Born in Texas, raised in Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin, my life has been about adapting to new cultures and growing in faith through the Episcopal church in all its wonderful manifestations. I studied English at Davidson College (www.davidson.edu/) went to seminary at ETSS in Austin, TX (now SSW, http://www.ssw.edu), and served for 7 years in the Diocese of Western North Carolina (www.diocesewnc.org/ ) based in Asheville. I was called to serve as St. Paul’s Within the Walls 15th Rector after working as diocesan Canon for Spanish speaking ministries, and Vicar of La Capilla de Santa Maria, Hendersonville, NC.
I love St. Paul’s for several reasons:
- A wealth of diversity in language, culture, countries of origin and ecclesial traditions
The worship and work of this church is both locally and internationally focused, and our parish membership is a powerful reflection to me of the great diversity within the mystical body of Christ. We are Ugandan, American, Ecuadorian, Italian, Nigerian, Dutch, Peruvian, Filipino, English, Ghanaian, and more. In the city to which “all roads lead,” we represent a global body of believers bound together through faith, and it feels like the kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Outreach in action
One of the hallmarks of our church is the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, a center for political refugees that is open Monday-Friday 8:30-2PM. This center serves 150+ refugees here in the center of Rome who have few other places of refuge in their lives. The center brings together refugees and volunteers for various projects and events, and is in the process of expanding programmatic offerings. Every day I am reminded of God’s call for us to welcome the stranger, and I am reminded that God chooses to welcome each one of us into relationship through Jesus Christ.
- Formation at every age
St. Paul’s is a church that promotes learning and transformation in community. We have church school for children age 4-12, a youth group, adult formation classes, and special intergenerational events from time to time. We know that growing in faith is something we do together, and we also know that enjoying food and fellowship is part of what nurtures us in discipleship! We share a desire to grow in faith, and I am thankful for how God uses that desire to nurture us as disciples.
- Art and Architecture
One step within our historic worship space is enough to inspire sincere awe. We do not worship our space, but we are thankful for this legacy of brick and travertine, of mosaics and stained glass, and the intentionality behind its founding and form. The space is designed to praise the Lord, to gather the faithful, and to witness to the dynamism of the Episcopal branch of catholicism within Rome. We fill the space with spectacular music each Sunday, through concerts during the week, and have a wonderful organ and choir. Music and mosaic, art and architecture, tradition and innovation; It’s all here at St. Paul’s!
I think if you come and see what God is doing here, you too will love St. Paul’s. Hopefully you will grow in your love of God and in your love of neighbor in the process, for that is the mission entrusted to us. I hope to be part of that growth with you!
I was born in Rome in 1972, where I obtained a scientific high school diploma, and where I studied philosophy and contemporary history at the “Università La Sapienza”. I have a four year old son, Simone, with my partner Valentina with whom I have been living for over ten years. Along with a passion for music that led me to work for years in this field as a DJ, promoter and events organizer, I maintained an active interest in human rights and social matters. I am a communicative person and a have a positive attitude to human relationships and to team work.
In May 2013 I took over from Tuana as Interim Coordinator for Refugee Services and I will do my best to make the JNRC a very welcoming and functional place to come, an oasis of peace for political refugees who arrive here from all over the world with very sad and difficult experiences.
Simonetta Ciccolini is Italian, with both British and Italian citizenship as she is married to an Englishman, Colin. They have one daughter, Camilla.
She is a qualified accountant with lots of experience. She worked for over 20 years as office manager/accountant in an audio-video company and for 3 years as office manager and accountant in the English language magazine ‘Wanted in Rome’.
She says, “I am a very reliable person, friendly and curious, and I am an optimist. I love being with people, even if I am a little shy (!), which is why I took the chance to come and work at St. Paul’s!”
Andrea D’Agosto was born on the Isle of Wight (GB), and holds an honors degree in Music from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She came to St. Paul’s in 1995 as Secretary, and became Administrative Assistant in 1997. “What I love about this job,” she says, “is the variety. You never know who’s going to come through the door next or what they’re going to ask for. I’ve had to learn a lot about practical ministry as well as technical things to keep this office running smoothly. Every day here presents a new challenge.”
In 1999 she was appointed by Bishop Jeffrey Rowthorn to the Convocation’s Commission on the Ministry of the Baptized, where she served on the Mission sub-committee till 2002. She was elected to the Council of Advice in October 2002, and in 2005 was appointed Treasurer, a position in which she served until 2012.
As a singer she is known as Andrea Caroline Manchée, and has specialized in early music, giving concerts with chamber ensembles, and has made several recordings including a solo CD entitles Nicolini, Carulli, Crescentini (Duo Manchée-Taranto, 2002).
Stefano Vasselli was born in Rome in 1969. He attended his musical studies at the “S. Cecilia” Conservatory in Rome graduating in four main disciplines: Composition, Organ, Piano and Choral Conducting. He followed then Master Classes and had advanced studies with Suzanne Chaisemartin, Daniel Roth, Maria-Claire Alain, Michael Radulescu and Martin Sander.
Prizewinner at the T.I.M. competition, Stefano Vasselli has performed extensively in Italy and abroad, dedicating himself particularly to the French Romantic – Modern repertoire. He has played César Franck and Maurice Duruflé complete organ works as well as Charles-Marie Widor’s 10 symphonies and many significant works by Marcel Dupré, Jehan Alain and Olivier Messiaen among others.
Appointed Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul’s within the Walls in 1999 he has greatly developed the church’s music life enriching the repertoire of music for the Eucharist as well as organizing and hosting hundred of concerts, notably the Evening prayer with music, so-called “Luminaria – Vespers and Music by Candlelight”.
He prepares and conducts regularly choir and orchestra for the performances of great sacred works as J. S. Bach’s Matthew and John Passion, G. F. Haendel’s Messiah, W. A. Mozart’s Requiem and others.
Over the years he has worked with distinguished soloists and conductors: Luigi Alberto Bianchi, Nicola Samale, David Riddell, Ronen Borshevsky and Claus Efland among others.
He writes choral and congregational music for the church and some of his works have been published by the official press of the Anglican church in U.S.A.
Personal notes include:
- He is a consultant for translating and adapting cartoon songs for the Italian Television. Italian edition of “Pretty Cure” “Dinosaur Train” “Digimon” “Miss Spider” are among the many he has written and recorded.
- He divides his time between Italy and Denmark where his wife Berit (professional pianist) and his 2 daughters (Sofia and Katarina) live.
Would you like to hear some recordings? Click here!