By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Editor | Published April 29, 2022
ATLANTA—The Archdiocese of Atlanta honored clergy celebrating 25 and 50 years in the priesthood at the recent Chrism Mass:
Father Paul Berny
Father Paul Berny was born in September 1947 to Walter and Julia Drzymala. A native of Buffalo, New York, Father Paul was educated in Catholic schools. His senior class of more than 200 boys produced five other priests.
He attended Canisus College in Buffalo, St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora, New York; and Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana, where he earned a master of divinity. He later earned a master of arts from Catholic University of America.
As a seminarian and musician, he composed music, including “He is Our Hope,” for the Catholic Congress on Worship held in Atlanta in 1970. He continued to share his talents for musical composition throughout his service in the archdiocese, including helping plan the music for the Pallium Mass of Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., in 2020.
Father Berny was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on June 17, 1972.
One of his early assignments was to serve at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Decatur.
Father Berny served as an Air Force chaplain in Europe. His military decorations include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster.
Returning to Atlanta, he served at several parishes including as pastor for St. Gabriel Church in Fayetteville, St. Joseph Church in Marietta and Prince of Peace Church in Flowery Branch.
He additionally served as a spiritual director for the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW) and on the College of Consultors for the archdiocese. Father Berny was also president of the Priests Council.
In 2011, then-Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory assigned Father Berny to Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell, serving as a chaplain and theology teacher.
Father Berny is now a priest-in-residence at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta. He is the theological consultant to the Office of Divine Worship of the archdiocese.
Msgr. Peter Dora
Msgr. Peter Dora was born in Vincennes, Indiana in 1946 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. He moved to Atlanta in 1965.
He attended St. Thomas Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland and Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Msgr. Dora was ordained on May 27, 1972 by Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.
His ministry in the archdiocese has been varied, beginning by serving as a parochial vicar at the cathedral and St. Joseph Church in Athens.
In 1974, Msgr. Dora was appointed editor of The Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper of the archdiocese. While serving in the editor’s role, he was also a parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church, Decatur, and then at Sacred Heart Church, Atlanta.
In 1977, Msgr. Dora was reassigned to St. Joseph Church, Athens, as a parochial vicar. In 1979, he began a nine-year assignment with the archdiocesan tribunal, appointed the judicial vicar in 1983.
In 1986, he became the communications director for the archdiocese, which included being the official spokesman for the local church. He was the administrative assistant for Archbishop Eugene Marino for one year before being appointed to St. Joseph Church in Athens as the pastor.
He received the papal honor of monsignor in 1995, and was appointed vicar general of the archdiocese in 1997.
Building his first computer from a home kit in 1975, Msgr. Dora used his talents as the webmaster of the archdiocesan webpage. Atlanta was one of the first five dioceses in the world to create a web page.
Msgr. Dora was named administrator of St. James Mission in Madison in 2000. He retired in 2015.
Father Thomas Meehan
Father Thomas Meehan was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1944 to Tom and Maxine Meehan—the third of four children. His brother, Terry, is a retired Catholic priest in Dayton, Ohio.
Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Father Meehan entered St. Gregory’s Seminary after high school graduation in 1963. He became a member of the Glenmary Home Missioners in 1965 and earned an undergraduate degree at Maryknoll Seminary in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1968. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1972 from St. Louis University and was ordained the same year in his home parish in Cincinnati.
Father Meehan served as an associate pastor and pastor of parishes in North Carolina and Kentucky, then as personnel director of Glenmary Missioners in Atlanta from 1987-1993. He was a chaplain at Grady Hospital in Atlanta and director of the HIV/AIDS ministry from 1993-1998 with residence at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Archbishop John F. Donoghue incardinated Father Meehan into the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1998. He served as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church from 1998-2002 before returning to chaplaincy work for two years. Father Meehan served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church from 2004-2012 and was there when it was named a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Father Meehan retired as a pastor in 2012. He lives in Florida and assists regularly at Resurrection Catholic Church in Miramar Beach and St. Rita Catholic Church in Santa Rosa Beach.
Msgr. Terry Young
A native of Maryland, Msgr. Terry Young was born in 1940. He attended St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on May 5, 1972, by Archbishop Thomas Donnellan.
Msgr. Young began his priestly ministry as parochial vicar and director of religious education at Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta. He became assistant principal at St. Joseph High School, Atlanta, and taught religion there from 1973 to 1976. He became principal of the school in 1975 and served in that capacity for 18 months before the school’s closing.
In 1976, Msgr. Young was named principal of St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, and reorganized the school, which had been developed around the open classroom. During his 15-year tenure at St. Pius, he introduced programs designed to meet the needs of underachieving students and those with learning problems and began a pastoral ministry to students. The school’s Center for Performing Arts is named in his honor, recognizing the support he gave to developing programs in drama, the arts and creative writing.
Msgr. Young also served the archdiocese as secretary for education and as pastor of St. Benedict Church, Duluth.
He was elevated to the rank of monsignor in December 1994. He retired in 2010 as pastor of St. Mary Mother of God Church in Jackson.
In 2018, The Pius Players of St. Pius X High School in Atlanta dedicated their spring musical production, “Best of Broadway” to Msgr. Young.
Msgr. Young is now the priest-in-residence at St. James the Apostle Church in McDonough.
Father Paschal Amagba, CMF
Father Paschal Amagba, CMF, was born on May 25, 1967 in Nigeria, the second of five children in his family.
He made his first profession with the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—the Claretian Missionaries—in September 1990. Father Amagba then earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from the Claretian Institute of Philosophy. He made his perpetual profession with the Claretian Missionaries in September 1995.
After receiving a bachelor of arts in sacred theology from Bigard Memorial Seminary in Nigeria, Father Amagba was ordained a priest on July 5, 1997 in Attakwu, Enugu, Nigeria.
He earned a master’s degree in science in 2013 at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas with a specialization in family and individual psychotherapy. Father Amagba received a Ph.D. in general psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2020.
His priestly assignments included parish ministry in the Republic of Panama, with the general curia in Rome and as an associate pastor at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Los Angeles. He served as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in San Antonio, before coming to Atlanta in 2015.
Father Amagba now serves as pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Stone Mountain. One of the most diverse parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, its parishioners represent more than 40 countries on four continents.
Father Darragh Griffith
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Father Darragh Griffith’s parents were leaders in the charismatic movement and inspired him with their love for Christ. Their witness encouraged him to travel and seek God’s will in his life.
Father Griffith spent a year with a Christian community in Australia, then felt led to enter the seminary. He attended St. John’s College in Waterford, Ireland. He received a bachelor of theology degree with distinction from St. Patrick’s Pontifical University in Maynooth, Ireland.
Father Griffith was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1997. He then came to Atlanta as there was a need for priests at the time in archdiocese, which was viewed as a missionary diocese then. He has witnessed the tremendous growth of the archdiocese, serving in a number of parishes.
Serving the church is a family tradition. Father Griffith’s great-uncle was a priest in Dublin, his cousin is a priest in the Philippines and his aunt was a sister serving in New Zealand.
In the archdiocese, Father Griffith has served as a parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the King, St. James Church in McDonough and Holy Family Church, Marietta. He later led the parish communities of Holy Family Church and Mary Our Queen Church in Peachtree Corners as pastor. Father Griffith was the homilist of the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Mass at the Cathedral, reflecting on the saint’s impact on his own life.
His current assignment is as parochial vicar at St. Brigid Church, Johns Creek.
Father Ryan Maher, SJ
Father Ryan Maher, SJ, is the oldest of Mike and JoAnne Maher’s six children. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. A product of Catholic schools from first grade through doctoral studies, he first met the Jesuits as a high school student at Brophy Prep, the Jesuits’ high school in Phoenix. From there he continued his Jesuit education at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in linguistics and fed his passion for politics. After graduating, he worked for three years on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant in the United States Senate.
Father Maher entered the Jesuits in 1986 at age 26. He was ordained a priest on June 14, 1997. In the course of his training, he earned master’s degrees in philosophy and divinity and a doctorate in education. He has taught in Jesuit high schools in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and he spent 11 years as an associate dean and professor at Georgetown University, including two years at Georgetown’s branch campus of its School of Foreign Service in the Persian Gulf. Father Maher then served for three years at the University of Scranton where he was executive director of the Jesuit Center, a resource center he founded to help University faculty and staff understand and engage more fully in the Catholic and Jesuit mission of the university.
Father Maher now serves as vice president of mission and identity at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. For the six years prior to arriving in Atlanta, he served as president of Scranton Preparatory School in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Father Fausto Marquez
Father Fausto Marquez was born in Tecpatán, Chiapas, Mexico. He was ordained a priest on Sept. 6, 1997 in La Herradura de Mexico, Estado de Mexico by then-Archbishop Felipe Aguirre Franco of Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas. Father Fausto was a member of the order of Hermandad de Sacerdotes Operarios Diocesanos del Corazon de Jesus, founded in Tortosa, Spain.
He arrived in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2004 to serve the growing Hispanic community. His first assignment was as a parochial vicar at Holy Family Church in Marietta.
In 2007, Father Marquez was assigned as associate priest at Centro Católico del Espiritu Santo, a mission of Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta, and as a parochial vicar at St. Jude the Apostle Church, Atlanta.
In 2011, Father Marquez begin serving at Holy Cross Church, Atlanta, as a parochial vicar. At both Holy Cross and St. Jude the Apostle, he coordinated grotto construction projects.
Then-Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory incardinated Father Marquez into the Archdiocese of Atlanta in September 2012 at the Convocation of Priests.
He has served at several parishes including St. Andrew Church, Roswell; St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceville and St. John the Evangelist Church, Hapeville, before his current assignment as parochial vicar at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Woodstock.
Additionally, Father Marquez has served as a speaker for Encuentro in Atlanta, spiritual director of La Escuela de la Cruz, vicar for clergy for Hispanic priests and chaplain for the Burmese Catholic community for several years.
Father Guyma Noel
Father Guyma Noel is a native of Hinche, Haiti. He heard a calling to ministry in his youth. He was active in his church youth group and participated in the liturgy every Sunday. The political instability of Haiti motivated him spiritually, and his family supported and encouraged him in his Catholic faith.
After moving to the United States at the age of 23, Father Noel earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, where he studied social work and philosophy. He lived in Mexico for a year, studying Spanish and the Latin American culture and then attended Catholic Theological Union in Chicago for one year.
After meeting Msgr. Don Kenny, Atlanta’s vocations director, he entered St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1997 with a master’s degree in divinity.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1997 by Archbishop John F. Donoghue at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.
His first assignment after ordination was as a parochial vicar at Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City. He then served as a parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Church in Buford and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Atlanta.
He speaks French, Creole, English and Spanish and has worked with diverse ethnic groups including as chaplain to the Gambian Catholic community.
Father Noel was assigned as pastor of Christ Our Hope in Lithonia in 2005 and led the parish community for a number of years.
His most recent assignment was as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church, Marietta. Following a sabbatical, Father Noel is serving as a supply priest for parishes and awaits his new assignment in July.
Father Hernan Quevedo Rodriguez
Father Hernan Quevedo Rodriguez was born in October 1965 in Santafe de Bogota, Colombia to the late Leonardo Quevedo and Maria Quevedo Rodriguez. The youngest of 10 siblings, he was educated at the Missionary of the Sacred Heart Seminary in Bogota, then earned a degree in theology from Javeriana College in Bogota. He is also licensed in philosophy and canon law.
Before seminary, Father Quevedo Rodriguez spent four years teaching Bogota high school students philosophy and morals, and later devoted numerous years volunteering in his community, visiting the sick and preparing children for first communion.
Father Quevedo Rodriguez was a member of the religious community, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from 1984 to 1991.
Archbishop John F. Donoghue of Atlanta ordained him to the transitional diaconate in 1996 at Our Lady of the Americas Mission. He was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 11, 1997 at St. Margarita Maria Catholic Church in Bogota, his home church, by Archbishop Octavio Ruiz Arenas.
His first assignment in Atlanta was as a parochial vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. He has also served the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Atlanta; St. Patrick Church, Norcross; St. John Neumann Church, Lilburn; St. John the Evangelist Church, Hapeville and St. John Paul II Mission in Gainesville. He has also provided assistance in celebrating Spanish Masses at parishes in need.
Father Quevedo-Rodriguez is a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church, Marietta.
Father Francis Tuan Tran
Father Francis Tuan Tran was born on March 11, 1959 in Gia Kiem, Long Khanh, Vietnam to Due Tran and Lua Nguyen. He is the eldest in a family of 12 children.
Father Tran escaped from Vietnam in 1987 as the Communists had repressed his seminary and he feared imprisonment. Fleeing first by land to Cambodia and then by boat to Thailand, he remained in Thailand for two years as a political refugee in a camp. The Immigration and Naturalization Service granted him permission to come to the United States and he arrived in New York.
Before leaving South Vietnam, Father Tran had attended an underground Vietnamese training program for seminarians from 1980-83, studying philosophy and theology. He had limited study time with used books from Catholic priests.
In the U.S., he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from St. John’s University in Queens, New York. He studied English for a year for a language exam. Father Tran then studied at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he received a master’s of divinity.
Father Tran originally was invited to work in the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Msgr. Francis Pham Van Phuong of Our Lady of Vietnam Mission in 1988. He was later contacted by Msgr. Donald Kenny, archdiocesan vocations director, and he decided to come to Atlanta.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1997 by Archbishop John F. Donoghue at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.
Father Tran’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church in Marietta, then as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Vietnam Church in Riverdale. He also served at Transfiguration Church, Marietta, and Prince of Peace, Flowery Branch.
He was assigned administrator of Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Mission in Norcross, leading it for a number of years. It was elevated to a parish in 2013 and he became its first pastor.
Father Lorenzo Yom, SJ
Father Lorenzo Yong-sop Yom, SJ, first entered the Society of Jesus in February 1987. He was ordained a priest at Myung-dong Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea on July 2, 1997. He made his final vows with the Jesuits on Christmas Day 2010.
From 2001-2005, he served as a professor and vice president of international affairs of Sogang University, the oldest Jesuit institution of higher learning in South Korea. During that time, he also served as director of the pastoral office for religious at the Seoul Archdiocese for one year.
Father Yom was director of the Campion Institute in Yangon, Myanmar from 2005-2008. The nonprofit institute, operated by the Society of Jesus, educates youth from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, upholding a preferential option for the poor.
Between 2009 and 2018, he was director of the Joy of Sharing Foundation in Seoul.
Father Yom’s additional service included being a member of board of trustees of Sogang University from 2014-2021.
In December 2021, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., confirmed the assignment of Father Yom as administrator of St. Andrew Kim Korean Church in Duluth. Elevated to parish status last year, the church now has 600 registered families.