Six new pastors bring variety of experiences

June 21, 2011

Father Patrick Besel, 41
St. Mary of the Assumption, Govans

After more than two years serving as associate vocation director and director of the Cardinal Keeler House of Discernment in Baltimore, Father Patrick Besel will take up his first pastorate at St. Mary of the Assumption in Govans. Ordained in 2006, Father Besel is a former associate pastor of the Mountain Maryland parishes of St. Michael, Frostburg; St. Joseph, Midland; St. Mary of the Annunciation, Lonaconing; St. Patrick, Mount Savage; St. Ann, Grantsville; St. Peter, Westernport and St. Gabriel Mission, Barton. Before answering the call to religious life, Father Besel was an intelligence officer in the Army Reserve. The Texas native has a master’s degree from Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, in pastoral counseling and has worked as a counselor at a mental health clinic and crisis center.


Capuchin Franciscan Father Gregory Chervenak, 59
Our Lady of the Mountains, Cumberland

As the parishes of the Cumberland area unite to form the new Our Lady of the Mountains faith community, Capuchin Franciscan Father Gregory Chervenak will serve as the founding pastor. Father Chervenak is familiar with Western Maryland, having served as chaplain to the Western Maryland Health System and sacramental assistant for the churches in Allegany and Garrett counties for nine months. Ordained in 1979, Father Chervenak served 13 years as associate pastor and four years as pastor of St. John in Philadelphia – the first Capuchin to head that parish. The Pennsylvania native is a former vicar provincial of his religious order’s province and taught in the novitiate program. Prior to coming to Cumberland, he served for nine years in hospital ministry in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.


Father Jeffrey Dauses, 47
St. Andrew by the Bay, Annapolis

A Baltimore native who grew up in Shrine of the Little Flower will become the next pastor of St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis. Father Jeffrey Dauses comes to his new assignment from Frederick County, where he has served as administrator of St. Timothy in Walkersville since October. Father Dauses was ordained in 1990, serving as associate pastor of St. Louis in Clarksville and St. Margaret in Bel Air. In 1999, he was named administrator of the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier, Hunt Valley, and later became pastor there. The priest headed Church of the Holy Apostles in Gambrills beginning in 2005 before becoming rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 2008.


Father John Jicha, 51

Father John Jicha is a familiar face to the parishioners of St. Augustine, Williamsport and St. James, Boonsboro. He has served the parishes as temporary administrator since February. The Perry Hall native, whose home parish was St. Joseph in Fullerton, was ordained in 1995. He served as associate pastor of the Church of the Nativity in Timonium and St. Joseph in Cockeysville. He became administrator of St. Ignatius, Ijamsville, in 2003 and was later named pastor there. Father Jicha took a medical leave of absence in 2007 and became associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena, in 2008. He served as associate pastor of Sacred Heart, Glyndon, and St. Charles Borromeo, Pikesville, beginning in 2010 before arriving at St. Augustine and St. James in February of 2011. A graduate of The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Father Jicha holds a master’s degree in speech language pathology from Loyola College in Maryland.


Father James Reusing, 58
St. Timothy, Walkersville

The former director of information systems for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is the new pastor of St. Timothy in Walkersville. Father James Reusing moves to Frederick County after serving as temporary administrator of St. Mary of the Assumption in Govans since February. Father Reusing grew up in St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, Rosedale, and was ordained in 1994. He was the associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal in Pasadena until becoming director of information systems in 1998. At the end of 1999, he was named associate pastor of St. John, Westminster, before becoming director of pastoral care at Baltimore’s Good Samaritan Hospital in 2000. He also served as the assigned priest at St. Clare, Essex. Prior to becoming a priest, Father Reusing worked for several corporations and was the vice president for sales and marketing at a New Jersey company.


Father John A. Williamson, 39
St. Augustine, Elkridge, and Church of the Ascension, Halethorpe

In addition to his duties as pastor of Church of the Ascension, Halethorpe, Father John A. Williamson is taking on the responsibility of serving as pastor of St. Augustine in Elkridge. Father Williamson, who was born in Pennsylvania, graduated from St. Joseph School, Fullerton, Loyola Blakefield in Towson, and Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg. He was ordained in 2000, serving as associate pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena, and the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland. Father Williamson is the former associate pastor and temporary administrator of the Catholic Community of South Baltimore. He became pastor of Church of the Ascension in 2008.