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Meet Our Paulist Fathers

Paulist Fr. Bradford Shoeberle

Paulist Fr. Bradford Shoeberle is the pastor of Old St. Mary’s.

Fr. Brad was ordained on May 27, 2000. He served as the founding pastor of St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, Michigan where he was located for 10 years. He began his pastoral service at Old St. Mary’s, June 23, 2018 after being on a sabbatical for a year visiting various Paulist Communities across the country and in Rome.

Paulist Fr. Patrick Johnson

Paulist Fr. Patrick Johnson is an associate pastor of Old St. Mary’s. He was ordained on May 4, 1974.

Paulist Fr. Steven Petroff

Paulist Fr. Steven Petroff is an associate pastor of Old St. Mary’s. He is a native of Clarkston, MI.

He earned a B.A. from Oakland University in Rochester, MI, and an M.S. in Hispanic literature and linguistics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

He then spent 20 years in Los Angeles working in marketing and strategic planning for a variety of international companies.

He joined the Paulist Fathers’ novitiate in the fall of 2011 and made his first promises to the community in 2012.  He made his final promises on Sept. 2, 2016, and was ordained a transitional deacon on Sept. 3, 2016.

Fr. Steven was ordained a priest by Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, AZ, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Paulist mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City.

He celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving (“First Mass”) the next day, May 21, 2017, also at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.

In his first priestly assignment, he is serving as associate pastor of Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago.

In his own words:

“I’ve felt a call to the priesthood since I was young, but have spent much of my adult life running from it or making excuses. After years of spiritual wandering, exploration and struggling with my Catholic faith, I came to realize that God’s love is bigger and more generous than I can imagine – and that this love includes me just as I am. I was drawn to the Paulists by their dedication to outreach, compassion and building bridges of inclusive communication among Catholics and beyond. The Paulist mission to meet contemporary culture on its own terms and present the Gospel in compelling, modern ways inspires and motivates me.”

This video provides highlights from Fr. Steve’s Mass of Thanksgiving (“First Mass”) on May 21, 2017, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City:

Fr. Stuart Wilson-Smith

Paulist Fr. Stuart Wilson-Smith is associate pastor of Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago.

He previously served as associate director of St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbus, OH.

Fr. Stuart is a native of Eastern Canada.  He was born in Nova Scotia and grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Toronto.

Prior to joining the Paulist community, he worked as a musician and in music stores.

He entered the novitiate on August 27, 2011, and made first promises to the Paulist community on July 28, 2012.

During his seminary years, he was active at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C., notably with the Landings ministry for Catholics returning to the Church after a time away.

He made his final promises on Sept. 2, 2016, and was ordained a transitional deacon on Sept. 3, 2016.

In May, 2017, he received a Master of Divinity degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Fr. Stuart was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, AZ, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, during a Mass at the Paulist mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City.

He celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving (“First Mass”) on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at the 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.

In his own words:

“Though I was baptized Catholic, and attended Sunday school throughout my early years growing up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, I was also exposed to various expressions of Protestantism. As I embarked on a spiritual and intellectual quest in my teens to find where God was calling me, I found myself to be Catholic all over again and became eager to spread the joy and the sense of peace the faith had brought me with others.”

Below is an interview with Fr. Stu as he likes to be called:

Fun facts about Fr. Stuart:

  • Birthdate: Sept. 26, 1984
  • Favorite Saint: St. André Bessette
  • Hobbies: Fishing, globetrotting
  • Favorite Food: Seafood, pizza, and spaghetti

To learn more about Fr. Stuart, visit his profiles on TwitterSoundCloud and Pinterest.