Meet the Staff
Father Paul A. Lisik, Pastor
Fr. Julius Capongpongan, Parochial Vicar
Father Julius Utrera Capongpongan arrived to the Yough Catholic Community in Nov., 2018, as parochial vicar to the parishes of Immaculate Conception, St. Rita of Cascia and St. John the Evangelist in Connellsville and St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Dunbar, where he resides. A native of Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Philippines, Father Julius is the son of Jose B. Capongpongan and Remedios H. Utrera. Born July 29, 1976 in Tagum City, he was baptized Oct. 10, 1976, in his home parish of Christ the Eucharistic King, where he was confirmed in 1984. During elementary school when he was a Knight of the Altar (altar server) he first entertained thoughts of becoming a priest. He received his secondary education at the University of Mindanao Tagum College from 1988 to 1992. After high school graduation, Father Julius worked for two years on a banana plantation to earn money for college. With that money and help from his parents and a parishioner, he entered Queen of Apostles College Seminary in 1994 and received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1998. In 2005 he received a master’s degree in pastoral ministry at the Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao and a master’s degree in philosophy in 2013 at Ateneo de Davao University. He was ordained a deacon on June 7, 2005, at Christ the King Cathedral in Tagum City. After his ordination to the priesthood on April 24, 2006, at Christ the King Cathedral, Father Julius’s first assignment in the Diocese of Tagum was as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Quasi Parish from 2006 to 2009. His later assignments were assistant spiritual director/philosophy teacher at Queen of Apostles Seminary from 2009 to 2014, administrator at San Isidro Labrador Quasi Parish from 2014 to 2018 and apostolate director at the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate from 2016 to 2018. Father Julius says he has sensed the “piety and religiosity of the people, which helps me to discover God’s presence in my journey of faith. I hope my ministry here will help deepen the faith of parishioners I serve … and my faith, too.”
Father Peter Guardiano, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Mr. John Torres, Deacon
Deacon John Torres, originally from Amparo, São Paulo, Brazil, was ordained as a transitional deacon on May 20, 2023. He came to the United States to study as a Seminarian at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, Deacon John has been actively involved in serving the Catholic Communities of Connellsville and Dunbar since the summer of 2021. In addition to his pastoral work, Deacon John holds a degree in Journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas in Brazil. He brings a unique perspective to his ministry and has made a significant impact as the Director of Religious Education and RCIA coordinator in the parishes. Outside of his studies and pastoral responsibilities, Deacon John enjoys spending time outdoors and staying physically active. His home parish in Brazil is Our Lady of Amparo, located in Amparo, São Paulo. Currently pursuing a master's degree in Systematic Theology at Saint Vincent Seminary, he continues to dedicate himself to his ministry in the Catholic Communities of Connellsville and Dunbar.
Sister of Charity Donna Mulligan, Director Of Pastoral Ministry
Sister of Charity Donna Mulligan joined the parish staff in July 2010 and has primary responsibilities for visitation to and programs for the sick, elderly and homebound; recruitment and training of Eucharistic Ministers and assistance to families planning funerals and bereavement support services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Penn State University, State College, and a master's in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, along with a master's in theology from Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C. A native of Nicktown and former teacher in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Sister Donna has also served as a pastoral associate at SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Blairsville, and Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Coral and Lucernemines. She has also served as the director of campus ministry at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, and provided chaplaincy work at Kane Regional Centers in Pittsburgh.
Lou Ann Lauffer, Business Manager
Lou Ann Lauffer joined the staff of the partner parishes in Connellsville as the secretary in January 2009. She became the office manager in March 2010 and was named parish manager in 2013 and business manager in 2016. She provides all accounting and financial services for the three parishes overseeing their business operations and facility needs. Lou Ann also coordinates activities for the Diocesan Lenten Appeal, the diocesan capital and endowment campaign, as well as the pastoral and finance councils of the parishes. She also assists the pastor in administering the seven cemeteries of our parish community. Lou Ann and her husband, Kevin, and daughter, Katrina, are members of St. Rita Parish.
Karen Tweardy joined the partner parish staff as parish secretary in July 2014. Her primary duties include preparation and publication of the weekly parish bulletin, maintenance of the parish census, posting of weekly contributions and receptionist. She received a bachelor's degree in writing from Pitt in 1972. Karen has lived in Uniontown since 1989 when her husband, the Rev. James Tweardy, became pastor of Third Presbyterian Church in Uniontown, where he served until his death in 2004. Karen retired in May 2014 from the Herald-Standard, where she was executive assistant to the publisher/promotions coordinator for more than 23 years. Karen has three grown children and five grandchildren: daughter Lisa Buckingham, lives in Uniontown, with her three children; son James Tweardy and his wife, Michelle, reside in Indiana County with their two children; daughter Kristin Tweardy lives in Greensburg.
Lisa Andursky served as secretary of the three partner parishes since April 2010 and was named the full time administrative assistant in 2016. Lisa assists with the many Faith Formation and Evangelization efforts in our parishes, including Youth Ministry, Foundations of Faith, and Sacramental Preparation. She also is responsible for scheduling masses, liturgical ministers, and appointments for the Pastor and Parochial Vicar. Lisa is a member St. John the Evangelist Parish, Connellsville and the Saint Rita Christian Mothers. Lisa is grateful to God for placing her in the work of ministry, which has deepened her faith in Christ and given her a true desire to share His love with others.
Dave Hertznell, a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish, Connellsville, serves as the parish facilities manager. Dave's primary responsibilities include oversight and maintenance of the parish buildings and grounds at all three churches. He also ensures the cleanliness of the parish environments for worship and prayer, and oversees the work of outside contractors. Dave continually works with staff and volunteers in preparation for the annual parish festival as well as many other religious and social events. Dave and his wife, Amy (Brooks), are lifelong residents of Connellsville.