Parish Staff

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Father Ray Powell - Pastor
(865) 482-2875
Pastor@stmarysoakridge.org

Fr. Ray was born and raised in east-central Iowa where he spent most of his life. He is a graduate of The University of Iowa with a Computer Science degree, and worked for 20 years as a Software Engineer and Systems Analyst. In 2004, at the age of 39, he completed RCIA and converted to Catholicism. Then in 2005, he moved to Chattanooga to be closer to his two older brothers and their families. While living in Chattanooga, he was called to the priesthood and in 2010 was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Knoxville. Fr. Ray spent five years of priestly formation at Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, completing his formation and theological studies in May 2015. He was ordained on June 27, 2015, and spent the first year of his priestly ministry as a Pastoral Associate at OLPH in Chattanooga.

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Father Neil  - Associate Pastor
(865) 482-2875
nblatchford@ stmarysoakridge.org

Fr. Neil Blatchford was raised in Ooltewah Tennessee. Was homeschooled all the way to college and has called Tennessee home his whole life. He went to Marian University in Indianapolis for college seminary and graduated from Saint Meinrad major seminary in 2023 in southern Indiana and was ordained on June 10th. He is one of ten siblings, 8 boys and 2 girls and his oldest brother is a priest of the Diocese of Knoxville as well. This is his first assignment so be loving.

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Deacon Gary Sega - Pastoral Associate
(865) 482-2875
deaconGarySega@comcast.net

Deacon Gary has been serving at Saint Mary Parish since his ordination in June 2007. He ministers to new adult Catholics, assists at daily Mass and other liturgies, helps with Baptismal classes and assists those seeking annulments.

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Deacon John DeClue - Pastoral Associate
(865) 482-2875
deaconjohndeclue@stmarysoakridge.org

Deacon John was ordained in 2016 and has served at Saint Mary Parish since his ordination. His responsibilities include marriage preparation and enrichment, serving as Chaplain for the St. Vincent de Paul, serving on Divine Liturgy Committee, and assisting at Masses in English and Spanish including nursing homes, and visiting the sick.

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Deacon Dave Duhamel - Pastoral Associate
(865) 310-2163
dcn.dave@ stmarysoakridge.org

Deacon Dave has been a member of St Mary Parish since 2005. He was ordained in 2022 and is serving the parish in various roles. He has a heart for serving the poor, the new evangelization, the youth, veteran and public service outreach, and family ministry. Deacon Dave is married to Anna and together they have seven children. Dcn. Dave loves answering any questions about the faith or the Church - so don't hesitate to ask

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Deacon Agustin Ortega - Pastoral Associate
(865) 482-2875
deacon.aortega@stmarysoakridge.org

Deacon Agustin was ordained in 2022 and served for one year at St. John Neumann Parish in Knoxville. He has been married to his wife, Veronica, for more than thirty years. Together they have a son who serves in the Air Force. Deacon Agustin is very happy to have been assigned to this parish where he hopes to work for the community and in the service of our Lord.

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Sarah Stitz - White Elephant Manager
we@stmarysoakridge.org

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Kathy Mesmer - Parish Manager
(865) 482-2875
Email Parish Manager

Kathy Mesmer serves as the Parish Office Manager. Kathy received a B.S. in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. She and her family have been members of St. Mary Parish since1996. Kathy is actively involved in the Music Ministry, directing the 10:30am Adult Choir and Young People’s Choir. Kathy and her husband, John, have 3 children (Hailey, Garrett & Sydney) who are all graduates of our parish school.

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Maureen Romanoski - Parish Secretary
(865) 482-2875
officesecretary@stmarysoakridge.org

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Jodi Harbin - Associate Music Director
jharbinmusic@stmarysoakridge.org

Jodi Harbin has been playing piano for churches since she was a young teenager and started accompanying mass at St. Mary’s in 2013. She is a career musician that teaches and performs both locally and nationally. She and her husband live in Powell, Tennessee and have two grown sons.

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John Proteau - Parish Bookkeeper
(865) 482-2875  bookkeeper@ stmarysoakridge.org

John Proteau is the Parish Bookkeeper.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University.   He has worked in management for over 30 years during his time in the South East and South West Florida. John has been a parishioner at Saint Mary Parish since 2012. He is married to Lisa, with two children and four grandchildren.

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Cyndi Panter - Director of Religious Education
(865) 482-2875
dre@stmarysoakridge.org

Cyndi has been a parish member since 1994. She joined the office staff in 2001. Cyndi has been married to her husband John for many years, and they have been blessed to raise their two amazing children Zach and Meghan at Saint Mary Parish and look forward to the same with their precious granddaughter, Hope.

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Russell Overland - Facility Manager
roverland@stmarysoakridge.org

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Kristen Walsh - Director of Youth Ministry
(865) 482-2875
youth@stmarysoakridge.org

I am a graduate of Alfred-Almond Central School in Almond, NY, and I have an associate degree in social sciences and liberal Arts from Alfred State College (class of 2012) in Alfred, NY.  I returned to College at Franciscan University of Steubenville in the Fall of 2013 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology in 2015. I love working with Youth, and love helping them grow in their faith. As the Youth Minister I get walk with them on their journey, whether that is in Youth Ministry, or Sacramental Prep for those in 7th thru 12th grades.

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Bailey Broussard - Assistant Bookkeeper
(865) 482-2875
Bookkeeperassist@stmarysoakridge.org

Mrs. Bailey Broussard recently joined the St. Mary’s office staff as the assistant bookkeeper. She has many years of experience in sales, bookkeeping, and education. Bailey recently relocated to the Knoxville area with her husband, Beau, and their 3 children. Her oldest attends Knoxville Catholic High School and the two younger children attend St. John Neumann Catholic School. They are partitioners at SJNCC and enjoy expanding their minds to different aspects of the Catholic faith and exploring God’s creation of the outdoors.

 

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Sister Mary John, O.P. - School Principal
(865) 483-9700
SMSPrincipal@stmarysoakridge.org

I am a native of Minster, Ohio and have been a member of the Dominican Sisters for 30 years.  During this time, I have worked with students as teacher and principal in elementary schools in the Dioceses of Nashville (TN), Charleston (SC), New Orleans (LA) and Richmond (VA). I have graduate degrees in School Administration, Curriculum & Instruction, Speech and Hearing Pathology and Theology (Early Church History). I have also worked in the Vocation Office of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. I am happy to be a part of the St. Mary Parish Family in the beautiful surroundings of East Tennessee.

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Allison Hatton - Director of Admissions
(865) 483-9700
admissions@ stmarysoakridge.org

Allison Hatton may be new to Admissions at St.Mary’s, but she has almost a decade of previous admissions experience! Her first calling is that of Mother to her three boys, who all attend St. Mary’s, and a wife to her supportive husband. She also has the enormous blessing to being a teaching assistant in the P-3 classroom. Allison is an optimistic person who truly values her connections with God and the people around her. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and dog, baking, and enjoying the outdoors!

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Michel Goldman - Director of Development
(865) 483-9700
development@stmarysoakridge.org

Michel joined the SMS family in March 2021 and looks forward to sharing her experiences in higher education, private secondary school and nonprofit environments as a fundraiser and volunteer manager. She welcomes anyone interested in helping with fundraising, volunteering and alumni efforts to please reach out to her. She lives in West Knoxville with her husband, Phil , two daughters, three cats and dog.  Both daughters attended St John Neumann Catholic School, K-8. Their oldest daughter, Megan is studying Musical Theatre in New York and youngest daughter, Molly is attending Knoxville Catholic High School. They are members of All Saints Parish and enjoy traveling, gardening, attending musical theatre and concerts and spending time with friends.

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Laura Palacios - School Administrative Assistant
adminassist@stmarysoakridge.org

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Megan Kupfer - SMS Office Manager
(865) 483-9700
SMSoffice@stmarysoakridge.org

Mrs. Megan Kupfer currently serves as the Office Manager at Saint Mary’s School.  She brings to the organization 5+ years of experience in business management, operations, and startups.  She is a member of Saint Mary’s Parish. Prior to being employed at Saint Mary’s School, Megan served as a volunteer in the school’s cafeteria for 3 years . Megan relocated to Oak Ridge, TN with her husband and son in 2017 from her hometown of Weirton, WV. She is a graduate of West Liberty State University, as well as a third-generation alumni of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Outside of the school office, Megan enjoys cooking, landscaping, and spending time with her family on the lake.

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Denise Miller - Safe Environment Coordinator
SEC@stmarysoakridge.org

Denise Miller was initiated into the church at St. Mary’s Parish in April of 1990. She and her husband Dennis were founding members of All Saints Parish in 1994 and attended there until they returned to St. Mary’s in 2003. Their 3 children, James, Sarah, & Mary are all graduates of St. Mary’s School and Denise worked as a full-time teacher there for four years. Denise currently serves as a substitute teacher at the school and is the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Parish.