Leadership

DSC00924Our Priest in Charge:
Father Dennis Ryan
began his tenure at St. Michael’s in June, 2015. He brings many experiences from a long and varied background in the business world, the military and the Episcopal Church. He was a manager for 24 years in Business Marketing for all the different iterations of the “Telephone Company”. The U.S. Army Reserve had a great appeal and he spent 20 years in various command and training roles prior to retiring. Beginning in1980 Dennis became increasingly active in the church. St. James in Jackson, MS was, in a way, a new birth-place for him and he served in many different roles at the parish and diocesan level.

After struggling with the possibility of ordination for many years, in 1989, Father Dennis entered into a discernment process that eventually led to becoming a postulant for Holy Orders. He attended The School of Theology Sewanee Tennessee, graduated and was ordained deacon (1990) and then priest (1991).

Father Ryan’s first cure was at Trinity Church Hattiesburg, MS. He says, “They brought me up as a priest.” The love that was shared was tremendously affirming and the work that God had called Dennis to was wonderfully fulfilling for him. He served there for seven years. There was a lot accomplished in many areas of church life.

Dennis became the associate rector of St. John’s Pascagoula, MS in August, 2000. When the rector retired in May, 2005, he became the Interim Rector and was serving in that capacity when Katrina hit. The church received very little damage and they were able to hold services the Sunday after the storm. He got the idea that the thousands and thousands of dollars they were receiving would require some excellent stewardship or it could wind up being un-wisely distributed. They bought sheetrock and gave it away to build anew hundreds and hundreds of houses.

The Bishop of Mississippi agreed with the request of the wardens of St. John’s and to that end, Dennis became rector in 2006. He served St. John’s in three capacities for thirteen years.

Father Dennis retired from St. John's in late June of 2013. Subsequently, upon hearing that Christ Church Covington would be looking for an Interim Rector, he let Bishop Morris Thompson and Canon Shannon Manning know that he was interested. Father Dennis began serving Christ Church as Interim Rector in late January of 2014.

Dennis and his wife Susan met in Hattiesburg. In late February they celebrated their sixth anniversary. Susan has two adult children. David lives in Malaysia and Kennon lives in New York City. Dennis has three adult children. Devin and her family live in Mandeville. Kelsey and her husband live near New Castle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. John lives in Biloxi and has three children.

“Holy Time, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, begins anew for all of us. I give thanks to God for the joy and challenges, the opportunity and the affirmations that we shall encounter as we collectively follow the path that our Lord Jesus has called us to.”   Father Dennis Ryan

You can contact him by calling St. Michael’s at 985-626-5781 or by email at rector@stmichaelsla.org.

LandryOur Parish Administrator:
Terri Landry
has served as Parish Administrator since July 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from L.S.U. Prior to joining St. Michael's, she worked as a Kindergarten Assistant for 15 years at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School in Mandeville, LA. She is married to Bobby Landry and they have one grown son and one furry Airedale. Terri & Bobby have been members of St. Michaelʼs for over 20 years serving on various committees and ministries. Terri also sings in the choir at St. Michaelʼs. In their spare time Terri and Bobby enjoy traveling, experimenting with new recipes and wines, and attending LSU sporting events.

You can contact her by email at secretary@stmichaelsla.org.

Allison KenningOur Music Director:
Allison Kenning
was born and raised in Lafourche Parish in the small town of Larose. There, her music interests began at the age of 9. She studied piano for 9 years and classical voice for 5 years and continued studying music when she began college at Nicholls State University in 1980.

She studied abroad shortly before attending college and looks upon that time in her life as the most influential in guiding her further into a career in music. Under the direction of Dr. Morris Beachy, she performed throughout Europe including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, undoubtedly the experience of a lifetime! She also had the opportunity to study as a private student under the instruction of Dr. Beachy, (Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin, Dean of the College of Fine Arts). Allison regards  this time in her life as her most rewarding educational experience.

While at Nicholls State, Allison was a member of the Future Music Educators Association, Choir Guild, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Drama Society. She performed in numerous musicals and theatrical productions and continued to perform professionally in the years that followed her studies at NSU. She majored in Fine Arts with a concentration in music. Allison has attended the Catholic Church for most of her life and served as organist, pianist, and soloist at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church for almost 30 years, beginning at the tender age of 14. She also began teaching music privately in 1986 and continues to do so today. She moved to the north shore at the age of 44 with her husband, Richard and two sons, Richie, 20 and Jordan 27. She is also the proud grandmother of 18 month-old Atticus Grey Kenning, who lovingly refers to her as "Honey"!

Allison has served as organist/pianist and choir director at St. Michael's Episcopal Church for 8 years and music director at St. Michael's Episcopal School for almost 7 years. She is extremely happy here and particularly loves the unique sense of community, friendship, and warmth. These have been undeniably some of the most rewarding years in her life. Her focus is to continue to increase choir membership and form a children's choral group in the future. Upon reflection of these many blessed years here, Allison contentedly considers St. Michael's "home".

You can contact her at allisonkenningmusic@yahoo.com.

StacyOur Executive Director for St. Michael's Preschool:
Stacey Gerdes Tavin
joined the St. Michael’s team in 2001 after receiving her degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught every age group within the school and in 2008 received another degree with a concentration in management. At that time Stacey became the preschool’s Executive Director. She has proved time and time again her love and dedication to the children of our community. Stacey is originally from New Orleans and became a resident of Slidell when she married in 2001. She is a mother of a beautiful daughter that is also an alumnus of St. Michael’s.

RandazzoOur Office Manager for St. Michael's Preschool:
Dianne Randazzo
 joined St. Michael’s Education Center as Office Manager in July 2014. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Loyola University. Before joining St. Michael’s, Dianne worked as a Pre-Kindergarten assistant for 8 years at Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic School in Mandeville, LA. She has one daughter, Hannah, who is a junior in high school. She also has 2 Shetland Sheepdogs and a small parrot. Dianne enjoys cooking, reading, and walking the dogs.

Our Vestry:

Senior Warden - Bobby Landry

Junior Warden - Jack Cline

Secretary - Gabriel Mitchell

Treasurer - Ferd Marsolan

Tilly Anderson

Vesta Batchelder

Bob Beatty

Andree Person

Laura Tobin