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From the Rector's Desk: Introducing a new Director of Faith Formation

Dear parishioners of Saint Peter’s:

Last weekend we bid a fond farewell to Donna Tomasini who retired after having served 16 years as our Faith Formation Director. This week, I am thrilled to announce I have hired a new Director, Ms. Mariana Flores, who will join us later this month.

Mariana is a native of Miami, Florida, and comes to us from Melbourne, Florida, where she has taught theology for the past five years at Melbourne Catholic High School. Ms. Flores has a unique background both personally and professionally that makes her especially well-suited for Saint Peter’s. She is a first-generation American whose mom is from Santiago de Cuba and whose dad is from Mexico City. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Mariana has an Associate’s degree from Miami-Dade Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida, and a Master’s degree in Theology from Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mariana had a comprehensive weekend of interviews with staff, parish council members and others involved in religious education and formation in mid-December and was universally recommended to me for the position. She’ll have a lot to learn about the parish and our programs but will come with a fresh set of eyes and a desire to be an important member of our team devoted to handing on the faith with zeal, fidelity and love.

I hope, together, we can evolve our formation programs, particularly in the way we engage our families with children, many of whom have, during COVID, lost connection with, or seem too preoccupied to participate actively in, both worship and faith formation.

I hope you will welcome Mariana and help her adapt to our Columbia community and parish family.


Fr. Gary S. Linsky

The Very Rev’d Canon Gary S. Linsky, V.F.



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