Fr. Silvio Kaberia
Pastor of Blessed Sacrament since 2012, Fr. Silvio Kaberia hails from Kenya, where he was born so early that he was given emergency baptism. He was raised in a Catholic family, and the Bible was the first book that interested him. In high school, he realized that he wanted to become a priest. His parents encouraged him, but his grandmother was angry; she did not see why anyone would want to be a priest.
After being ordained to the priesthood in 1983, Fr. Kaberia had various academic and parochial assignments in Kenya. Some of his former students are now priests, and one is a bishop. One of his postings was an apostolate among the nomads of the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo, a part of Kenya with a Muslim majority. Right across the street from the cathedral where Fr. Kaberia served as priest was a mosque. He learned firsthand about the challenges of being in the Christian minority.
While visiting a friend in Richmond, he met the late Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, who eventually asked if he would like to work in the Diocese. Fr. Kaberia has served at several parishes before coming to Blessed Sacrament. We are sure that his former parishioners were as sorry to see him leave as we are glad to have him with us!
Fr. Miguel Melendez
Born May 9, 1984 in Corpus Christi, Texas, Miguel Melendez is the second of three children of Deacon Jose and Karen Melendez. He has an older sister, Christy, and a younger brother, Kyle.
His father, Deacon Jose, serves at Holy Spirit, Christiansburg, and Holy Family, Pearisburg. His mother, Karen, is Director of Adult Faith Formation and RCIA at Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke.
Father Miguel went to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., after graduating from high school.
In 2002 he joined a group of Coast Guard cadets in praying the rosary “and I found myself studying the Bible,” Father Miguel said. He was a member of the Academy glee club and joined a Catholic choir.
Parishes in which Father Miguel was assigned while in the seminary were Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem, summer of 2012; St. Bede, Williamsburg, summer of 2013; Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach for his pastoral year of 2014-2015, and the Parishes of St. Peter’s, Richmond; St. Patrick’s, Richmond, and St. John’s, Highland Springs, 2016.
But he is most excited to now be part of the Blessed Sacrament in Harrisonburg family!!!
Joe Kauflin was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. He attended public school from kindergarten-12th grade and graduated from Salem High School in 2007. He continued his studies at Old Dominion University, where he received a bachelor’s of science in Human Services and Counseling, with a minor in Psychology. HIs discernment to the priesthood unofficially started in high school, when he got heavily involved with his youth group. From there, his journey took many twists and turns, none of which he really thought would end up in the seminary. But after a little over 3 years of living in Comayagua, Honduras, two as a lay missionary with the Missioners of Christ and one as a first grade teacher at a bilingual school, he left the door open to priesthood just enough to go ahead and formally enter discernment/formation for the Diocese of Richmond in July of 2016. He is very much looking forward to walking with the Lord on this new journey!
Coordinator of Religious Education for Children
Valerie graduated from Berea College with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development. She has always enjoyed children’s ministries and has been involved in them as a volunteer, since high school. Growing up in a strong Catholic home, attending CCD classes, as well as a Catholic high school, Valerie learned how important it was to have a strong Catholic faith and that it is vital to give our children that same strong foundation by sharing our faith with them.
Valerie, originally from Akron, Ohio, lives just outside of Bridgewater with her husband, Russ, along with a few of their children who are now young adults. Evenings and weekends, if she is not at a church event or meeting, you can find her enjoying time with her family. She also enjoys teaching Group Fitness classes at Valley Fitness. Any remaining free time, she enjoys reading and working in the yard.
She says the best part about coordinating the children’s religious education program is getting to know so many children and families in our parish and encouraging them to feel a part of this wonderful Catholic community. She especially loves preparing children to receive their First Communion and. Nothing is better than helping children to prepare themselves to receive the Body of Christ and to learn to walk as a disciple of Christ.
George grew up in Baltimore and went to Mount St. Mary’s University where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. He was married in 2011 to his wife Brittany and they have one daughter, Liliana.
Before coming to Blessed Sacrament, George worked for 3 years as a Campus Minister serving the students at the University of NC at Greensboro. He has been doing ministry for over 7 years in all aspects of the Church ranging from children’s ministry to adult formation.
George has a passion for all things outdoors, but in particular Rock Climbing. He enjoys card and board games, and is very competitive (in a charitable way). He jumps at the opportunity to see a new movie. He loves reading about the lives of the saints and the Church’s mission to evangelize. He takes pleasure in working with young people and is excited to be a part of Youth Ministry.
His favorite saint is Saint Augustine and his favorite Bible verse is Matthew 16:18.
Janet began her work as Music Director at Blessed Sacrament in May of 2017, although her Catholic and musical roots go back to her childhood. Born and raised Catholic in a home full of faith, love, and the joy of music, she strived and was well-supported in making the most of her God-given talents.
Earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UConn and Central Connecticut State University, Janet began her teaching career in Connecticut, then continued to teach after moving to Vermont with her husband Paul. Even through a decade of full-time “momming” their 4 children, Janet remained active as a guest director for numerous District Music Festivals, conducting middle and high school band, chorus, and jazz choir. She taught private voice and woodwind lessons, remained active in music ministry in her home parish, and volunteered to coordinate music and community concerts in a number of other churches in her area. During the past 15 years while still in Vermont, she taught students from kindergarten to college age (including 7 years in a Catholic school), and directed ensembles ranging from beginner band to college/community orchestra and chorus. She also has a wealth of experience in (and serious love of) musical theater, having played numerous pit orchestra jobs, and having directed school musicals for decades. One of the great joys of these later years was working as the featured vocalist with the Swing North Big Band – allowing the music to flow from that other side of her soul…
Her prayerful search for a new vocation/job was fulfilled when she was offered this position at Blessed Sacrament, and she now moves on into year two, thankful for the genuine, caring support of our priests and staff, and for the many thoughts from and conversations with choir members and parishioners. Honoring beloved musical traditions of Blessed Sacrament and continuing to develop Music Ministry ensembles and repertoire are the basis of every decision, and future goals include creating new opportunities and events (such as last year’s Mardi Gras!) that bring our faith family together in prayer, praise, and of course, in song. “Full and active participation” in the Mass can be taken into the hearts and homes of our congregation, and God willing, far beyond!
Janet and her husband Paul have four children, three of whom are happily married, and their youngest who is in college. Two live in the north, and two in the south, so Harrisonburg Virginia is indeed, the “happy medium” as their most cherished “married with children” vocation is lived out with joy. Personal pursuits: gardening, hiking, skiing, paddling, and exploring more of the wonders and simple joys of the Shenandoah Valley. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
Bill joined the Blessed Sacrament team after a long career in management positions in several industries. He has owned and operated two businesses, a real estate and insurance agency and a general contracting company that built agricultural and industrial buildings. His corporate experience includes responsibilities in Sales Management, Marketing, Software Product Development, Project Management, Accounting and Client Services. Those responsibilities have included the full financial responsibility of multi-million dollar budgets and more than 50 employees.
Bill holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Management from Fairfield University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University. Born and raised in Connecticut, he and his wife Cappy have lived in many parts of the eastern US. Bill served as the “lay member of the corporation” a.k.a. “trustee” at St. Rose of Lima parish in Connecticut and on the Parish Council and Buildings and Grounds Committee at parishes in other part of the country.
Jessica Yvette Rodriguez
Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry
Jessica was born and raised in El Paso, TX. She has a BA in Music Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master of Music from James Madison University. She is the Director of Music Ministries at Dayton United Methodist Church and volunteers in the Music Ministry at our parish. Jessica loves being a part of the Blessed Sacrament community and is very excited to be a part of the staff.
Martha Moyers is a native of Front Royal, Virginia, the daughter of John Chappell and Sally Harrison. She has also lived in Alexandria, Doswell, Culpeper, and Richmond. She considers herself American by birth and a Virginian by the grace of God! She moved to the Valley to attend Madison College (now JMU) and never left. She is married to Valley native Rex Moyers. They have two daughters, Rachel and Regina, and one granddaughter, Kailie. Martha and Rex joined the Catholic Church in 1992. Prior to that, she was an Episcopalian. Her late father was an Episcopal minister. When asked what her father would say about her becoming Catholic, Martha’s response is that now he is in heaven with the Lord and he knows what the true Church is!