Fr. Paul White
I grew up in Elgin as the younger of two sons. We grew up in St. Thomas More Parish, attending grade school there and St. Edward High School. My brother Larry lives in the Seattle area with his wife Pat and they have two sons Patrick and Jeff, who both recently graduated from college. My parents have both gone on to the next life.
I attended Northern Illinois University and Mundelein Seminary with now Msgr. Steve Knox, a favorite son of McHenry and beloved pastor of St. Mary Huntley. He was also the top point guard of the old Runnin’ Revs. I met Fr. Bob Sherry in 1982, when he was our vocation director and he started me on my journey toward priesthood.
I was ordained in 1989, which was the year Fr. Bob Sherry founded The Church of Holy Apostles. I was an associate at St. Margaret Mary, Algonquin and occasionally pinch hit at The Church of Holy Apostles on Saturday nights in the Tonyan Industrial Park. Then I went to NIU to be an associate at The Newman Center and St. Mary’s for two years, then to St. Patrick, St. Charles for three years. I taught at St. Ed’s while in Algonquin and St. Charles.
I was named pastor of Sacred Heart, Sterling in 1997, where Fr. Bob Sherry was in the 70’s. He came out and helped orientate me to the area and called on friends to help me get settled. I enjoyed 10 years there also serving as Spiritual Director at Newman High School, where I loved doing retreats and connecting our school to the community through a program we all founded called, B.L.I.N.D (Building Lasting Impressions that Never Die). It helped the students and all the schools learn to accept each other by realizing they all were afraid of not being accepted and wanted to belong. Our parish also engaged in numerous activities in the community to help those in need, including making lunch for over 900 kids a day for the summer, who were on free and reduced lunch during the school year. We also founded the Home of Hope Cancer Wellness Center, providing support to those dealing with cancer and their affected family members.
In 2007 I asked to be moved closer to Elgin, since my mom was 84 and I feared she would fall or have a stroke, which she did in late 2008. I was named pastor at St. Joseph, Harvard, where 900 people of the parish go to two Spanish Speaking Masses and 600 go to three English Speaking Masses. We also struggled with a school with an enrollment of 80 in a 96 year old building. Our parish worked very hard to help those in need starting St. Vincent DePaul, being a PADS sight, housing First Way Pregnancy Center and prime movers in the Harvard Food Pantry. We were able to build a Food Pantry and Senior Center building in cooperation with the city, key volunteer workmen and high school building trades students. We also grew to know and appreciate each other better as Spanish and English Speaking brothers and sisters.
I am a die hard Cub fan, which is a real challenge this year, but as always, we are patiently waiting for Theo to save us in the future. I am involved in Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which started almost 20 years ago in name after a boy died of cancer in Algonquin and his mom wanted to help kids and their families face cancer. I also am Chairmen of the National Catholic Council on Addictions and serve on the diocesan Wellness Committee and Priest Health Committee. I feel it is important to be involved in the church locally, on a diocesan level and have exposure to the church in the U.S., so I am grateful to have these opportunities to serve.
Fr. Ruben Herrera
Fr. Ruben Herrera serves as the associate pastor of The Church Of Holy Apostles. He is here to serve the Spanish Community. He loves spending time with the elderly and is very passionate about the Eucharist.
Deacon Joe Phelan
The Cleveland Indians wanted to sign the young second baseman/catcher to a minor league professional baseball contract right out of Archbishop Stepinac High School, in White Plains, New York. The young man, however, told them, “No, thanks.” He wanted to go to school to become a physician instead. Wherever the road of life has taken him, Centegra Chaplain Joe Phelan, now beginning his 21st year as a deacon, has tried to follow the light of his faith.
“One day, a classmate of mine said, ‘I can’t ever imagine doing something that I knew would offend God,’” Phelan said about the day in high school that this faith began to intensify. “That one statement was a whole religion class for me.” That one sentence planted seeds in the young man who would someday become a deacon, one of the ranks within the threefold ministry of Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic Church.
He never made it to medical school. His father, a strong influence in his son’s religious development, died soon after Phelan’s first year of pre-med. Three years later, with a degree in biochemistry on his resumé, he went to work in research and development before going into Air Force pilot training. He caught the attention of Walter Cronkite and Ed Sullivan when he spent nearly two years in Vietnam flying a helicopter, rescuing other pilots that had been shot down in the jungle. Phelan was interviewed on television several times when he came home in 1965. The Air Force wanted one of their stars to tell the stories of war to the American people.
Phelan tells a good story, especially when occasionally preaches or when he and his wife, Jan, teach a class together at their parish in McHenry. They came to The Church of Holy Apostles in 1995 after serving in a parish in Oklahoma City for a few years. “We wanted our involvement in the church to intensify and eventually become our primary work,” Phelan said. “Our pastor told us that the Bishop of Rockford was looking for candidates to become deacons.” Five years of intense study later, the Phelans graduated from the diocesan diaconate program in Rockford and received their Masters Degrees in Religious Studies and Pastoral Ministry at Loyola University-New Orleans. Joe was ordained a deacon on March 28, 1992. A year later, he took early retirement after a 27 year career at Dow Chemical.
“Ordination changes you,” Phelan said. “And it’s meant to.” In addition to this duties as a weekend on-call hospital chaplain at the Centegra hospitals, he conducts funeral services, teaches classes, and preaches at Holy Apostles. He also assists men and women who are going through the annulment process after a divorce.
“I go to people in the hospital who are suffering or in pain or fearful or uncertain about what’s going to happen to them,” Phelan said about his hospital ministry which began at Centegra in 2004. “I attempt to create a level of trust so they will feel comfortable to share what’s on their minds. They might see themselves in a clearer light than before. By sharing with me they can discover the answers themselves. Many don’t have any support and are lonely. They are starved for connection to another human being.”
Deacon Joe Phelan, 20 years ordained, continues to follow the light of faith as he ministers both in the parish setting and among some of the county’s most vulnerable at the hospital—the sick, the poor, and the grieving. Wherever he goes, he serves others, balancing family responsibilities, hospital ministry and service to the church.
Deacon Curt Fiedler
Deacon Dan Krey
I have been a member of the parish since 1995. I have two adult children. I have been the bookkeeper since 2004. I have a BS degree from NIU in Business, have worked for H&R Block and prior to my bookkeeping position, worked in our family business for over 20 years. For the past several years I have been the Ministry Chair of the altar servers, which involves training and scheduling over 50 boys and girls on a monthly basis. Since 2002 I have been a member of the McHenry County Board representing McHenry, Richmond and Burton Townships. In my spare time, I enjoy walking our dog Max, a miniature schnauzer, and reading.
I grew up in Streator, IL. I’ve lived in McHenry for the past 35 years and have been a parishioner for 22 years at Holy Apostles and a staff member for almost 15 years as the parish/pastor secretary. I am also the lead liturgy coordinator and coordinate all details for all liturgical services.
I previously worked at the Special Education District of McHenry County in Woodstock for 20 years as part-time Secretary to the Chief Psychologist and part-time radio dispatcher, moving up to Secretary to the Assistant Director of Programs and Services and eventually became Executive Secretary to the Superintendent and Executive Board and Board of Directors.
My hobbies are knitting and embroidery. I also like reading and my favorite author is Debbie Macomber.
I’m single. My parents are deceased. I have one sister who lives in Wheaton and is the Preschool Director and Coordinator of Religious Education for grades 1-6 at her parish of St. Daniel the Prophet in Wheaton. My nephew Tim, who is 18, graduated from Wheaton-Warrenville South High School this past May and will be going to the Ohio Technical College for automotive training in Cleveland, Ohio.
Anne West joined Holy Apostles staff in 1996 after responding to a call for part-time help in the Religious Education office. In 2001, she expanded her position by adding the creation of Holy Apostles weekly bulletin to her responsibilities. She enjoys the challenge of laying out, writing and/or editing the articles under a weekly deadline and using her creativity to keep it appealing and inspiring. Anne tries to make the bulletin a source of information, not only to publicize events but also to help the reader strengthen his or her faith and grow closer to God through prayers, witnessing, Scripture and other inspiring messages. Anne enjoys reading, working out by running and biking, crafts and home decorating, relaxing with a glass of wine, and spending time with family and friends. She is married to Rich, and they have a daughter, Katie, now 23, who spent a portion of her childhood summers growing up at Holy Apostles when mom was working. She also has a stepdaughter, Michelle, and stepson, Matthew, who live in the Houston, Texas area, along with five grandchildren. Anne welcomes all parish members to drop by her office, call or email her anytime they need an item included in the bulletin or just to say hello.
Meet Ana Aguilar. Ana came to the Holy Apostles to serve our Spanish & English speaking parishioners.
Meet Gladys Avila our Parish Office Receptionist. Gladys was brought on to the Holy Apostles team to serve both the Spanish &English speaking parishioners. She was born in Guadalajara Mexico and moved to the United States 10 years ago. She met her husband in Chicago, and has been happily married for 8 years. Gladys has two kids, a 7 year old Daughter, & a 5 year old Son. She enjoys swimming, exercise, and always has a positive attitude.
I was born and grew up in the West of Ireland, in the town of Tuam, about half an hour from Galway City. My father is a retired Elementary School teacher and principal, and my mother is a private teacher of Speech & Drama, and ‘Elocution’. Both my parents are lifelong actors and theatre producers, so I grew up surrounded by everything to do with theatre! I have three sisters and a brother, who are respectively an archeologist, a women’s advocate, a nightclub bouncer/paramedic, and an eco-construction expert (my brother) who also plays bass with a very loud Dublin punk rock band on weekends . . . we all took very different paths! My father has sung with the local Cathedral Choir and the local Musical Society for many years.
After earning a ‘Bachelor of Musicology’ degree and a ‘Diploma in Sacramental Liturgy’ at college in Ireland, I moved to the United States in my late twenties to pursue church ministry as a career. My first position was as Director of Music and Liturgy in Roseburg, Oregon, where I served for four years. During this time I married my lovely wife Breda from Kilkenny, Ireland, whom I had met in college! In 1998, after our daughter Rioghna Rose was born, we moved to Algonquin IL, where I served as Director of Liturgy and Music for almost 15 years.
Apart from parish work, I am director of the Rockford Diocesan Liturgical Chorale and coordinate/lead music for large diocesan events, something I have been doing now for over 10 years. I am also a composer of liturgical music and have been blessed to have a number of pieces published in several countries, including the United States. I am also actively involved on the national level with the (US) Liturgical Composers Forum, and from time to time I travel to teach, resource or record at conferences in various places across the US. Finally, with my wife Breda, I am one half of the Irish music duo ‘Kingsfold’ . . . Breda and I have been helping Chicagoans celebrate the green since 2000!
I am glad to be serving now at the wonderful Parish of Holy Apostles and I look forward to doing my part as we raise our song to God every Sunday, along with the greatest choir in the Universe . . . you, me, and all the angels and saints of heaven, gathered around God’s throne, now and always!
Director of Religious Education
Jeanne is in charge of religious education. She handles the RCIA program, Bible Camp, Baptism, Confession, and First Communion Prep, as well as many other religious studies. Jeanne was an accountant, she is married, and 2 grandchildren
Director of Youth Ministry
John Jelinek is our Youth Minister and has been with the parish since 2005. He is married to Cecelia and they have three children, Joseph, and Maria, as well as one on the way.
Assistance Youth Minister
Joe is an assistant to our youth minister. When he's not gallivanting around the church shooting people with his Nerf gun, he enjoys his collection of Star Wars memorabilia. Joe currently holds the world record for getting the most glares from Fr. Paul for being late to mass. He is a retired police officer, he has a wife and two children.
Director of Media & Communications
Estuardo Diaz is in charge of our media and communications for the masses, and public relations. He lives in Woodstock with his children.
Since January of 2012 Jennifer has works with buying and marketing for the Religious Goods store. She also works with parish communications. Jennifer is married to Jason Marsh. They live in Woodstock with their foster children, and two dogs!
Manager & Bookkeeper for the Religious Goods Store
Karon is the bookkeeper at the Religious Goods store, she is happily married to Loren Schiera.