.

Parish ministries: Youth ministry, Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul Society, lector, Eucharistic minister, acolyte, religious education, parish council.

Ministries of interest: St. Vincent de Paul Society, outreach to immigrants, imprisoned and impoverished.

Hobbies, interests: Physical fitness, mountain biking, hiking in North Georgia with wife, golf, hunting, fishing, boating, water sports.

Favorite quote: “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us” (Lk 1:78).


James Dale Skolds                                              

Age: 61, born June 29, 1954, in Joliet, Illinois. Married to Jody Ann for 32 years, with three daughters, Shanna, Kelly and Mallory.

Assigned to St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville.

Education: Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois, bachelor of arts in accounting, 1980; Gwinnett Technical College, associate degree in computer programming, 2003.

Work experience: Ventiv Technology, Atlanta, data analyst since 2004.

Parish ministries: RCIA, Catholics Returning Home, baptismal preparation, hospice ministry, St. Vincent de Paul Society, acolyte, Eucharistic minister.

Ministries of interest: Hospice, prison ministry, Amigos for Christ.

Hobbies, interests: A passionate woodworker. “I design my own projects down to the last joint. To me there is almost an ethereal feeling when I take a stack of boards and turn it into something that someone will eat on or sleep in.”

Favorite quote: “No experience is wasted if at the end you have learned something” (Jim Skolds).