Meet the Staff
Father Daniel Carr, Administrator Pro Tem
Father Daniel Carr first arrived in Our Lady, Queen of the Yough Catholic Community in the summer of 2018 shortly after his ordination to the priesthood and before his return to Rome to finish studies in fall of that year. He returned on July 1, 2019, to begin his second assignment with the partner parishes of Connellsville and Dunbar. Born in Greensburg, he attended Holy Cross Church, Youngwood, growing up. He graduated from Hempfield Area High School in 2002 and from Saint Vincent College in 2006 with a degree in mathematics and computer science. After working for five years, he decided to enter the seminary in 2012. He attended Saint Mark Seminary and Gannon University, both in Erie, for two years before being sent to the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He lived in Rome for five years studying theology while returning home during the summers. In Rome, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology (STB) at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a License in Sacred Theology (STL) in Marriage and Family Studies at the John Paul II Institute. In 2018 he also completed a diploma in the Theology and Spirituality of Joseph Ratzinger. He was ordained a priest at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg, on June 30, 2018. Father Dan says he is “excited to have completed his studies and to be back in Connellsville and Dunbar for the foreseeable future to learn and grow as a new priest.” Father Dan also is an Eagle Scout and still enjoys camping and swimming. He says he also greatly enjoys reading, especially classic literature, theology, fantasy and science fiction, and spending time with his parents and four younger brothers and sisters.
Fr. Julius Capongpongan, Parochial Vicar
Father Julius Utrera Capongpongan arrived in Our Lady, Queen of the Yough Catholic Community on Nov. 16, 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. His hope upon arrival was to deepen his and the faith of others with whom he would come in contact. 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. He attended Pagsabangan Elementary School in Tagum City from 1983 to 1988. It was during those years when he was a Knight of the Altar (altar server) that 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 as a laborer on a banana plantation to earn money for his college education. 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. He later received a master’s degree in pastoral ministry in 2005 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. He arrived in the Diocese of Greensburg on Sept. 25, 2018, to begin a five-year stay as one of a number of international priests currently serving in the diocese. When he was sent to the Diocese of Greensburg by Bishop Medil S. Aseo of the Diocese of Tagum, Father Julius said he was happy because he felt it was “a privilege” to share his priesthood with and “important to experience” another people in the world. Since his arrival in the Connellsville-Dunbar community, 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.”
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. In addition, Sister Donna has also served as the director of campus ministry at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, and provided chaplaincy work at Kane Regional Centers in Pittsburgh.
Mary Sampey, Director of Evangelization
Mary Sampey began her ministry in our faith community on July 1, 2014, as Director of Faith Formation. She was named Director of Evangelization on July 1, 2016. Her responsibilities include Faith Formation (religious education) for kindergarten through sixth-grade students, Youth Ministry, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program Sacramental Preparation, Vacation Bible School, and Outreach. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Catholic Theology and Religious Education from St. Vincent College, Latrobe, and a Master's degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. Mary is also employed by Connellsville Area Community Ministries as their Development Coordinator. Mary serves on numerous boards for the Diocese and local community, and is also a host for our local Armstrong Neighborhood Channel. In October of 2019, Mary was named Fayette County's Newest Philanthropist by the Community Foundation of Fayette County. She is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish, where she is a cantor. Residents of Dunbar, Mary and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of two daughters, Ava and Noel, and a son, Andrew.
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 the business operations and facility needs of the parishes. 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 on July 7, 2014. Her primary duties include the preparation and publication of the weekly parish bulletin, maintenance of the parish census, posting of weekly contributions and receptionist. A native of Monaca, Beaver County, 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. She received a bachelor's degree in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Karen retired in May 2014 from Uniontown Newspapers Inc., which publishes 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 Martins Ferry, Ohio, 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.