Fr. Stephen Durkee
In Residence616.676.9111 ext. 131
Rev. Leonard Sudlik
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Fr. Len has been a priest since 1976. His family is of Polish descent. He has three siblings, one of which is also a priest. Prior to being the Pastor of St. Robert’s in Ada, he led the parishes of Immaculate Heart of Mary and Holy Spirit in Grand Rapids, and St. Mary’s in Spring Lake. In 1995 he made the transition from being an Oblate of Mary Immaculate (missionary priest) to a diocesan priest. Shepherding large parishes is to his liking; he values being involved with the people of God and their ministries. He particularly enjoys the challenge of being a skilled homilist and never met a mic he didn’t like. Golf proves to be a love-hate relationship and he tries to play once a week during the summer. His cat is named Matilda and he likes to tell people that she is the blonde in his life. He doesn’t seem to vacation too often, but does enjoy serving as a cruise chaplain for Holland America.
Sr. Darlene Wessling, FSE
Pastoral Care Minister616.676.9111 ext. 113
Pastoral Associate for Youth Ministry
I am very glad to be joining the ministry team here at St. Robert. Being from Louisville, KY I actually have a surprising amount of history here at this Parish. My first experience of St. Robert came in 2010 when I was interning at a parish in Louisville and took a group of teens to One Bread One Cup conference. We are all amazed by this large group of students from St. Robert in Grand Rapids. When I made my first trip to Grand Rapids I actually ended up getting a tour of this Parish from a few people that I had met at that Conference.
Fast forward five years when my wife and were preparing for our wedding, my wife wanted to get married in Grand Rapids and had been baptized by Father Len. On May 23rd 2015 my wife Allie and I were married right here at St. Robert. I grew up in Louisville Kentucky where I was very involved in my high school youth group. So much that I decided to study Theology at Thomas More College. I have worked in youth ministry at St. Michael Parish in Louisville and then in East Lansing at St. Thomas Aquinas/St. John Church and Student Center. Prior to coming to St. Roberts I have been serving as Director of Recruitment and Mission Integration and Youth and Young Adult ministry for St. Vincent de Paul Detroit. I am very excited to be coming back to youth ministry as my passion has always been working with young people.
In my spare time I am a huge hockey fan and still skate to this day. My newest venture has been taking up the game of golf with my wife. While I deeply enjoy the game I would say I am far from good at it.
Faith Formation Secretary (fill-in)
I assist with Faith Formation Registration, prepares FF program information, prepares classrooms, Help to prepare Adult Bible Study, name tags and book orders etc., Help the Pastoral Associates prepare for Faith Formation, Copy machine for Faith Formation Program, Mail Box distribution, Preparing class material, File and Data Entry on computer or hard copies, Answer Questions on Program (phone or email), Help with Vacation Bible School Program. I have been a member of St. Roberts for over 30 years. In that time I have always been involved in the Faith Formation Programs. I enjoy teaching and reading to children. I get to practice a lot more now that I have 7 grandchildren. I have retired from teaching here at St. Roberts and at Ada Village Preschool. I enjoy meeting families and helping them here with Faith Formation. This job is ideal to be able to share and allowing me to spend time with my husband. We both have enjoyed being involved in St. Roberts in the Music Program. In our future we plan to travel and spend time up north on the lake at our cottage.
Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation; Marriage Preparation & Christian Initiation
As Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, Teri directs the planning and development of all parish catechetical processes, including the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, Baptism and Marriage Preparation, Adult Faith Formation and Bible study. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Theology and Sociology from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, and a Master’s in Pastoral Theology from St Mary-of-the-Woods College, Terre Haute, Indiana. Teri’s top 5 strengths are Learner, Input, Intellection, Adaptability, and Connectedness. Her husband, Deacon Jeff Burns, is Pastoral Associate at St Bartholomew Parish in Newaygo. They have two adult daughters and a 4-year-old grandson. She enjoys reading, writing, walking, and is the author of www.CatholicFamilyFaith.com. You may also connect with her on Facebook.
Pastoral Associate for Youth Ministry
Christine completed her major in Theology from Aquinas College in 2010. She and her husband Ryan have two children Aleisha and Jacob. Christine coordinates the faith formation and youth ministry year for grades 6-8, catechist formation and recruitment, VBS student volunteers, Confirmation. She is the parish World Youth Day Coordinator and Diocesan presenter for “Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth”. She also collaborates with other staff members regarding social events throughout the year. Christine enjoys spending time with her family, reading, volleyball and softball.
Pastoral Associate for Youth Ministry
Jolana graduated from CMU in ‘86 with her BA in Applied Arts/Interior Design, married in ‘89 at St. Robert to Eric. She has two children, Jack and Lexi. God had a different plan for her life other than Interior Design, and she came to work for St. Robert in August, 2004. Jolana coordinates faith formation for grades 1-5, catechist recruitment and formation, Vacation Bible School, Christmas Pageant, First Reconciliation and First Communion. She has also developed Grandparents Camp and the OWLS group. In collaboration with other staff members, she is planning a Women’s Evening by Candlelight and a Summer Kids Art Camp. One of the best things about her work is all the wonderful volunteers she has gotten to know and work with over the years. In her spare time she enjoys reading, decorating, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Pastoral Associate for Early Childhood Ministries
Born, raised and educated "south of the Michigan border" [Ohio] as the first in a happy family of 8 children. After receiving degrees in nursing and in education, Karen practiced at Western Reserve University Hospitals then did research at Ohio State. After marrying Steve [first of 11 children!] they moved to Grand Rapids where Karen taught at GVSU - before being blessed with 5 children. Members of St. Robert's since 1979, Karen took the position as Early Childhood Coordinator in 2000. Currently she recruits staffing for and manages all aspects of the Sunday Morning program for preschoolers and assists the catechists in providing quality Faith based materials to enhance this learning opportunity for the youngest in our parish. Other interests include biking, hiking, camping, learning and spending as much time as possible with my 6 local grandchildren [3 others are in Alaska and New Zealand!] - and finding God in all the people, places and beauty around us!
Faith Formation Secretary
Faith Formation Office
Director of Music
I am very blessed to direct and accompany 2 children's choirs, our adult choir, resurrection choir, teen choir and 2 handbell choirs. You will see me busy in my office throughout the week planning and organizing music, liturgies, mass sheets and spending time practicing my passions: organ and piano. I have been married to my husband Jim for 26 years and we have 3 children Kathryn, Elizabeth, my nephew Michael, and a few pets. As president of the Orchestra Boosters at FH Central High School and having teenagers, I am very involved with the youth and also enjoy reading, traveling, fishing, cooking, yoga and fitness and spending time with my family.
I am very happy to be joining the team at St. Robert Parish. As the Business Manager, my responsibilities include: preparing and monitoring the parish budget; processing payroll and maintaining personnel records and benefits; ensuring that all legal and diocesan regulations and procedures are followed; working closely with the Finance Council; and many other tasks related to the temporal needs of the parish
I live with my husband of 26 years, Mike and our three rescue dogs. In my spare time, I like to camp, read, work on crafts and quilt.
I belong to St. Mary Magdalene parish, where I have worshipped all my life. I was the Finance Manager at Holy Name of Jesus Parish and San Juan Diego Academy for the past sixteen years and decided to make a change. I am very excited to be able to serve St. Robert parish and hope that I will be able to fill the role that was opened up to me.
For the past 25 years, I have been the “keeper of the data” at St. Robert’s. My duties include: bookkeeper and IT administrator. My weekends are filled with liturgical music as I am an “on-call” musician for weekend masses. I have had the privilege of playing piano and organ here at St. Robert’s as a sub. My husband and I belong to St. Charles Parish in Greenville where we coordinate the Christmas Adopt a Family Program each year.
My husband and I have been a member of St. Roberts for just a few years but feel so welcome here. In that time I have been involved in the Faith Formation Programs, Women’s Ministry, and bible study. Volunteering has been my enjoyment after raising my 3 children. I have been a reading tutor for Grand Rapids public schools for 10 years. I enjoy meeting people both in the parish and with faith formation. I enjoy just about anything as long and family or friends are involved.
As a Michigan native I was raised in modern day seclusion, Greenville. With no brothers, no sisters, and a natural disposition as a tinkerer; I discovered myself though a wide range of interests. Starting in the earlier years was my passion for music and the outdoors. Bicycling evolved to motorcycles, the violin evolved to the bass guitar, and a fish tank evolved into what some might call an addiction to fishing. Along the way was the desire for self-improvement. I eventually found myself in California as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager of the busiest 24hr Fitness on the globe. After the fast paced lifestyle of California grew exhausting I came back home to MI, to my trees, to my water, and to my fish.
After being retired eight years from General Motors I took this part-time position which includes many things from heating and plumbing maintenance to hanging Christmas lights. Outside interests include first my family, all sports especially golf, sponsoring children from Third World countries and travel.
Communications Director & Webmaster
My educational background includes business, marketing, and retail. In 1990 I converted to Catholicism and have worked for the Church since 1993. The responsibilities I have at St. Robert’s include: producing the weekly bulletin, designing and maintaining the parish website, documenting parish life, managing the app and social media development. I am also co-chair of the church Art & Environment team. I direct parish social events including the Auction and Spring Walk. My camera is very often in hand. Say cheese! You will frequently see me at baptisms during Mass assisting Fr. Len. Penpalling, child sponsorship, my cats Winn and Dixie, and crafts are things I enjoy. I am a "Big Sister" with the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program.