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.
Zachariah Presutti, SJ
Fr. Zachariah F. Presutti, S.J., was born and raised in Belmont, a small town in western New York outside Buffalo by two generous parents alongside his younger brother, Jacob.
Fr. Zachariah F. Presutti, S.J., was born and raised in Belmont, a small town in western New York outside Buffalo by two generous parents alongside his younger brother, Jacob. He met the Jesuits while studying for diocesan priesthood at Canisius College in Buffalo. After four years of serving as the Pastoral Associate at St. Paul’s Church in Kenmore, New York, he joined St. Andrew’s Hall Novitiate in Syracuse, New York where he did apostolic work in the local jail and supported victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in an emergency shelter. Other apostolic work in the novitiate included Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and language studies at El Instituto de Idiomas in Cochabamba, Bolivia. During First Studies he obtained a Masters in Clinical Social Work at St. Louis University while interning at the local state correctional facility offering individual and group therapeutic interventions to men detained in administrative segregation (solitary confinement). After graduating, Zach founded Thrive for Life Prison Project in New York City. In collaboration and partnership with Jesuit parish communities, alums of Jesuit high schools and universities, Thrive for Life forms spiritual mentors to offer reflective and meditative resources for an examined life, rooted in the Ignatian spiritual tradition through monthly retreats in over six correctional facilities in the New York metropolitan area. Two years later, Zach opened Ignacio House of Studies in the Bronx, a transitional supportive living community for formerly incarcerated students as they continue their academic formation post-incarceration. Zach next earned a Masters in Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA. Prior to the pandemic he was offering weekly individual and group pastoral counseling at San Quentin State Prison and monthly retreats in other California State correctional facilities. He served as a deacon at St. Theresa’s Church in Oakland, CA. He now serves as the Associate Pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church in NYC and behind the prison walls as a chaplain to our incarcerated brothers and sisters.
Cassandra L. Agredo, LMSW
Executive Director of Xavier Mission
Director of Xavier Mission at St. Francis Xavier since July of 2006, Cassandra manages the operation of the church’s five outreach programs…
Director of Xavier Mission at St. Francis Xavier since July of 2006, Cassandra manages the operation of the church’s five outreach programs, including the Welcome Table soup kitchen, food pantry, Hurtado Men’s Shelter, All Saints Clothing Room, and Life-Skills Training & Empowerment Program (collectively known as Xavier Mission). Prior to working at St. Francis Xavier, Cassandra was the Feed the Solution Anti-Hunger Campaign Coordinator at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where she engaged emergency food providers in policy advocacy and integration of outreach services into their programs.
Cassandra holds Bachelor of Art (Social Work), Bachelor of Science (Psychology), and Master of Social Work degrees from Fordham University. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) by the State of New York. A native Rhode Islander, Cassandra currently resides in the Bronx with her husband, Rob, and twin 4-year old daughters, Sammie and Ella.
Luz Marina Díaz, PhD
Director of Religious Education
Luz Marina Diaz was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She spent much of her early life working as a system analyst as well as dancing, choreographing, and teaching…
Luz Marina Díaz was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She spent much of her early life working as a system analyst as well as dancing, choreographing, and teaching in two major modern dance companies in Venezuela. In 1994, she came to New York and discovered her vocation as a religious educator, spiritual director, and liturgical dancer.
She has 19 years of dedicated service in Catechetical Leadership and has been Director of the Religious Education Program at Xavier since August 2007. She also serves as a member of the Liturgical Ministers Committee, ISEL (Ignatian Spirituality in Everyday Life) team, the Interfaith Committee, and of the Xavier liturgical dancers. Luz is certified in Level I and Level II of Catechist Formation and the Basic Training of Coordinators by the Archdiocese of New York and is also certified as a Spiritual Director of The Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola by Fairfield University. She 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.). She is a member of The Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi by-election of the chapter at Fordham University. She is Director of the Spiritual Direction Practicum at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University.
Díaz, Luz Marina. “Spiritual Conversation as Religiously Educative.” Religious Education, 2016, 1-18. doi:10.1080/00344087.2015.1113039.
Diaz, Luz Marina. “Spiritual Conversation as the Practice of Revelation.” The Way 55, no. 2 (April 2016): 43-54.
Diaz, Luz Marina B., Ph.D. “Our Responsibilities to a Child Beyond Baptism.” The Universe (2017): 4. Universe Media Group Limited, Feb.-Mar. 2017. Web. <http://bit.ly/2lAPbnx>.
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/Dir of Communications. She has played a vital role in the Parish Stewardship which entails designing of our weekly bulletin, website design, and working liaison with Faith Direct.
Stephanie was born and raised in Harlem and has a certification in Digital Marketing from Columbia University Engineering Program .
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.
Assistant Director of Business
Born in Escondido, California and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, Greg Timmes completed his undergraduate degree in Music Business at New York University…
Born in Escondido, California and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, Greg Timmes completed his undergraduate degree in Music Business at New York University, and began as our front desk receptionist in 2013. As of this year he is now serving as Assistant to The Business Director.
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!
Director of Business
Jovi Villavicencio has over 10 years of experience in operations and office management…
Jovi Villavicencio has over 10 years of experience in operations and office management. She has worked with large non-profits and medical centers such as Columbia University, New York University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, supporting their office management from events to financials. She is a native New Yorker who enjoys hiking, biking and volunteering in the community. She holds a BA in Business Administration.