Meet the Cathedral Staff

Clergy

 

Fr. Brad Baker

Cathedral Rector
Born in Joliet to Dick and Babe Baker. Fr. Brad attended Troy Public Schools and Joliet Catholic High School, graduating in the Class of 1982, and he received a B.A. in Marketing from Loras College in 1986. After college, Fr. Brad joined the staff of the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. He served as director of marketing for more than five years. In 1995, he entered the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary. He completed his studies there and received a Masters of Divinity degree in 2000. On June 3, 2000 he was ordained in the Cathedral by Bishop Joseph Imesch. Fr. Brad’s first assignment was to Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst, where he served as Parochial Vicar. In 2005, he came to St. Raymond to serve first as parochial vicar, then temporary administrator and now rector. As rector, Fr. Brad has focused on creating a warm and welcoming environment for the current parish community and those looking for a parish home. Under his leadership, a strategic planning process, Vision 2017, was begun and the Heritage of Faith project was initiated to capture the history and traditions of Saint Raymond Parish.

Fr. Joseph Tapella

Diocesan Judicial Vicar, in residence
Fr. Joseph Tapella was born in Joliet, Illinois to George and Virginia Tapella. He attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Joliet and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville. After obtaining a BA at St. Thomas College in Minnesota, Fr. Joe served at St. Dennis, Lockport, St. Petronille, Glen Ellyn and St. Isaac Jogues, Hinsdale before obtaining a Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. In May, 1987, he began to live in residence at the Cathedral and was assigned to the Tribunal of the Diocese of Joliet as an assistant Judicial Vicar. In 1990, Fr. Joe was appointed Moderator of the Curia and continues to serve on several diocesan boards, such as the Finance Council. Since June, 1997, he has been the Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal and in August, 2003 was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Joliet.

Fr. Burke Masters

Diocesan Vocations Director, in residence
A native of Joliet, Fr. Burke is the youngest of three sons born to Tod and the late Janet Masters. Fr. Burke was not raised Catholic, but he fell in love with the Eucharist and the Catholic Church while a student at Providence Catholic High School.  He became Catholic his Senior year in high school.  Fr. Burke went on to play baseball at Mississippi State University, where he played in the College World Series. His major league dream did not materialize, so after working as an Actuary, and then as the ticket manager for the Kane County Cougars, Fr. Burke felt the call to become a priest. Fr. Burke was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Joliet in June 2002.  

Fr. Elizeo Nthalika

Malawi Priest, in residence
Fr. Elizeo (pronounced Il-Lee-Zay-O) is a priest of the Archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi, Africa. Fr. Elizeo will reside at the Cathedral fro two years while he pursues a Master's Degree in Project Management at Lewis University. Fr. Elizeo served as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Chiradzulu for seven years. St. Joseph Parish has ten "out" Churches (Mission Churches) along with two primary schools, a high school, and a nursing college.  Forty-thousand Catholics are served by St. Joseph Parish and its "out" Churches. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2003. 

Rev. Mr. Edwin Petak

Cathedral Deacon and Diocesan Master of Ceremonies
With over 25 years of serving the Cathedral Parish as Deacon, Ed Petak has served in many different capacities including sitting on the Parish Council and Worship Commission. He currently presents our Marriage Preparation course for the engaged and oversees the Ministers of the Altar. In addition, Deacon Ed serves as the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies for all liturgical events at the Cathedral and as Director of the Diocesan Office of the Diaconate.

Rev. Mr. John Shea

Cathedral Deacon
Deacon John Shea was ordained in the Cathedral in 2013.  Deacon John is also the Director of Pastoral Services at the Will County Adult Detention Facility; serving as the chaplain to inmates and their families as well as jail staff.  Deacon John is a member of the Diocesan Diaconate Leadership Council. 


ministerial staff
 

Christine Pershey

Director of Faith Formation
As Pastoral Associate, Christine coordinates the Cathedral Adult Faith Formation program, including RCIA, Men’s and Women's retreats,and lifelong catechesis. She also facilitates the Cathedral Religious Education Program, grades K-8.

James Grzadzinski

Director of Music and Organist
James is responsible for directing, coordinating, and overseeing the Cathedral's music program which includes six regular choirs, plus cantors and instrumentalists. He also selects and directs the music for many of the large diocesan liturgical services held here at the Cathedral, and serves as principal organist for Cathedral liturgies, including weddings and funerals.

Jeremy Hylka

Director of Youth Ministry
Jeremy is responsible for overseeing the FOLLOW Youth Ministry Program sponsored by St. Paul the Apostle Catholic and the Cathedral of St. Raymond. FOLLOW is available to all confirmed 8th graders and high school students. Through weekly meetings, retreats, missions, sports and just hanging out as group, he strives to incorporate the teachings students learn in school and from their parents and expand on it.  When not working with the FOLLOW program, Jeremy is a Theology teacher at Joliet Catholic Academy.

 


parish staff

 

Linda Cassineri

Front Desk Receptionist and Sacramental Records
Linda will greet you at the Rectory on Tuesday and Wednesday. She is the first voice you will speak with upon calling the office. She helps maintain our Sacramental books and can help you with copies of Sacramental records.

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez

Director of Development
Eileen serves both the parish and the school as Director of Development. She is responsible for fundraising, stewardship and alumni relations. In addition, she advances and coordinates hospitality for all of the Diocesan events that are held here at the Cathedral.

Ms. Marjorie Hill

Grade School Principal
Ms. Hill is the administrator of our parish grade school.

Pete Pluth

Business Manager
Pete is responsible for the stewardship of all financial operation of the parish.

Danielle Schumacher

Bulletin | Parishioner Records | Website | Weddings | RE
Danielle is responsible for maintaining and updating the parish rolls and parishioner contribution records. She is also the editor of our weekly bulletin and website, primary contact for all weddings and registrar for our Religious Education Ministry.

Karen Slattery

Front Desk Receptionist and Baptismal Registration
Karen will greet you at the Rectory on Monday, Thursday and Friday. She is the first voice you will speak with upon calling the office. She can help you with copies of Sacramental records and is also the primary contact for scheduling a Baptism.

Mary Wheaton

Bookkeeper and Mass Intentions
As bookkeeper, Mary is responsible for bill processing and our Automatic Offering System. She can also help schedule a Mass Intention and is responsible for our Parish Manna Program.

 

 
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