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Parish Staff


Rev. Vernon P. Decoteau

Father Vern was raised in the town of Adams, MA, in Berkshire County. He attended Notre Dame Grammar School and St. Joseph's High school, graduating in 1966. Entering the seminary in 1966 he received his A.A. Degree from St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CT in 1969 and his B.A. Degree from Our Lady of the Angels Seminary (Niagara University) in 1971 and an M. Div. Degree from St. John's Seminary in Boston in 1975. He was ordained on May 24, 1975, in his home church of Notre Dame in Adams, MA. Following ordination he was assigned to St. Mary's in Westfield, MA. He joined the faculty of Cathedral High School, Springfield, in 1979. In 1982, he attended the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and was awarded an M.A. in Liturgical Studies in August of 1983. Returning to the Diocese, he became Director of the Office of Worship, Director of Music, and Diocesan Master of Ceremonies until he was named Pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Northampton, in April of 1992. On January 1, 1996, he assumed the pastorate of St. Francis of Assisi, Belchertown. Father is a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a past member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, and a past Episcopal Vicar.

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Rev. Michael Pierz
Parochial Vicar

Father Michael Pierz joined St. Francis Parish in August 2014 as a Parocial Vicar.  Fr. Pierz was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 2013 at St. Michael's Cathedral by Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell.  He celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving the following day at his childhood parish, St. Mary, Mother of the Church, in Lee, MA.  Eight months prior, he was ordained to the transitional diaconate in St. Peter's Basilica with 32 classmates from the North American College in Rome.  It was there, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, that Fr. Pierz studied Theology and Canon Law.  Before then, he spent two years at St. John's Seminary in Boston.

Fr. Pierz gives thanks and much credit to his parents for having installed in him a loving family life, with his brother Mark, and the knowledge and practice of the faith.  While he spent some time in Washington DC studying International Politics and as well as a degree in international Hospitality Management from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, the idea of a vocation was nourished throughout, even though hidden for some time.

Fr. Pierz's first job (besides at home sweeping the garage and mowing the lawn!) was as a busboy in a restaurant.  He's been a mailman, a brewpub server, a Congressional intern, and an Alaskan hotel deskman, but over all of these, he gives praise to God for the chance to be His priest.


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Deacon Bill Brawner

Deacon Bill is the eldest of four children and was raised as an Episcopalian in California, Hawaii, Switzerland, and New York.  He was awarded an MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College in Vermont.  For several decades, Dcn Bill worked as a third-party administrator for employee benefit plans.  In 2008, he began a new career as a parish finance administrator and currently works with several parishes in the diocese.

Confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith at Easter Services 2002, Dcn Bill has been active in his home parish in Granby as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister and has also taught 10th grade at St. Francis with the Generations of Faith Program.  In 2004, with some help, he perceived a calling to the Permanent Diaconate.   Following four years of college-level studies and formation, he was awarded a M.A.A.T. (Master of Arts in Applied Theology), and was ordained in 2009.

Dcn Bill is married to his college classmate, and best friend, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner.  They had lived in Belchertown, but moved to Granby to be closer to the parish where Kathryn is the Pastoral Minister.  They have an adult daughter, Kyrsten, a Mount Holyoke graduate.

 Mrs. Louise Christ

Mr. Tom Curto
Maintenance Supervisor

Dr. Carolyn Vogt Groves
Coordinator of Religious Education

Mrs. Linda Racicot
Coordinator of First Penance/Communion

Ms. Melissa Hurst
High School Coordinator

Mrs. Judy Trickey
RCIA Coordinator

Mrs. Christine Hurst
Parish Child Advocate
Diocescan Child and Youth Protection Web site

Mr. Franco Dell'Olio
Pastoral Council Chair

Mr. David Paul
Finance Committee Chair



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