Our Team

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Fr. Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap., Editor-in-Chief

Born in Wood-Ridge, NJ, Fr. Matt Janeczko received the Capuchin habit in 2009, professed perpetual vows in May 2013 and was ordained to the priesthood in May 2014.  He earned both a Masters of Divinity (M.Div) and License in Sacred Theology (STL) at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.  He currently serves as the Associate Pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Yonkers, NY. Follow him on Twitter: @mtjofmcap.

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Ellen Romer Niemiec, Associate Editor, Women’s Issues

Ellen Romer Niemiec is a proud Ohio-born Midwesterner who loves cooking, football, Taize prayer and the people of God.  She recently completed her Masters in Divinity from Boston College with a Certificate in Conflict Transformation through the Boston Theological Institute. She has already completed the first of three years of BC’s Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation. She received her BA from DePaul University in Chicago where she studied French and Religious Studies with a focus on ethics and social justice. She then spent a year in Denver with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers working with homeless and working poor persons in the area.  She currently serves at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry as the Assistant Director of Admissions helping young adults pursue vocations within the Church and looking for creative ways to make more space for people to encounter God. Follow her thoughts (at your own risk) on Twitter: @yellowhelen.

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Brian Romer Niemiec, Associate Editor, Parish Life

Brian Romer Niemiec holds a Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in systematic theology from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and a Bachelor of Arts from The Catholic University of America.  His academic and ministerial interests center around the intersection of sacramental theology and ecclesiology. Currently, Brian is a Pastoral Associate at Sacred Heart/Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Collaborative in Newton, M.A., where his responsibilities include the areas of young adult ministry and adult faith formation.  Follow him on Twitter: @brianjniemiec.

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Matt Keppel, Associate Editor, Current Comment
 Matt Keppel is a newly minted Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in scripture and Catholic Education from Boston College.  He proudly hails from the Rome of the West, St. Louis, Missouri, but spent his undergraduate years in Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University finishing with a degree in Philosophy. His professional has spanned just as widely as his academic career going from teaching Junior High to brewing beer. You can follow him (and his sports ranting about the Blues and the Cardinals) on twitter: @mtkeppel.
Javier Soegaard, Contributor
Javier Soegaard, Staff Writer, Parish Life

Javier Soegaard has his ethnic roots in Puerto Rico, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, and England.  His name suggests the former three; his ginger appearance suggests the latter two.  This is very confusing for others, but mostly fun for him.  His lifelong goals include witnessing his beloved Fighting Irish or New York Mets win a championship, but he is not naïve enough to let his Christian faith hinge on either of these.  Javier received his Bachelor’s in Theology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, and graduated in May 2014 from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry with a Master of Divinity.  He currently works as the Pastoral Associate for the South Boston-Seaport Parish Collaborative in the Archdiocese of Boston.  He served previously as Campus Minister/Pastoral Associate at South Boston Catholic Academy and Gate of Heaven-St. Brigid Parishes, also in South Boston.  He has been known to attempt a Southie accent from time to time.  His efforts are generally unsuccessful.  Follow him on Twitter: @therealswagaard.

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Thomas Palanza, Jr., Staff Writer, Church History

Thomas Palanza Jr. is a student at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in the Master of Theological Studies program.  He earned his undergraduate degree in theology from the Catholic University of America.  While he loves all areas of theology, it is St. Paul and St. Augustine who most frequently soften his hardness of heart and his family, friends, and professors who open it up even more.

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Devon Kemp, Staff Writer, Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Devon Kemp is a recent graduate of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where she earned a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Her ministerial focuses have been mainly in the realm of youth and young adult ministry, but have recently branched out to the world of fundraising and advancement. She served as a college campus minister in Texas, where she was born and raised, for two years, but now happily resides in Connecticut and serves in Advancement at a Catholic high school. Devon has a deep passion for all things Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, the formation of young people, and most importantly, her Texas roots. You can follow her (with caution) on twitter: @develizabeth17

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Michelle Keefe, Staff Writer, Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Michelle is back in the great state of Delaware, currently teaching religion at an all-girls high Catholic high school.  She originally hails from Delaware, where she grew up among 9 siblings and the ease of tax-free shopping.  Having received her BA at Notre Dame in Italian, Studio Art, and Theology, the next logical step was to receive an MS in Education at St. Joseph’s University, and spend two years teaching 2nd graders.  Determined to stay in school as long as possible, she continued her education at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where she received her MTS degree in 2014.  Michelle is now using all her mastery of theological studies to ask Jesus to guide young people past their “Moralistic Therapeutic Deistic” phases and to engage them in a more authentic relationship with Christ.  Meanwhile, she’s attempting to follow God’s directions so to help Jesus in the task.

 

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Karla Alvarado, Staff Writer, College and Social Justice Ministry

Originally from Los Angeles, Karla Alvarado currently resides in the thriving metropolis of Worcester, Ma where she is a Chaplain in Residence at the College of the Holy Cross. Karla also serves as the director of the College’s Domestic Immersion Program coordinating approximately 28 immersion trips across the United States each year and facilitating pre-/post- immersion reflection and spiritual formation.  She completed her undergraduate education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and is a graduate of the dual-degree program at Boston College wherein she earned masters’ degrees both in Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministry. Before joining the Holy Cross Community, Karla worked as a high school Spanish teacher as well as a social worker where she was a case manager for homeless families in Southern California. In addition, Karla served as a year-long volunteer with Rostro de Cristo, a volunteer and retreat group immersion program in Durán and Guayaquil, Ecuador. When not indulging in the free food that comes with living and working on a college campus, Karla is found in the kitchen—the heart of her home—creating and competing against herself in her own version of Chopped. Though it’s rare, she is also sometimes found on Twitter @kalvarad0.

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Patrick Angiolillo, Contributor, Scripture Studies, Ecumenicism, and Interreligious Dialogue

Patrick Angiolillo is a candidate for a Master of Art in Religion, concentrated in Second Temple Judaism, at the Yale University Divinity School. He graduated from Boston College in 2014, where he studied Theology and Philosophy. His primary academic interests involve, generally, Biblical and Liturgical Studies, and, specifically, the development of liturgical practices in the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls community. Patrick is also interested in how an understanding of liturgical ritual in early Judaism and Christianity can illuminate contemporary liturgical practice and reform, and provide potential ground for interreligious dialogue. When he is not attempting to be studious, Patrick enjoys reading historical fiction, early nineteenth century American short stories, and (mostly twentieth century American) poetry.

 

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Claire Bordelon, Staff Writer, Catholic Culture

Claire Bordelon is a PhD candidate at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she specializes in 20th Century British and Postmodern Literature. When not writing her dissertation (or complaining about writing her dissertation), she is particularly interested in the group of 20th-century intellectuals known as the Inklings and their role in using literary fantasy as a process of resistance against the fragmentation and intellectual obscurity of the Postmodern and contemporary eras. Claire has published in the areas of Renaissance Literature, Social Justice as a means of interdisciplinary education, and the role of Catholic Culture in the contemporary era. Claire also teaches high school English and is passionate about establishing cultural literacy as a foundational part of her students’ educational experience. Follow her on Twitter: @cebordelon.

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Matt Patella, Staff Writer, Church Finances and Best Business Practices

Matthew Patella is from Long Island where he went to Catholic school. From there he went on to study at The Catholic University of America, then Boston College and is now back at CUA. In between all of that schooling he took a year to serve as a Cap Corps Volunteer in Garrison, NY leading retreats with the Capuchin Province of St. Mary’s. When walking through book stores he has a tendency to end up in the areas devoted to philosophy, politics, and history.  His current role is Director of Development for the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America.

Claire McGrath, Contributor
Claire McGrath, Contributor

Claire McGrath graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland in May of 2015. Originally from Laurel, Maryland, she is currently living in Jacksonville, Florida at the L’Arche Harbor House. L’Arche is an international organization made up of faith-based communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together in a family-like setting. Claire lives and works as an assistant in one of the five homes that make up L’Arche Harbor House. She loves reading, spending time in the outdoors, playing the flute, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends and family (including her four dogs!).

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