’Fr. Morgan comes to St. Basil’s after having served as Associate Pastor at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Rochester, New York, for eight years. Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Fr. Morgan studied mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia and later worked for six years in the engineering field in Houston, Texas. It was there that he met the Basilian Fathers at St. Anne Parish and began to discern seriously the priesthood and religious life. The first Basilian he met there was Fr. Tom Mailloux who was pastor at St. Basil’s in the 1990s and the first Basilian pastor at the parish in Rochester.
Fr. Morgan is no stranger to Toronto since he spent four years studying in the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. After completing his Master of Divinity degree, Fr. Morgan moved to Rochester but was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish in Texas on November 21, 2009. Fr. Morgan enjoys being back in Toronto where he explores the many good things it offers while serving and getting to know the people of St. Basil’s.
Fr. Norm Tanck, CSB entered the Basilian Novitiate in August 1967 after graduating from St. John Fisher College in his hometown of Rochester, New York, and he was ordained a priest in April 1974. He taught in Basilian high schools, was Director of Campus Ministry in Rochester and here at St. Michael’s College, and Dean of Student Life at St. John Fisher College. After serving eight years on the General Council of the Basilian Fathers, Fr. Norm was appointed pastor of Christ the King Parish in Rochester which was later merged with four other parishes to form St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, the largest parish in the diocese and where Fr. Morgan Rice, ministered before coming to St. Basil’s.
Besides being appointed Associate Pastor at St. Basil’s, he is Director of Associates, the young men who are beginning their formation as Basilians, and the Ordained Coordinator of the Toronto Area Basilian Lay Associates. Fr. Norm is looks forward to meeting new members of the parish community.
Margaret began working at St. Basil’s Church as an Office Manager in October of 2015. She joined St. Basil’s as a retired Teacher with over 25 years experience as the Head of Special Education and Behaviour Consultant. Prior to teaching, Margaret earned her Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, and specialist certificates in both Religious and Special Education.
Margaret’s commitment to serving her community and helping others has always been at the forefront. She has (and continues to) volunteer for various local non-profit organizations such as The Toronto Botanical Gardens, L’Altra Italia (an organization that supports Italian arts and culture), Flower Ministry at St. Basil’s Church and ONEXONE. In her spare time, Margaret enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
JoAnn Melina Lopez, MDiv. enjoys listening deeply to stories, creating spaces for reflection, and accompanying people in their journey. She has been immersed in Catholic formation, education, and action for fifteen years. After graduating from university, JoAnn moved to Houston with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to serve asylum seekers and refugees. While there, she was an active member of St. Anne's, the Basilian parish! JoAnn received her Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and spent seven years as Campus Minister for Liturgy at Seattle University. JoAnn is currently pursuing a Community Worker Diploma at George Brown College, to deepen her expertise in social justice, equity, and anti-oppressive practice. JoAnn grew up in India and Singapore, where she first learned the importance of hospitality, inclusion, sharing meals, and how to live in a multifaith and multicultural world. Her passions include creating playlists that speak to the heart, and seeking out the best food in the city. Having participated in Catholic liturgy on four continents, she marvels at unity in diversity in the Church, and the power of ritual and encounter to form and transform us. As a minister, JoAnn is committed to constantly communicating God's love, and cultivating communities of hope and imagination where every person feels welcomed, loved, gifted, and empowered to partner with God's dream for our world.
John Paul Farahat fosters a diverse career as organist, improviser, and conductor. He oversees the Casavant Frères organ (opus 800/2578) as well as the parish’s various music initiatives and choirs. John Paul additionally serves as one of five cathedral organists for St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, teaches organ at St. Michael's Choir School, and sits on the National Council of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
John Paul’s past solo concerts include the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and Eglise St-Eustache (Paris), Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral (London), Coventry Cathedral, the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Trinity College (Cambridge), St. Thomas Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral (New York), Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), and the Basilica of the National Shrine (Washington DC), among others. Festival performances include Toulouse Les Orgues, the Organ Festival of Chamonix, and Organ Festival Canada.
John Paul holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Toronto where he researched the life and improvisations of Victor Togni (1935 – 1965). He studied with Kevin Komisaruk, and received additional instruction from Olivier Latry, Peter Williams, Noam Sivan, Martin Haselböck and Thomas Murray.
Stefani Bedin is a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the University of Toronto, where she is majoring in pipe organ performance and pursuing research pertaining to Roman Catholic liturgical music. Stefani began working at St. Basil’s in 2017, while studying for the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance, shortly after having completed the Bachelor of Music in History and Theory (Honours) with a minor in historical keyboard at the University of Toronto. She also holds an A.R.C.T. in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition to her work at St. Basil’s, which includes playing for liturgies, Stefani is also active as a Faculty of Music teaching assistant, freelance solo and collaborative organist and pianist, and private music instructor based in her hometown of Toronto. Committed to sharing the pipe organ's music with diverse audiences, Stefani has given several solo recitals and is also an active executive board member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ Toronto Centre.
Michael Pirri joined St. Basil’s in 2017 as the Director of Community Engagement after having served as assistant organist in the 2016-2017 academic year. He organizes and arranges various forms of internal and external meetings, conferences, and wider community events, as well as overseeing liturgical ministries. He also works in consultation with various external communities such as the USMC Faculty of Theology Liturgy Committee, and the Dominican Institute of Toronto.
He graduated from King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario in 2013 with a Business Management degree, and works as a small business management consultant.
In his spare time, Michael dedicates himself to work in liturgical music; he is the Chair of the Toronto chapter of the Royal School of Church Music Canada, and has served on the nationwide Executive Board of the same institution since 2012.