Fr. Stefan is from Slovakia and arrived in Virginia almost 10 years ago. His first assignment as a seminarian was at St. Jude in Radford. He started seminary formation in the Archdiocese of Kosice in Slovakia. He also studied philosophy at Milltown Institute in Dublin, Ireland. After that, he transferred to St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD and graduated in 2014 with a MA and M.Div and STB. Fr. Stefan was ordained as deacon by Bishop DiLorenzo at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart in Richmond and to priesthood by Archbishop Bober at the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Kosice.
Fr. Stefan's first priestly assignment was at St. Bridget Catholic Church in Richmond, VA with Msgr. Carr as pastor. Next, he was asked to become pastor of St. Theresa, Farmville; Immaculate Heart of Mary; Blackstone and Sacred Heart in Meherrin. He was very blessed with multiple parochial vicars to serve with and the diversity of the ministry from CCM at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney College, the Immigration Detention Center, to Fort Pickett as volunteer chaplain. Fr. Stefan also serves as the associate chaplain for the Order of Malta region in the Richmond Diocese.
Fr. Stefan began serving as pastor for the parishioners of St. Patrick’s in July 2021.
Deacon Paul was born and raised in North Haven, Connecticut. A graduate of VMI, Deacon Paul has a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Construction Management from George Washington University.
After retiring from the Army with over twenty years of service Deacon Paul worked for several A&E firms and the local transportation system in Atlanta. Deacon Paul was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in February 2009.
Deacon Paul and his wife, Elise, moved to Lexington in March of 2020. They have three children and three grandchildren.
As DRE, Kathleen serves as programs administrator, heading a staff of approximately 40 volunteers, in the Sunday Religious Education program (K-HS), Sacramental Prep, Adult Faith Formation, New Evangelization, Vacation Bible School, and Youth Ministry, and she assists in the RCIA program. As a Liturgy team member, she writes the Sunday Mass Universal Petitions four times annually, serves as a lector, and sings in the choir. In response to the Church’s mission within the New Evangelization, Kathleen’s weekly radio program, Kindle My Fire ©, celebrates Catholic spirituality, and is inspired by Scripture, doctrine, the saints, and sacred music. It airs and can be livestreamed on Sunday mornings at 8:30 on local Classic 96.7, 3WZ fm and at 9:30 on WREL 1450 am and Classic Country 100.3 fm. Each Sunday’s program is linked to the parish website. Kathleen writes the Scripture lessons for the parish bulletin, is an approved Diocesan speaker, and serves on the Preschool Board.
Originally from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Kathleen received her elementary faith formation at the Polish-American parochial school she attended in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and earned her Catholic college preparatory school diploma at Villa Maria Academy, Malvern, on the Philadelphia Main Line. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies in Dogmatic Theology with a Christology concentration from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York, the major seminary of the New York Archdiocese; a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in Humanities with a focus on Catholic Theology Expressed through Literature and Film from Hollins University, Roanoke; and a Master of Arts in Screenwriting and Film Studies with a focus on Catholic Perspectives in Cinema, also at Hollins. Her undergraduate degrees are an Associate in Science in Equine Studies and a Hunt Seat Equitation Teacher’s Certificate from Southern Seminary Junior College, Buena Vista, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a Poetry concentration from Hollins College.
Married to Ray-Eric Correia (W&L; NYU) from 1975 until his passing in 2018, Kathleen commuted for many years between her husband’s native New York City and their horse farm in Rockbridge County, working primarily in Catholic and secular print and broadcast journalism, equestrian sports journalism, and was active in many parish ministries in Manhattan and Lexington. She was a reporter for Catholic New York, at the recommendation of John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, and for the Catholic Virginian, among other publications, and a copy editor locally at The News-Gazette. A highlight of her career was working with her Manhattan pastor, Msgr. Michael J. Wrenn, Cardinal O’Connor’s Special Consultant for Religious Education, and EWTN’s Father Gerald E. Murray, JCD, on theological corrections to the initial English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, at the Vatican Editor’s request, prior to its release for publication in the United States.
She holds certificates in development and fundraising, business communications, hunt-seat equitation instruction, and worked locally with the Virginia Horse Center Foundation in its early stages. In addition to theology, literature, creative writing, and film studies, she has a background in ballet, music composition and performance, drama, mounted foxhunting, and liturgy. A quote from her patron, St. Catherine of Siena, serves as her guide, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world ablaze.”
Justin was born near Irvine in southern California to good Catholic parents and grew up in Santa Maria on the state’s central coast. At age sixteen he moved with his family to western Ohio. After graduating high school, Justin assisted his late father Daniel with his irrigation design business and became a freelance writer before relocating to rural Rockbridge County in the fall of 2008.
Justin studied piano and organ in his youth under several different private tutors while delving into music theory and composition on his own. He was a substitute organist at two Catholic parishes in his mid-teen years. Since 2009, Justin has served as music director for the annual “God the Father Feast Day” celebration at Terra Patris near Goshen. Before coming to St. Patrick’s, Justin served as a choir member at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Staunton, where he has been a registered parishioner since 2008. Justin is a composer and arranger of classical piano music for a variety of performance levels. He has also released a two-CD instrumental piano album, Selections from The St. Michael Hymnal (2013). Justin is currently working to earn a bachelor’s degree in music studies.
Justin’s approach to music and liturgy is shaped by a profound appreciation for the riches of Catholic tradition along with the guiding principles set forth by the Second Vatican Council, particularly in Sacrosanctum concilium (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). Realizing that sacred music and the Church’s liturgy are intimately interrelated as the noblest forms of prayer to the glory of God, Justin collaborates with the Pastor, parish staff members, choir, and instrumentalists to organize and execute Masses, prayer services, weddings, and other musical and liturgical events that are appropriate and dignified in order to nourish and strengthen the life of the vibrant St. Patrick faith community.
An accomplished author and occasional blogger, Justin has published more than 100 articles on faith, politics, science, the environment, and other topics in various print and digital publications including Lay Witness, Inside the Vatican, Catholic Online, Catholic Exchange, Catholic365, Intellectual Conservative, OpEdNews, and EzineArticles. His book America’s Back-Door Enemy (Tate Publishing, 2009) discusses terrorism from a Catholic perspective. Justin is also a dedicated gardener and small farmer. In his spare time he enjoys reading, fishing, coin collecting, and amateur astronomy.
St. Patrick's Parish Office Manager is Leslie Straughan of Lexington. She joined the staff in November 2010, and loves interaction with people, especially those she encounters in her job. Leslie is married to Rob Straughan and has two sons. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Chemical Engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and gardening.
Cindy was born and raised in the small town of Covington, Ga. Catholics were definitely in the minority there, but her parents instilled a strong belief in their children which continues today. Bill and Cindy first came to Lexington in 1996 when Bill was assigned to VMI ROTC. They liked it so much that after 26 years of Army life, they retired from the Army to Rockbridge County.
As Administrative Assistant she coordinates the Liturgical Ministry Schedule and serves on the Adult Faith/Evangelization team, among other duties; as a volunteer, she serves as lector and usher, makes the bibs for Baptisms, and helps out with parish events and the live stream. Fun fact, Cindy is also an H&R Block tax preparer. She and Bill have three adult children and two grandchildren. In her little spare time, Cindy enjoys walking, sewing, reading, baking, playing board games, and traveling.