Ken grew up in Queens, NY and entered the Jesuits after graduating from high school. The usual Jesuit training included a B.A. from Fordham in Math and Philosophy and a M. Div. degree from Woodstock. College. Other studies included an M.S. in Math from NYU and degree in secondary school administration from Fordham. Ken’s primary ministry through the years has been in education, serving as a teacher, principal and president at four Jesuit high school, Canisius H.S., Fordham Prep, St. Peter’s Prep and Xavier H.S.(three times). In between, he served as Pastor of St Aloysius Church in Harlem, NY.
Throughout the years Ken has enjoyed varied pastoral ministries leading and directing the Spiritual Exercises, assisting in various parishes on the weekends and ministering at the youth detention center in the Bronx for many years. Having grown up in a large extended family, he has been privileged to accompany family members from Baptism and the range of sacraments through funerals, always celebrating life.
He is delighted to return to 16th Street for the fourth time.
James Miracky, SJ
Jim was born in Milwaukee, WI, and spent his teen years in Minneapolis, MN and Buffalo, NY. In the latter he attended Canisius High School, which was the inspiration for his Jesuit vocation…
Jim was born in Milwaukee, WI, and spent his teen years in Minneapolis, MN and Buffalo, NY. In the latter he attended Canisius High School, which was the inspiration for his Jesuit vocation, which began the summer after he graduated. His academic training includes a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, an M.Div. and S.T.M. from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English (20th Century British Fiction) from Rutgers University.
Until coming to Xavier, Jim spent most of his priestly ministry in Jesuit higher education, first as an English Professor (primarily teaching courses in fiction and drama), and eventually as English Department Chair and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and then as Dean of Loyola College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Maryland (in Baltimore). Most recently, Jim was the Provincial Assistant for Higher Education in the USA East Province, serving as liaison between the Jesuits and the eleven Jesuit colleges and universities on the East Coast, particularly attending to issues of Jesuit mission and identity. During this time, he presided at weekend masses at St. Francis Xavier Parish once or twice a month.
In addition to presiding at the sacraments and preaching regularly throughout his priestly ministry, Jim has had pastoral experience over his Jesuit career as a campus minister, a hospital chaplain, a spiritual director, and a retreat director. He is happy to be serving in the parish full-time now.
Ricardo da Silva, SJ
Ricardo entered the Jesuits in 2007. He was born in Portugal, but immigrated to South Africa as a young child and lived there for most of his life. He is an associate editor, reporter, producer…
Ricardo entered the Jesuits in 2007. He was born in Portugal, but immigrated to South Africa as a young child and lived there for most of his life. He is an associate editor, reporter, producer and host of video and audio content at America Media, a Jesuit media ministry based in New York. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, a graduate degree in theology from the Faculdade Jesuíta de Filosofia e Teologia in Belo Horizonte Brazil and an honors degree in philosophy from Heythrop College, University of London.
Throughout his 15 years as a Jesuit, he was worked with high school and university students, people experiencing homelessness and disabilities, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and older persons. Prior to joining the Jesuits, he had a 5-year career in marketing, communications, brand and website management where he worked on above-, below- and through-the-line campaigns.
Cassandra L. Agredo, LMSW
Executive Director of Xavier Mission
Cassandra has served as the Executive Director of Xavier Mission Inc. since the organization was officially incorporated in September of 2012. Prior to the incorporation, Cassandra served as the Director of Outreach for the Church of St. Francis Xavier….
Cassandra has served as the Executive Director of Xavier Mission Inc. since the organization was officially incorporated in September of 2012. Prior to the incorporation, Cassandra served as the Director of Outreach for the Church of St. Francis Xavier, managing the church’s community outreach programs that would later become Xavier Mission Inc.
Before her work at Xavier, Cassandra was Coordinator of the ‘Feed the Solution Anti-Hunger Campaign’ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where she engaged emergency food providers in policy advocacy and expansion of their outreach services. Cassandra holds Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and Master of Social Work degrees from Fordham University, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) by the State of New York.
Outside of her work at Xavier, Cassandra is a former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Hunger Free America, a national advocacy and service organization working to end hunger in the U.S. She is also the President of NY Girls Baseball, an organization dedicated to giving girls the opportunity to play America’s favorite pastime.
In April of 2021, Cassandra was named a ’40 Under 40 Rising Star’ in the nonprofit sector by City & State, the premier media organization dedicated to covering New York’s local and state politics and policy. A native Rhode Islander, she is wicked passionate about the Red Sox, coffee milk stout, and New England clam chowdah, and loves getting muddy at obstacle course races like Spartan and Tough Mudder. She lives in the Bronx with her twin teenagers, husband, and giant dog.
Luz Marina Díaz, PhD
Director of Religious Education
Luz Marina Díaz was born in Caracas, Venezuela. In her early years, she worked as a system analyst and danced, choreographed, and taught in two major dance companies in Venezuela….
Luz Marina Díaz was born in Caracas, Venezuela. In her early years, she worked as a system analyst and danced, choreographed, and taught in two major dance companies in Venezuela. She discovered her vocation as a spiritual director, liturgical dancer, and religious educator in 1994 when she moved to New York.
Díaz has 22 years of dedicated service in catechetical leadership and has been Director of the Religious Education Program at Xavier since August 2007. She oversees the Family Faith Program and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). She coordinates private and communal baptisms and prepares parents and godparents for their children’s baptisms. She is also a member of the Liturgical Ministry, ISEL (Ignatian Spirituality in Everyday Life), and the Interfaith Committee.
Diaz holds a degree in Computer Science from Universidad Central de Venezuela, a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education (M.A.) from Fordham University, and a Doctorate in Religious Education from Fordham University (Ph.D.). Diaz received an Advanced Certificate in Spiritual Director with a concentration on guiding and teaching The Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola from Fairfield University and an Advanced Certificate in Supervision from Fordham University. In 2009, she began accompanying people in spiritual direction through one-on-one and group spiritual direction, 19th annotations, and Ignatian-directed retreats at Eastern Point Retreat Center. Her role as a supervisor for spiritual directors began in 2018. She is an adjunct professor of spirituality and Director of the Spiritual Direction Practicum at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University.
Publications: “Reclaiming Our Original Identity: Communion, Community and Ministry.” The Way 63, no. 1 (January 2024).
“Separation: An Illusion.” Human Development 43, no. 4 (2023).
Diaz, Luz Marina. “IFS-Informed Spiritual Direction and Supervision.” Presence: The Journal of Spiritual Directors International 28, no. 4 (December 2022): 38–55.
Stephanie Fuentes has been part of our staff since 2009. She began as our front desk receptionist and is now serving in the role of Assistant to the Pastor. Stephanie was born and raised in Harlem and has a certification in Digital Marketing from Columbia University Engineering Program .
Pablo Jiménez has been a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier since 2017, when he joined the Family Faith Program as a catechist and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) as a sponsor. He has been the Youth Ministry Coordinator since July 2021.
Pablo was born in Puebla, Mexico, and moved to Boston in 2013, where he studied at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), and specialized in democracy and State reform in Latin America and transnational migration between the region and the United States.
After graduating from The Fletcher School, Pablo moved to New York City and worked at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York from 2015 to 2018. He was responsible for promoting and supervising programs that aim to increase the educational attainment of the Mexican diaspora in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He currently works at the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute as Assistant Director for Partnerships and Outreach.
Pablo has continued his studies through the Newman Theological College (Alberta, Canada) with courses on Scripture, Liturgy, Christology, Social Justice and Catechesis. Pablo is also interested in Latin American literature —García Márquez is his favorite author—, romance languages and Church history.
Assistant for Financial Planning
Jim Martinez joined the staff of Saint Francis Xavier in January of 2016. Jim will oversee the stewardship and financial planning activities of the parish…
Jim Martinez joined the staff of Saint Francis Xavier in January of 2016. Jim will oversee the stewardship and financial planning activities of the parish. A parishioner at Xavier since 2007, Jim has served as Chair of the parish Finance Council, parish trustee, and member of the Board of Directors of Xavier Mission, Inc.
Before coming to Xavier, Jim worked for 24 years at ConEdison working in the Budget, Internal Audit, Accounting, and Treasury areas of the company. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for 15 years. He holds a master’s degree in Energy Management from New York Institute of Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from New Jersey City University, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Desiree has been with St. Francis Xavier since 2016. Her journey also began as our front desk receptionist…
Desiree has been with St. Francis Xavier since 2016. Her journey also began as our front desk receptionist. She is now serving in the role of our Wedding Coordinator/ Office Assistant. She is very passionate about community and striving to make all feel welcome and supported.
Director of Music Ministries
Kapellmeister, John Uehlein is celebrating his 10th year at St. Francis Xavier. Before that, he was music director at St. Malachy’s The Actors Chapel and St. John the Evangelist, both in Manhattan…
Kapellmeister, John Uehlein is celebrating his 10th year at St. Francis Xavier. Before that, he was music director at St. Malachy’s The Actors Chapel and St. John the Evangelist, both in Manhattan. Joining the Diocese of Harrisburg Liturgical Commission at the age of 14, he has been sharing his talents in the Catholic Church for most of his life. Active as a composer as well as a singer, he has been involved in the NYC musical scene for 25 years at New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, and BAM.
With an MA from Columbia and an MM from Manhattan School of Music, and a Diploma from the Schubert Institute in Vienna, John teaches at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and is active here in New York and in other East Coast cities as a composer and singer. As producer and performer of six different CD’s over the last 30 years, he has covered both political and religious arenas so the dinner table talk is most certainly lively!