We have a large, talented and dedicated professional core staff at Saint Anne. The core staff consists of those who are the animators for the four commissions. The core staff meets twice a month for prayer, business, planning and communication. The pastor meets yearly with each parish core staff member for personal ministry review and evaluation.
Michael Beard joined the Saint Anne staff in the summer of 2015. Michael coordinates the sacramental preparation for adults in the community. This includes directing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), coordinating the Baptismal Preparation for parents, and directing people to the Vicariate I Adult Confirmation program. He also serves as staff liaison and spiritual resource for several groups in the community, including Women’s Faith Time, Saint Anne Guys’ Group, and the Young Marrieds Group.
Michael graduated from the Catholic University of America with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After working for a year and a half in Lima, Peru at a residential school run by the Capuchin Franciscans, Michael continued his studies at the University of Notre Dame. In 2014, he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. He worked for a year at his undergrad alma mater as the Associate Campus Minister for Retreats, Men’s Ministries, and Athletes. He feels very blessed to have discovered the Saint Anne Community as he was planning his wedding-his wife is a born and raised Chicagoan. Portland, OR is his hometown, so he enjoys hiking and the outdoors, languages, and playing the piano.
Fr. Joji Thanugundla is originally from Hyderabad, South India. After finishing high school, college, where he studied Philosophy, he went on to study Theology in Bangalore. He was ordained a priest in 1994. He also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Sociology. He worked for three years in Hyderabad and was then sent by his Archbishop to the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1997. Since then he served at Immaculate Heart of Mary in the city, St. Gerald’s in Oak Lawn, St. James in Arlington Heights and is now at Saint Anne in Barrington.
Fr. Joji comes from a family of six children, two girls and four boys. One of his brother is also a priest (Fr. Jerome working in India). Having worked in Chicago for almost 20 years Fr. Joji has gained much experience of Chicago Church. He is passionate about pastoral ministry by being available and personally connected to the community. He enjoys being with people attending all activities in the parish. He loves to walk in the school to meet and greet children and teachers. He is always ready to minister to the people by celebrating the sacraments and visiting the sick. He also enjoys sports and he is a good soccer, volleyball, ping-pong and bean bag player.
He is honored and humbled to be Saint Anne. While working with many ministries in the parishes, he was personally involved with RCIA, Liturgy and Bible study. His desire and mission is to work, build and be a part of a strong Catholic community which includes learning from the community and sharing his gifts and talents. He likes to “bloom where he is planted”.
Business and Operations Manager
Margaret Buckstaff joined the Saint Anne parish staff as Business and Operations Manager in 2009. She came to us from Saint Raymond de Penafort Parish, where she had served in the similar role since 1995. In her role as Business and Operations Manager for the parish, Margaret is responsible for oversite of finance, facilities, fundraising and human resources.
Margaret is accountable for all parish finances including budget preparation and management, annual and interim reports to the Archdiocese, staff liaison to the Finance Council, bill paying, bank relations, and managing the parish administrative staff. She is co-animator of the Parish Life Commission where she works with many dedicated volunteers for our Fall Classic Golf Outing, Trivia Night and social events such as Music under the stars.
In addition, Margaret is responsible for oversight of major repairs, renovations and capital projects, and manages the custodial and maintenance functions including staff and outside vendors. She acts as liaison to Archdiocese administrative agencies and is responsible for human resources, including processing payroll, acts as local benefits administrator, and assists the Pastor in hiring new staff members.
Prior to church work, her career had concentrated on Accounting and Human Resources for ABC-TV Spot sales as well as Health Care Companies in the Chicagoland area. She is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Father Chris (Krzysztof) Ciastoń was born and raised in Poland along with four brothers and one sister. They lived on the border of Slovakia in the town of Muszynka.
He graduated from culinary school and worked as a dietician, a food warehouse manager, and a chef at a large resort in Krynica-Zdrój, Poland.
Father Chris decided at the age of 20 that the priesthood was a good choice for him. He began to study philosophy and theology at the Pontifical University of St. John Paul II in Tarnów, Poland. While he was studying, he decided to come to the United States and arrived in Chicago on August 2, 2003.
Fr. Chris spent his first year learning English and more about the American culture at UIC and the Abramowicz House. After eight years of studying at three different seminaries, he was ordained into the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2007.
Before coming to St. Anne, he served at St. Tarcissus and St. Raymond as Associate Pastor. Fr. Chris has interests in the eastern thinking, iconography, and geography and is a stellar skier, swimmer and a mediocre golfer, and joker 🙂
Fr. Chris has one simple goal for St. Anne: to be a parish priest who is there for us. He wants to be helpful to anyone who is in need.
Director, Liturgy and Music
Rory Cooney has been Director of Liturgy and Music Ministries since 1994, coming to St. Anne after serving at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Phoenix for over ten years previously. From 1985 through 2014, he served as a team member with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate throughout the US, Canada, England, and Ireland, helping to empower ministers to grasp the vision and possibilities of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
Rory’s compositions appear in hymnals and worships aids of several publishers, as well as in the hymnals of Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Mennonite communities. He was the 2014 recipient of the Pastoral Musician of the Year award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. His articles have appeared in Pastoral Music, as well as other periodicals.
Associate Director, Liturgy
Georgene Farman has been a member of the parish for 25 years and has been with the Liturgy Department for 18 years. She became the Associate Director two years ago. Georgene has a degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University and a certification as a liturgist from the Diocese of Chicago.
Director, Care Ministries
Mary Ellen Johnston
Director, Care Ministries
Mary Ellen Johnston joined the Saint Anne Catholic Community staff in June 2016 and serves as Director of Care Ministries. Her responsibilities include coordinating visits of Ministers of Care who bring the Eucharist to sick and homebound parishioners, and to residents of seven health care and hospice facilities in the Barrington area. Through the Bereavement Ministry, she meets with families who have lost a loved one to plan the funeral liturgy. In addition, she works with the parish senior community, oversees the Ministry of Praise, serves as a liaison to organizations in the community and coordinates the Human Concerns Commission.
Mary Ellen earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University Chicago. Her previous work experience in fundraising and development included raising funds for poor U.S. mission dioceses at Catholic Extension, for pediatric health care at Children’s Memorial Foundation, for international emergency response programs at Concern Worldwide and for epilepsy research at CURE.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
As the Marketing and Communication Coordinator, Amy is responsible for the parish’s marketing, fundraising, and online communication. This includes designing and editing the weekly e-communication, coordination of parish fundraisers, organization of Community Life events and our Welcoming Ministry. Amy manages the parish website, assists in media publications, and social media of the parish such as our Facebook.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University, Oxford, OH. She has been a parishioner here since her family was relocated from Cleveland, Ohio in 2006. Amy resides in Barrington with her three children, of whom all graduated from Saint Anne Parish School.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Michael V. Hugo is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. He is a part-time social work therapist at Barrington Behavioral Health and Wellness in Barrington. Prior to his current position, Michael was campus minister at Loyola Academy in Wilmette for 24 years, 8 of which as director of the department of campus ministry. For the past 23 years Michael has taught 8th grade confirmation classes at St. Mary’s Church in Lake Forest (retired from that work last year). Since 1988 Michael has offered the Encounter with Silence, an eight day silent retreat in cities throughout the U.S. This is a preached retreat based on the Exercises of St. Ignatius that Dorothy Day made multiple times in her life, under the direction of Fr. John J. Hugo, Michael’s uncle. She referred to it as “the bread of the strong” in a number of her writings. Michael most recently offered this retreat at the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc in August 2017. He contributed a chapter to the book, The Fireball and the Lotus about his experiences in the Shantivanam House of Prayer, Easton, Kansas in 1976-1977. His wife Adrienne and he are the parents of three children, Joshua, Maria and Zachary and the grandfather of Joshua’s two boys, Landon Thomas and Callum Patrick. Michael’s hobbies are leather work, cabinet making and guitar. His educational degrees are from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh (B.A.), Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University of Chicago (M.P.S.), and the University of Chicago (M.S.W.).
Director, Hope Ministries
Principal, Saint Anne Parish School
- Mrs. Dawn Kapka – Principal of Saint Anne Parish SchoolMrs. Kapka received her undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She worked as a special education teacher and general elementary education teacher. She received her Master of Arts degree in Teaching and Leadership from Saint Xavier University in 2001, while continuing her career as a teacher. Dawn then went on to serve as Associate Principal and later, as Principal in the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School system while earning another Master of Arts degree in School Leadership from Concordia University and her Type 75 Principal Licensure in 2009. Mrs. Kapka’s principalship at Saint Anne Parish School began in 2011. She leads a student body of approximately 330 students and 40 faculty/staff members. She embraces the opportunity and considers it a privilege to utilize her gifts as the instructional and faith leader of this identifiably Catholic learning community. She works in partnership with parents and teachers to develop children who are faith-filled, God-centered young people who grow in their servant leadership abilities while reaching their greatest, individual potential.Mrs. Kapka and her husband are the proud parents of three adult-aged children. She enjoys reading, baking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Director, Lifelong Faith Formation
Assistant to the Pastor