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Parish Pastoral Council

Richard C. Brensinger, M. Div. - Pastor

Father Rich was raised in Bally, PA. He received his undergraduate degrees in Theology/Philosophy and Elementary Education from Alvernia College in Reading. After graduating from college, he taught fifth grade at our own Saint Francis of Assisi School for one year before entering the seminary 35 years ago. Father Rich began his studies at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton and within the first year he was back at Saint Francis as a seminarian for one semester doing parish visitation.  When Mary Immaculate closed, Father was transferred to Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia.

Ordained on June 6, 1992, at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, Father Rich was assigned Associate Pastor at Notre Dame of Bethlehem Parish and then Saint Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring.  After five years in parish ministry, Bishop Welsh asked him to serve as Director of Spiritual Activities and Professor at Saint Pius X High School, Bangor for a year and then Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua for two years. Following that, Father Rich went back into parish ministry as Associate Pastor at Sacred Heart, West Reading, Saint Patrick, Pottsville, Saint Ann, Emmaus and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bethlehem. 

Father Rich’s first Pastorate gave him three parishes in Schuylkill County: Annunciation BVM, Shenandoah, Saint Mary, Ringtown and Saint Mary Magdalene, Lost Creek.  A year later, Ringtown was taken away from Father and two other parishes in Shenandoah were given to him: Saint George and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Father Rich’s second Pastorate made him the founding Pastor of the Church of All Saints in McAdoo, which was a consolidation of six parishes: Saint Patrick, Saint Kunegunda, and Saint Mary, all in McAdoo, Saint Michael and Saint Bartholomew, both in Tresckow and Immaculate Conception in Kelayres.  Later, he served as Parish Administrator for Saint Joseph, Sheppton and his former parish of Saint Mary, Ringtown.  In 2011, Father Rich was assigned as Catholic Campus Minister for Kutztown University and Albright College, Reading. During COVID and after nine years at Kutztown, he was made Administrator of Our Lady Help of Christians, Allentown. 

On November 21, 2021, Father Rich was installed as the eighth Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi by Reverend Eugene Ritz, Chancellor for the Diocese of Allentown.  Father’s mother, Barbara Yost, is a member of Most Blessed Sacrament, Bally.  In his spare time, Father Rich enjoys spending time with PJ, his Miniature Schnauzer, reading, cooking, playing crokinole and the company of friends.

Mr. Robert P. Young - Permanent Deacon

Bob and JoAnne, his wife since 1970, both hail from the western suburbs of Philadelphia. It was a new career that brought them north in the early 70s, where they raised their children: Thomas, Theresa, and Jordan. Today they own and operate the oldest and largest flooring store in Bethlehem, Bethlehem Gallery of Floors. Here they preside over daily operations with their sons, Tom and Jordan, and the rest of their staff. Throughout their 30+ years at the helm, they have received numerous retailer awards for their business achievements. Their daughter, Terri, lives north of Baltimore and works at John Hopkins Hospital as a licensed clinical supervisor in their out-patient mental health program. They also have eight grandchildren.

Bob completed his undergraduate studies in Business Management at Montgomery County Community College in 1971 and completed a 4-year home study program in Interior Design from Harcourt Learning in 1973. In 2001, he began his Theological Studies at Mary Immaculate Center in Northampton, culminating in Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Allentown in 2006. After ordination, he was assign by Bishop Edward Cullen to the parish of Saint Francis of Assisi in Allentown. At the parish, he presides as deacon of the Word and Cup for Mass, and officiates at baptisms, funerals, and weddings. His Eucharistic services also include Benediction for the Carmelite Monastery in Limeport as well as for the parish, Communion for the homebound and various facilities, and a first Friday Pro-life Holy Hour. He directs the annual “Day of Recollection” retreat for the Men of Saint Francis. He is always prepared to serve anywhere in the diocese at the request of the Bishop or a friend in need.

Outside his ministry at Saint Francis, he enjoys his very active memberships in Our Lady’s Missionaries of the Eucharist (a Public Association of Christ’s Faithful), the Catholic Business Owners Alliance (a newly formed group by Bishop Barres to formulate the Good News of Jesus Christ into their business), the Bethlehem Rotary, Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Saint John Vianney Regional School board. He is a former member of the boards for Dream Come True and Musikfest.

Bob and JoAnne have recently downsized their lives and currently live under the peaceful elms and sycamores of the west side of Allentown, where they spend as much time as possible spoiling their grandchildren. Bob is an avid gardener and reader, loves anything about Abraham Lincoln & the Civil War era, and, in recent years, has begun to re-read many of the old classics he enjoyed as a young man.

Diane Rita Colom - Chairperson

Diane R Colom was born and raised in New Bedford, MA. She married Jose Colom in 1985. A job opportunity for Jose brought them to Pennsylvania in 1987. Jose and Diane have three married children and have been additionally blessed with four very active grandsons. They have been members of St. Francis of Assisi since 1990.


Diane graduated from Cedar Crest College with a BA in Secondary Education and a teaching certificate. She earned a Master’s Degree from Turabo University in English as a Second Language and is currently the ESOL Dept. Chair for Liberty High School in Bethlehem where she works full time as a teacher.

Diane has been involved in a variety of ways over the years from preparing the bulletin for publishing to teaching PREP and RCIA teens about our faith to currently being an active member of Woman Walking in Faith women's prayer group to name a few. Her spirit renewed by a trip to France’s Chartres Cathedral, left her wanting to continue growing spiritually and deepening her relationship with God. To accomplish this desire, Diane has focused on Adult Formation provided by the diocese, as well as Bible Study, Retreats, talks on faith and attending the annual Diocesan Women's Conference. AS chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council, she collaborates with parishioners in moving St. Francis forward in this era of new evangelization. The use of new media has made it easy to encourage, teach and inspire. Some favorites of Dinae are Word on Fire’s Bishop Robert Barron. Ascension’s Fr. Mike Schmitz, the Catholic Talk Show and the Daughters of St. Paul. She is always looking for ways to learn more about the Catholic Faith and how to share the beauty of Catholicism with others.


The PPC has been a blessing in her life and is moved by the ways the Holy Spirit has given each member the wisdom they have needed the past three years and calls upon Him to continue guiding them into the future. Diane is grateful for the kindness of all the parish community and is excited for what is to come!

Tyler Bauer

Tyler Bauer feels that he is able to bring a lot to the PPC and St. Francis as a whole as a younger member of the parish. Being brought up in a Polish and Catholic family, he has many memories of practicing his faith inside and outside of his childhood parish, Our Lady of Czestochowa. From sharing an Oplatki during Christmas eve dinner, to helping run bingo with his father, volunteering in the community; being a strong Catholic is a core value to him. For his personal life, he is currently an engineer working at B. Braun. He is happily married.

He is originally from Buffalo NY, attended catholic grammar school, and went to college at R.I.T. in Rochester NY. After bouncing around from various internships across the east coast and a couple of other jobs in the Lehigh Valley, he has finally settled down in Catasauqua and with St. Francis of Assisi. Having so many different life experiences and having been to many different Catholic and non-Catholic churches, he feels that being a member of the PPC a unique perspective on life and on religion. He has seen what other parishes do to be successful and he looks forward to helping our parish be as successful as possible. During his time on the PPC for St. Francis, he will be looking to improve the current engagement that already exists at St. Francis, while improving engagement with the parish communi- ty, and helping people feel the real presence of the Holy Trinity. To quote Tyler, “I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

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Heidi Beck

My name is Heidi Beck and I have been a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi for 24 years. My husband Bob and I have two children, Ethan and Aidan. During my years at St. Francis I have been involved with the Parish festival committee, the Decorating committee, the Welcoming and Evangelization committee, as well as, a Children’s Liturgy of the Word leader and a member of the Women Walking in Faith women’s group.


I work as a pediatric speech and language pathologist for First Steps Therapy Services and Via of the Lehigh Valley, specializing in the Birth-3 Early Intervention program and providing services to babies and toddlers with various speech/language and feeding disorders.

In my free time I enjoy reading, knitting/crocheting, crafting, and watching our sons play sports.  As a member of the PPC, my hope for our parish is that we will continue to be vibrant and full of life. I would love to see more young families involved in the church to bring new ideas and opportunities for parishioners to grow in faith and help our parish continue to prosper.

Julissa Burgos

Julissa Burgos has been a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi Church for over 20 years. She feels truly blessed in aspects of her life. She is married to her high school sweetheart and best friend, Juan, and they have three amazing children, Julian, Jianna and Jenalise. She has been working as a finance professional at PPL for over 20 years. She also serves on the Board of Community Services for Children (CSC), which oversees many of our early childhood learning centers in the Lehigh Valley and neighboring counties, including Early Head Start and Head Start. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and attending her kids’ sports events, soccer and basketball games. She has had the opportunity and blessing to serve as the secretary of the PPC since inception and feels so humbled and blessed that she will continue to be part of this wonderful group that has accomplished so many great things for our Parish.

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Marina LoBaido

Marina LoBaido is a proud parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi since birth. While a member, she has received all of her sacraments, altar served, and was a sacristan at St. Francis. She attended St. Francis of Assisi school from preschool to 7th grade, when sadly, the school closed. She currently has the pleasure of working as a Speech Language Pathologist at Holy Family Manor serving the elderly with cognitive-communicative and swallowing disorders. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, hiking, exercising, and LOVES trying different cuisines! There are multiple reasons why she adores this parish. She expresses being blessed to be part of such a close-knit faith filled community and to have Father Rich and of course Deacon Bob (definitely his biggest fan!).

She is grateful and blessed to be part of the PPC and looks forward to collaborating with the additional members to continue to strengthen her faith and Saint Francis of Assisi parish as a whole.

Pete McFadden

Pete McFadden was born and raised at 9th and Washington Streets in Allentown. He has been a member of St. Francis all of his life. A Forever Friar. The 11th of 12 children born to Rosemary and Patrick, he graduated from St. Francis in 1978. ACCHS in 1982 and Kutztown University in 1994. He received all 5 of his sacraments here at St. Francis. His wedding to his wonderful wife, Katie, was on St. Francis’ feast day, October 4, 1014. He is currently a sacristan, member of Men of St. Francis and the decorating committee. He shares that his family mantra is ‘JOY’. Jesus first in everything you do. Others second in thoughts and deeds, and Yourself last. Being a member of the PPC, he will act as an ambassador for all of us to deepen our relationship with God and grow our faith with the help of the Holy Spirit.

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Mary Grace Perez

Mary Grace Perez has been a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish since 2002. She was born in Jackson Heights, NY before she moved to Colonia, NJ as a child, where she attended St. John Vianney, a Catholic elementary school. In 1986, she moved to Bath, PA with her parents and four siblings. Mary Grace went on to graduate from Allentown Business School with Honors and an Associates Degree in Legal Secretary. She also graduated from Lincoln Technical School in 2008 with Honors in Medical Assistant work. She is currently employed at the only pro-life OB/GYN doctor’s office in the Lehigh Valley, where she has worked for the past 14 years. Mary Grace is a single mother of three daughters, Kayla, Brianna and Hailey. Her two eldest both attended St. Francis of Assisi while her youngest attended St. John Vianney. All three of her daughters attended Allentown Central Catholic High School.

Mary Grace has been a leader in Children’s Liturgy and has volunteered in various ways at church, school functions and activities. Mary Grace’s faith has helped her through every stepping point in her life, especially as a single mother of three. Through hard times and good times, she relied on her relationship with God to guide her through the different journeys and paths she found herself on. It is this same faith that has made her a steadfast parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi and brought her to where she is today. She offers up daily devotions to the Divine Mercy Chaplet in which she prays for the sick and dying. Mary Grace is eager to mentor the younger generation and help them become more active in the Catholic Church.

Christine Wargo

My name is Christine Wargo and I have been a St. Francis Assisi parishioner since birth. I have received all of my sacraments here and I remain dedicated to our parish. When I lived in Catasauqua I would pass three churches on my way here! I am a member of our spiritually powerful women’s group, Women Walking in Faith, a Eucharistic Minister in our parish and at Holy Family Manor. I also work full time as an Academic Advisor at LCCC and finishing up my last few credentials to become a licensed counselor. In my free time I love to draw, paint, do photography and spend time outdoors with friends and family. I am also a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan! :) I pray that I will continue to represent your voice throughout my term as a PPC member, my prayers are with you all.

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Scott Wargo

My mother and father, after moving to Allentown in the late 60’s, decided to settle down and raise their four children. I am the second oldest of the four, born in February 1971, with one older brother, one younger brother and a younger sister. Long time parishioners, the four of us celebrated our Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation all at St. Francis of Assisi. I also have three young nieces and a nephew through my two brothers.


I went to Parkland schools and graduated in 1989. After graduation, I attended Penn State University and studied Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1993. For the last 18 years, I have held a position of Principal Consultant for PAREXEL International as a quality assurance and compliance consultant to Pharmaceutical companies. In this role I utilize my middle child skills mediating between clients and consultants on various quality issues, as well as, leading projects and providing audits and reviews. The ability to work with so many people on so many projects domestically and internationally lead to experiences of having faith and spirit filled conversations with all varieties of Catholics, Christians, Agnostics, etc. from all different backgrounds. I would like to use these experiences to help lead the parish to grow in faith, and to excite our consistent faithful.

Helen Moyer - Secretary

Helen Moyer Secretary was born and raised in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. Her love of nature and the countryside is what drew her to PA at the age of 21 and she has lived here ever since. Her husband Al is a native of Allentown. They have been married for 40 years and we are blessed with 4 children who are all adults. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading and learning more about her faith. Interacting with people is her passion. She is happiest when she can help others and loves to just sit and learn about various cultures and traditions. She has been a member of St. Francis Parish for 27 years. During that time she has been the co-lead for our RCIA program. She also is a Lector and Eucharistic Minister and member of our Evangelization Committee and Welcoming Committee.

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She taught in our PREP program and has volunteered for various activities such as our Parish Festival, serving at our Parish Breakfast and transporting elderly and disabled to and from Mass. She has worked as a Project Manager for 36 years until she retired in 2020. This afforded her the opportunity to interact with large teams consisting of people from all walks of life. She sees this as a skill set that will help her to be an asset to the Parish Pastoral Council. As a member of this group, she believes it is essential to focus on ways to assist our pastor and all our St. Francis family in efforts to live in faith each day and to communicate the love and values that enable us to be followers of Christ. She prays for guidance from the Holy Spirit as she begins this journey.

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