Fr. Bob Simon, Pastor
Fr. Bob Simon began serving St. Catherine of Siena as pastor in July 2007. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton by Bishop James C. Timlin on June 30, 1990, he is a native of Plains, Pennsylvania. The son of the late Helen Marie Simon and Carl J. Simon, he is a graduate of North End Elementary Catholic School and Bishop Hoban High School. Fr. Simon earned his bachelors degree from the University of Scranton. Father Simon holds a Master of Divinity degree from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts in Liturgical Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He has recently done additional graduate studies at The Liturgy Institute, Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Father Simon has served as Executive Director of the Office of Parish Ministries of the Diocese of Scranton and the Diocesan Pro-Life Director. He is a member of the North Pocono Ministerium and the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Scranton. He is a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Prior to coming to St. Catherine’s, Father Simon has served as pastor in the Keyser Valley Section of Scranton, Old Forge, and Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He has served as an Assistant Pastor at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton as well as parishes in Honesdale and Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.
Christian Brown, Secretary/Communications Specialist/Assistant Youth Ministry Coordinator
Lifetime St. Catherine’s parishioner, I am the parish’s secretary, communications specialist, and assistant Youth Ministry coordinator. Born and raised in Covington Township, I am the middle sibling of fellow parishioners Dianna and James Brown. I am the son of parish cantor Diane Brown and father Jim Brown.
I am an honors graduate of North Pocono High School and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC campus. I sport a professional performance resume that includes dance, music, and singing experience on and off-Broadway, nationally throughout the United States, and internationally in Canada and Japan. I am a trained musician and plays the piano, alto saxophone, guitar, steel drums, and more. I also have worked as a director in videography for Mattel, Inc. and Thomas the Tank Engine. Additionally, I have been involved in St. Catherine’s music ministry since age 8 and has served as a cantor since 2015.
In addition to serving the people of St. Catherine’s, my family and I own and operate, “The Brown Initiative,” a Scranton-based performing arts company centered on DJ, live music, and dance performance. For content and more information about “The Brown Initiative,” please visit http://thebrowninitiative.com
Katie Phillips, Coordinator of Youth Ministry/Bookkeeping
I joined St. Catherine’s Ministry team in November 2018.
I grew up in Blairstown, NJ and my family was very active in our parish, St. Jude’s. My sister and I even started our own youth group with our friends called the Catholic Student Association because our parish did not have a youth group, this is where my love for God was nourished and my interest in youth ministry began. My parish was my home away from home. I graduated from Pope John XXIII High School. While studying at Marywood University, I found that my religious studies courses interested me more than my Elementary Education ones did. I made the decision to switch my course of study to only Religious Studies. I even interned at Our Lady of Snows Parish in Clarks Summit and Immaculate Conception Parish in Scranton.
While my experience consists of Youth Ministry work, it also consists of many different experiences working with youth. My life has also been quite the journey over the past few years! I taught outdoor education and team building classes for a few years at a camp in New Jersey. I have taught swimming and water safety courses for many years. Most recently I was out teaching skiing for four years in Breckenridge, Colorado. Watching young people master the hockey stop or make it down from the top of the mountain for the first time were the most rewarding moments.
I am excited to bring my experiences and ideas to St. Catherine’s and want to keep learning as much as I can about the parish and what is important to you as a faith community! My priority is the safety of all young people and making everyone feel welcome and at home. Guiding young people to be active disciples of Christ, responsible community members, and the best version of themselves are so very important to me.
We will continue a lot of wonderful activities and programs that you have had in Youth Ministry here while adding new ones and building it up.
In addition to Youth Ministry, in October 2020, I began working in the office at the parish bookkeeper too!
Thank you for making me a part of this beautiful faith community and I’m so happy to have a new parish family!
Sandra Czyzyk, Director of Religious Ed
Sandra Czyzyk comes to our parish with a BA in Education from Marywood University and an MA in Theology from Villanova. Her home parish is St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Scranton, but has formerly subbed with the North Pocono School District and worked with children with “special gifts” in its schools, through the Youth Advocate Program of which she is currently employed. She has been a DRE in several parishes in the Diocese of Scranton and formerly worked in the Office of Religious Education. Sandra is also a Secular Franciscan, in formation, in the Archdiocese of Washington.
Her main goal in the parish is to accompany the families, and catechists in their ongoing growth in faith that has been already nurtured by so many good DRE’s and Pastors in this parish.
Paul Lukasiewicz, Worship/Liturgy
I am a Scranton native and have been an elementary music teacher in the Scranton School District since 2002. In addition to teaching music to students in KG to 5th grade, I directed and created programming material for the TV studio at George Bancroft, until the district did away with the elementary TV studios, and I have published articles about my work in the Scranton School District newsletter, which was distributed by the Scranton Times.
I started at St. Catherine’s as an organist for the weekend masses in 1991. Since that time, I became the accompanist for the Youth Choir, the Adult Choir, choir director, and as of July 2009, Director of Music. I have debuted many original musical works at our church, including settings for “Ave Maria” and “For the Beauty of the Earth,” several instrumental pieces performed during the Christmas and Easter seasons, and two Mass Settings: “Missa Benedicta,” named for Sr. Benedicta Berendes IHM, my music history teacher and advisor at Marywood, and “Missa Miriam,” named for Sr. Miriam Reinhardt IHM, my music theory teacher at Marywood. I also assist with the development & updating of our website.
I graduated from Marywood University in 1999 with a BM in Music Education and was awarded The Sister M. Clare Kelley Medal for Excellence in Music. In 2007, I received my MA, also in Music Education from Marywood. In addition, I have studied music technology courses during the summers at Villanova University and online through the University of Colorado and have completed my TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators) certification. My TI:ME instructors have included Dr. Tom Rudolph, Dr. Floyd Richmond, Dr. John Kuzmich, Ken Peters, and Mike Fein. I have taught various music and technology classes at Marywood University’s Vivace Music Institute (formerly known as the Summer Music Camp) from 1995 through 2011, when the program was discontinued.
I have performed in the pit orchestra of Marywood’s major theatre productions, “Pippin,” “A Chorus Line,” “Guys & Dolls,” and “Will Rogers Follies,” and in the senior workshop production of “The Fantastics.” I have also worked behind the scenes, assisting with props, lighting, and sound for several music department productions. Several of my original pieces have been performed by the Marywood Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and at the Vivace Music Institute. I have also performed in several musicals and cabarets at “Diva Theater” and continue to work as an independent musician for weddings, wedding receptions, etc.
I play the piano, organ, violin, and percussion, and have studied privately with Bob Manento, Sr. Immaculate Severino IHM, Steve Mathiesen, Mark Laubach, and Sophie Till.
Besides my musical endeavors, I have achieved the rank of 4th Dan in the martial art Soo Bahk Do/Tang Too Do, and I enjoy keeping up on the happenings in the technology world.