Among the priest appointments for the Archdiocese of Washington announced by Cardinal Donald Wuerl this week, 17 priests of the archdiocese have been appointed to serve as pastors at local parishes, effective July 6. (See list of appointments on page 2.)

Father Timothy Baer, the newly named pastor of St. Mary of Piscatawy Parish in Clinton, is a native of Silver Spring who was ordained in 1996. Since 2007, he has served as pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Chaptico. He attended High Point High School and the University of Maryland prior to entering Mount St. Mary Seminary. He also earned a licentiate in sacred theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He has served as a parochial vicar at St. Mark Parish, Hyattsville; St. Ambrose Parish, Cheverly; and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Upper Marlboro. He was parochial administrator at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish for one year prior to being named pastor there. He previously served as a chaplain to the Prince George's Hospital Center and as a member of the Priest Council.

Father James Boccabella, the new pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Washington, most recently served as a parochial vicar at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Washington. Father Boccabella is a native of Washington who attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School then in Wheaton and the University of Maryland in College Park prior to attending Blessed John XXIII Seminary. Following his ordination in 2009, he served as a parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament. Since last year, he has served on the Priests' Retirement Board. St. Francis Xavier Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Y. David Brault, the newly named pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Silver Spring, is a native of Quebec, Canada, who was ordained in 1977. He has served as pastor of St. Mary of Piscataway Parish in Clinton since 2003. He attended Mount St. Mary University and St. Vincent de Paul University in Florida prior to entering Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg. After his ordination, he served as a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, Sacred Heart Parish in Bowie, and Holy Redeemer Parish in Kensington. He then served for one year as parochial administrator of the Kensington parish. In 1992, he was named as the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Presentation parish in Poolesville. He served there until his appointment to St. Mary of Piscataway Parish. He is also the former chaplain to the Fatima Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Father Michael Briese, the new pastor of Holy Name Parish in Washington, recently served as a parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Silver Spring. Father Briese is a native of Washington, D.C. and a graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School and the University of Scranton. He attended Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass., prior to his 2009 ordination. He has served as parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish since his ordination. Holy Name Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Robert Buchmeier, the newly named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, is a native of Spokane, Wash., and was ordained in 1991, after studies at Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass. He earlier earned a degree in psychology from Seattle University. He has served as a parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton; and as a parochial administrator at St. Bernardine of Siena Parish, Suitland; Christ the King Parish, Silver Spring; St. Mary Parish, Bryantown; and St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton. As a pastor, he has served at St. Nicholas Parish, Laurel, from 1998 to 2005; and St. Columba Parish, Oxon Hill, from 2005 until his new assignment. He completed 15 years of commissioned service in the U.S. Army as a Medical Service Corps officer with the rank of major.

Father Jaroslaw Gamrot, the new pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish, Chaptico, most recently served as a parochial vicar, at Mother Seton Parish, Germantown. Father Gamrot, a native of Poland, was ordained in Warsaw in 1991 as a priest for the Congregation of Marians. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Washington in 2008. Since his incardination, he has served as a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, La Plata and since 2010 at Mother Seton Parish, Germantown. He was previously in residence at St. Matthias Parish, Lanham, while studying at the Catholic University of America. He also served as a chaplain at St. Joseph Nursing Home in Catonsville. When he was a Marian, he served as assistant secretary to his congregation's General Chapter. Our Lady of the Wayside Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Avelino Gonzalez, the newly named pastor of St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill, Washington; most recently served as a parochial vicar at St. Martin of Tours Parish, Gaithersburg. Father Gonzalez was born in Cuba. Ordained to the priesthood in 2006, he completed his seminary studies at the North American College in Rome. He earlier earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Catholic University of America and a master's in theological studies at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He served as a parochial vicar at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Silver Spring and since 2007 at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg. Since last year, he has served first as associate director and then as director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the archdiocese. St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Jaime Hernandez, the newly named pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton, was born in El Salvador and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington in 2003. Since 2008, he has served as pastor of St. Bernardine of Siena Parish in Suitland. He attended Montgomery Community College prior to entering St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami, and later Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg. After his ordination, he served as a parochial vicar for five years at the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville.



Father Daniel Leary, the newly named pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Silver Spring, has served at Jesus the Divine Word Parish in Huntingtown since 2005. He served one year there as a parochial administrator, and the last five as pastor. A native of Silver Spring, he attended Little Flower School in Bethesda and Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda and Villanova University prior to entering Mount St. Mary's Seminary. He was ordained in 1997. He earlier served as parochial vicar at St. Mary of Piscataway Parish in Clinton and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg. In 1999, he was appointed to the archdiocesan vocations team. Since last year, he has served as a member of the Priest Council.

Msgr. Michael Mellone, the newly named pastor of St. Mary of the Mills Parish in Laurel, is a native of Hackensack, N.J., and was ordained in 1976. He has served as pastor of St. Andrew Apostle Parish, Silver Spring, since 2005. He attended Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in New York prior to entering Theological College to complete his seminary studies. He has served as a parochial vicar at St. Catherine Labouré Parish, Wheaton; Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Washington; Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Potomac; and St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton. He has served as pastor of St. Peter Claver Parish, St. Inigoes; St. Martin of Tours Parish, Gaithersburg; and St. Thomas Apostle Parish, Washington. He also served from 2003 to 2006 as archdiocesan secretary for clergy. He previously served as a member of the Consultors, the Planning and Evaluation Commission for Catholic Schools, the Priest Council, the Vocations Formation Board, the Convocation Committee, the Retirement Board, the Continuing Education of Priests and the Deacon Council. A former episcopal vicar in Montgomery County, he served as dean of the Upper Montgomery County Deanery in 2009.

Father Ronald Potts, the newly named pastor of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, has served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata since 2007. A native of Southern Maryland, he attended the University of Scranton prior to entering Mount St. Mary's Seminary. After his ordination in 1989, he served as a parochial vicar at St. John Parish in Hollywood and St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Bethesda. He served as a pastor at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown prior to his assignment to Sacred Heart Parish. He has served on the archdiocesan vocations team and as a member of the Carroll Publishing Company's Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Priest Council and the Diaconate Review Board.

Father Joseph Sileo, the new pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish, Bethesda, has served as senior parochial vicar there since 2010. Father Sileo is a native of Jersey City, N.J., who was ordained in 1971. Prior to serving at St. Bartholomew Parish, he was pastor of Holy Face Parish in Great Mills from 2004 to 2010. From 1971 to 1973, he was a parochial vicar at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Indian Head. In 1973, he was named as an assistant in special education for the Archdiocese of Washington's Office of Education. He held that post until 1984, when he was assigned to be chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor with ministry at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute. In 1987, he was named associate pastor at St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Camp Springs. He held that post for two years until he was name pastor of Nativity Parish in Washington. In 1997, Father Sileo was named director of professional development for the Catholic Schools Office and coordinator of outreach at Kennedy Institute while in residence at St. Peter Parish on Capitol Hill. In 2004, he was named pastor of Holy Face Parish. In addition to his priestly ministry, Father Sileo has been a member of the Board of Directors of Kennedy Institute and Carroll Manor Nursing Home. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America.

Father Lawrence Swink, the new pastor of Jesus the Divine Word Parish in Huntingtown, most recently served as parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish, Bowie. Father Lawrence Swink was born at a U.S. Naval Base on Midway Island and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. Prior to his 2006 ordination, he attended Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. A graduate of the Heights School in Potomac, he attended Montgomery Community College and the University of Maryland prior to entering the University of Dallas, where he earned a degree in political philosophy. He has served as a parochial vicar at St. Mary of the Mills Parish, Laurel and St. Pius X Parish, Bowie. He has served as moderator of the Sodality Union. Jesus the Divine Word Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Michael Tietjen, the new pastor of Holy Angels Parish, Avenue, most recently served as parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, Silver Spring. Father Tietjen is a native of Perth Amboy, N.J., and was ordained in 2006. He attended Loyola College in Baltimore, earning a degree in physics, and the University of Maryland, where he studied mechanical engineering, prior to entering Mount St. Mary's Seminary. Since his ordination, he served as a parochial vicar first at St. John the Evangelist Parish and later at St. John the Baptist Parish, both in Silver Spring. Holy Angels Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Francisco Tovar, the new pastor of St. Bernardine of Siena Parish, Suitland, most recently served as a parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton. Father Tovar was born in Spain and ordained in 2006. He studied French language and civilization and philosophy and theology in France, prior to entering the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Strasbourg, France. He later attended the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Takoma Park. Since his ordination, he has served as a parochial vicar at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg and St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton. He has also served as an external confessor for seminarians at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. In addition to English, he speaks Italian, French and Spanish. St. Bernardine Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Father Gary Villanueva, the new pastor of St. Columba Parish, Oxon Hill, most recently served as parochial administrator at Holy Name Parish, Washington. Father Gary Villanueva was born in the Philippines and ordained a priest in 2004. Prior to entering Blessed John XXIII Seminary, Father Villanueva studied at Roxas Memorial College of Arts and Trades and the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, earning a degree in engineering. He later attended Los Angeles Valley College and Washington Theological Union and DeSales Seminary. After his ordination, he served as parochial vicar at St. Mary of Piscataway Parish in Clinton and St. Mary Parish in Rockville. Since last August, he has served as parochial administrator at Holy Name Parish in Washington. St. Columba Parish is his first assignment as a pastor.

Msgr. Michael Wilson, the newly named pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Solomons, is a native of Fort Monroe, Va. He served as pastor of St. Mary of the Mills Parish, Laurel, since 2002. He was ordained in 1975 after attending Mount St. Mary's Seminary. He earlier received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Maryland. After his ordination, he served as a parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Bowie; St. Mary Parish, Landover Hills; Nativity Parish, Washington; and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Washington. He has served as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Lexington Park, and St. Raphael Parish, Rockville. He also served as associate director and later director of the archdiocesan vocations office from 1981 to 1984. Over the years he has served as chaplain to the Keane Council of the Knights of Columbus, the Mater Dei Council of the Knights of Columbus and the Maryland Council of the Knights. He has also served as chaplain to the Serra Club, as confessor to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as an administrator of Little Flower School in Great Mills, and as a member of the Council of Priests, the Carroll Publishing Company Board of Directors, the archdiocesan Stewardship Pastor's Commission and the Priest Personnel Board. Since 2002, he has served as dean of the Northern Prince George's County Deanery.