Fr. Roman became pastor of Divine Savior in July of 2004. He finds himself most at home presiding at Masses and preaching. It is easily noticeable that he has a special place in his heart for children. He also enjoys the adventure of the on-going development of a Catholic Community.
Prior to Divine Savior, Fr. Roman served as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Huntsville, AL. Despite it being a relatively small parish, a great accomplishment on the part of the parishioners was the construction of a 13,000 square foot multi-purpose building which was paid off in two years after construction was completed.
Between 1985 and 1997, Fr. Roman exercised his ministry as pastor for the first time at Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa, AZ. Those twelve years involved the pasturing of a multi-cultural parish made up of a wide variety of English speaking people, an equal number of people from Mexico, as well as sizeable groups of indigenous Guatemalans and people born in Peru as well as other countries in Central and South America, and several countries in Europe and Asia. The parish had a parochial school as well as some 700 young folks involved in religious education. Under his watch, the parish renovated every parish building, the staff doubled in size to meet the needs of two language groups and the collections more than doubled.
For seven years prior to this Fr. Roman was an associate pastor at St. Leander Church in San Leandro, CA. After getting an M.A. in Clinical Psychology he helped found a parish Counseling Service while accruing hours toward his Marriage, Family and Child Counseling License.
Before this, Fr. Roman also spent six years teaching high school. This ministry proceeded and followed his obtaining a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, after which he was ordained on August 22, 1974.
Fr. Roman’s formative years were spent on a dairy farm in North Eastern Wisconsin.
Caroline Easton has been Divine Savior’s Director of Liturgy since November 2011. Prior to that, she was the Director of Music, from April 2010 to November 2011. Some of the groups that fall under her umbrella of influence are the Lectors, Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Ushers, Greeters, Musicians, Altar Linen Ministry, Sacristans, and the Liturgy Commission. She also acts as a staff liaison for the Peace Prayer Ministry, Our Lady of Guadalupe Society, and the Rosary prayer groups.
Caroline grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and went to Catholic schools K-12. She has played piano since Kindergarten, and has sung in choirs since high school. She even had a brief stint as the bass drum player in her high school marching band. Her parish liturgy director in high school got her started in music ministry as the accompanist for the choir, and she has played for masses ever since. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry in 1991 from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota. After graduating she ventured out west to accept a position as Pastoral Associate at Holy Family Parish in Deming, NM. In 1993, she moved to southern California to work as the Liturgy Coordinator at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Riverside. After her first three children were born, she and her family moved to northern California. She took a break from full-time ministry to be a stay-at-home-mom, and two more children followed. In 2008, she and the children moved to Folsom, where they now live. She has a special place in her heart for families with children living with special needs.
Caroline serves on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and also on the Cantor Section Steering Committee for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
“When I went through a very rough time in my life, my prayers got really simple. My favorite one goes something like this: ‘God, make your will stupidly obvious to me, and put the right people in my path to help me recognize it, embrace it, and follow it.’ That prayer gets me more mileage than anything I’ve ever read or learned in my 17 years of Catholic schools!” She feels blessed to be at Divine Savior, where a supportive and loving staff and congregation feed her spirit daily. “It is a real blessing to be a part of this parish during a time of spiritual growth and a season of dedicated leadership by its pastor. As long as I keep on trusting in God’s will and not my own, I will be guided to the right paths, both in my personal life and in church ministry.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make your paths straight.” - Proverbs 3:5-6
Denise Hackett is Divine Savior’s Confirmation Coordinator & EDGE Middle School Youth minister. As the mother of three teenagers, Denise received “on the job training” on how to minister to middle school youth. Her passion for sharing her Catholic faith with youth and helping them to develop a personal relationship with Christ led her to accept a position as youth minister for the middle school three years ago. Denise holds a Primary Catechist certification and a LifeTeen Youth Minister certification.
Denise has implemented a new middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grades) program (EDGE) at the parish. Primarily using materials provided by LifeTeen, Denise and a core team of seven adults provide a curriculum that rotates between social nights, issue nights and faith building nights. The Confirmation program for eighth and ninth graders is incorporated into the overall youth program and complimented by a series of Monday nights throughout the year that focuses solely on Confirmation preparation.
Denise’s passion is focused on interactive teaching and using a variety of methods to reach the youth spiritually (such as video, games, skits). Denise also enjoys sharing her passion for studying the bible with the youth and desires that every youth will own a bible and be comfortable reading it.
In addition to this Ministry, Denise sang in the choir for 5 years and helped form a Children’s Choir at Divine Savior. She was also a core leader for the high school youth group and accompanied the youth on a high school mission trip. Denise participates in and co-leads two bible study/book study groups throughout the year that helps develop the participant’s faith life and knowledge of the bible and the Catholic church.
Prior to coming to Divine Savior, Denise volunteered at Our Lady of Grace in Castro Valley, CA as a catechist and member of the music ministry. Her children were at the Catholic elementary school at this parish and she served as the school council President for three years.
After graduating from UC Davis with a double major in Communications and Organizational Studies, Denise worked in the corporate world doing marketing and human resources for 5 years. She spent the next 10 years being a stay at home mom and volunteering at her parish and her daughter’s schools. Denise also has a Real estate license. Denise has been married for 23 years to her best friend and confidant, Mike, and was blessed with three daughters. She was raised in a large Irish Catholic family most of whom live in the area so family is a large part of her life.
Divine Savior’s welcoming and very friendly receptionist is Kathleen Hass. Kathleen has been a member of Divine Savior Parish since 1988, and started working for the parish as a part-time attendant in 2011. Kathleen was hired as a part-time receptionist in 2012 and became a full time receptionist in January 2013.
Kathleen has chosen “to use the gifts that I have been blessed with” at Divine Savior. Prior to coming to Divine Savior Kathleen worked at Carden Christian Academy as the office manager from 1993-2007, then as the Director from 2007-2011. In addition, Kathleen has taken general and business education classes from both Orange Coast and Sierra Colleges, and her current studies towards a basic catechist certification through the Sacramento Diocese.
In addition to her work as receptionist, Kathleen is involved in The Great Adventures Bible Study, The Divine Mercy Group, and serves as both a Eucharistic Minister and a Greeter, and is the facilitator of our Catholics Returning Home program.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Family: Katie Karras was born and raised in Chico, California. She and her husband Tim have two children, Kaylee and Kyle. She enjoys spending time with friends and family in Chico, watching baseball ( GO GIANTS) and football. She is very involved in her children’s sports teams and school.
Education/Work History: From 1996 to 2003 Katie worked with Sutter Health as a Compliance/Auditor Specialist, Medical Authorizations Specialist, and Trainer.
Ministry: Katie has been an active parishioner at Divine Savior since 1998. She began with the R.C.I.A. program and went on to do many other activities. She is now the Office Manager at Divine Savior Church and is very enthusiastic about the other opportunities Divine Savior will bring her in the future.
Director of Education:
Sharon Laitinen, Director of Faith Formation at Divine Savior, grew up in Duluth, MN. Her love for teaching began in her junior year of high school when she volunteered to teach CCD in her home parish. She then knew she wanted to become an elementary school teacher. Sharon received a bachelor's degree in elementary education and taught in Catholic schools for 13 years.
Sharon knew that children in Faith Formation should receive the same kind of love and attention as the children in the Catholic school; so, Sharon worked to receive a Master's Degree at Loyola University, Chicago and became the Director of Religious Education for rural and urban parishes for the following 20 years in Wisconsin, New Mexico, and California. Prior to coming to Divine Savior, Sharon was hired by the Diocese of Sacramento to be the Coordinator of Faith Formation and was asked to mentor and support the parish Directors of Religious Education in this diocese.
Some of Sharon’s greatest joys have been the times she has volunteered to work in different ethnic communities throughout the country. The groups that have impacted her life were the Native American children and elders of the Oneida and the Ojibway communities in Wisconsin; the Hispanic families in the mountains of northern New Mexico; the families living in the apple orchards of Omak, Washington; and the African-American children of an inner-city school of Flint, MI.
Sharon’s family spent a lot of time with nature especially gardening, hiking in the woods and fishing. This love of nature is still evident in her present involvements, which include bird watching, biking, cross-country skiing and gardening. For fifteen years, Sharon and her husband have been affiliated to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration; and their local community is called "Franciscan Blessings."
Sharon commented that, “It is a pleasure to work in a community that is friendly, caring and desires that their faith formation be rooted in Christ; yet, reflective of the hopes and needs of God's people today.” Sharon loves to “share,” so she continues sharing the Good News of God's love in the community of Divine Savior.
Cindy Teresi is Divine Savior’s Director of Music. She started singing and playing piano for various music groups in the parish since joining the choir over ten years ago. In 2010, she began directing the 11:30 am choir, and began directing the 9:30 am choir in 2011. Since becoming the Music Director, Cindy also directs the children’s choir and the 5:00 pm group. Prior to her service at Divine Savior, Cindy played in the folk group at St. John the Baptist in Folsom and directed their choir for three years.
Cindy has been music teacher since 1984, teaching at preschool, elementary, high school, and college levels. Currently, Cindy teaches choir, band and classroom music. She has a Bachelor Degree in Music, two teaching credentials, and a Masters degree in Arts Education. Cindy is currently completing her coursework for a Master of Music Education degree. She also holds a certification in the Orff-Schoolwork teaching method, and is on the Board of Directors for the Richards Institute for Education and Research.
Cindy and her husband, Chris, have three children, Michelle, Anthony and Rachel. Michelle and Rachel are very active at Divine Savior as music ministers, CFF teachers, and EDGE core team members. Both attend CSU Sacramento. Anthony graduated from UC San Diego in June 2013 and made San Diego his permanent home.
Cindy believes that, “Everything I have done up until now has purposely prepared me for my ministry here at Divine Savior. I am humbled to serve here and be a part of a staff and parish that truly are mindful of the importance of the work we are called to do for the Glory of God.”
Brian Collier, Plant Manager, has been an active parishioner at Divine Savior since 1987 when his family started at Divine Savior in the Bingo Hall.
Brian has been helping with the Divine Savior Crab Feed since the first dinner, and went on to do many other church activities. As the Plant Manager at Divine Savior Church, Brian enjoys working with parishioners and members of the community.
Brian was raised in Fair Oaks, California. He has three brothers and two nieces. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching San Francisco Giants baseball and football, and trying to play golf.