PARISH LEADERSHIP




The Reverend John Merz, Vicar

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The Reverend Deacon

Joe Occhiuto

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Jacob DeHoyos Musician

Chris Szkiladz, Buildings and Grounds


Bishop’s Committee

The common life of the Church of the Ascension is overseen by the Bishop’s Committee. Any queries or other matters can be directed to bishopscommittee@ascensionbrooklyn.org and pertinent matters will be taken up by the committee at one of its meetings. Committee members and brief bios:

Dolores Keller

Dolores is Lithuanian & Polish, born on Northside in Williamsburg when you could leave all doors unlocked, despite (or thanks to) neighborhood gangs. Followed academic path through 2nd year of HS at Eastern District, then to major in Art at city HS and night courses at Visual Arts. Supervised at art studio, then many years of freelance in city. Married at 26, raised 1 girl and 2 step-boys, living in L.I., Florida & back to Greenpoint. Dolores was widowed in 2009, but is blessed with many friends. She loves Brooklyn, all music especially Doo Wop and sometimes, the Mets.


Donald D. Short

Donald was raised Anglican in southern Alberta, Canada, and brought his wife Pam and their family to Colorado in 1992, where they joined the Episcopal Church. Don has worked as a practicing attorney and a senior business executive, and has been a Business Management Consultant for the past 15 years.

Paula Santaro

Paula is a Greenpoint native who grew up Roman Catholic. She is a registered nurse currently working at a special education school. Paula is also a clinical social worker who has worked in the field of bereavement counseling and with families of disabled children. She shares her home with her two adult children.


Kurt T. Hill

Kurt has been Director of Outreach & Anti-Arson Programs at the community-based People’s Firehouse, Inc. for more than 20 years. He is a 1972 graduate of Bard College, and a 1988 graduate of the Education for Ministry (EFM) program. Hill is a life-long Episcopalian, and was brought up at St. Luke’s Church in Upstate Jamestown, NY.


Ian Barnes

Ian grew up the son of a Unity minister and found solace as an adult in the liturgical worship of the Episcopal Church. He has served as a vestry person, gone through the ordination process and earned two degrees in theology, a Master of Arts St. Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL and a Master of Sacred Theology form General in NY. Ian currently works as a writer and actor and live in Manhattan with his wife, Manda D’Agata, and our daughter, Matilda who was baptized at the Church of the Ascension.


Sam Sifton

Sam was the the national editor of The New York Times, he is now head of Food and Dining for the Times. He attended school at Grace Church and Saint Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights and graduated from Harvard College with an AB degree, magna cum laude, in History and Literature. He lives in the Red Hook neighborhood with his wife and two daughters. His daughters Claire and Hallie were both baptized at the Church of the Ascension.