Meet the Staff
Fr. TJ Fleming- Our Parish Pastor
I would like to share a portion of my story with you. I grew up on a beef cattle farm about 10 miles south of Midland, MI. Our address is Merrill even though we lived in Midland County. My home parish is St. Patrick Catholic Church (Ryan, MI) located on Meridian Rd. I attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in Merrill for grades 1-4 and when the school closed I attended Merrill Public Schools for grades 5-12; graduating in the Spring of 1976. It was during the Fall semester of my senior year, I decided to enter into seminary to study for the priesthood. Bishop Reh sent me to St. John Vianney Seminary located on the campus of the College of St. Thomas, now known as University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years there, I graduated in the Spring of 1980 with a BA in History and a minor in Philosophy. Bishop Reh sent me to St. Meinrad School of Theology located in St. Meinrad, IN for my first year of Theology. During that year Bishop Reh retired and Bishop Untener was ordained as our fourth Bishop of the Saginaw Diocese. Bishop Untener asked me to come to St. John Provincial Seminary located in Plymouth, MI. where he had been rector before becoming our bishop. There, I spent three years studying to obtain my Masters of Divinity in the Spring of 1984. On August 10, 1984 I was ordained a Transitional Deacon then was ordained a priest on April 28, 1985. This year I celebrated my 31st anniversary of priesthood having served as an associate pastor for 7 years and a pastor for 24 in many parishes in our Diocese. I love being a priest. For the last 26 years I have signed Mass for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. I am very happy to be here at St. Mary University Parish and look forward to getting to know you, and work, minister and pray with all of you. May our time together here be blessed by our Gracious and Loving God.
In the Peace of Christ, Fr. T. J.
Andrea Gleason – Director of Student Outreach
From the time she was a little girl, Andrea loved to sing and held music close to her heart. While there was much heartache throughout her childhood, it was this very pain that inspired her to begin writing music. In high school, she encountered Christ and decided she wanted to give her life and music to serve him. After graduating from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2010 with a B.A. in Catechetics, she worked in youth and parish ministry for 2 1/2 years. In 2013, she joined the St. Mary’s staff.
Gayle Blaxton – Office Manager
Not only does Gayle work harder and faster than mission control on launch day; she single-handedly keeps the staff organized and functioning – a job most mere mortals wouldn’t take on! While Jesus loved the apostles, with Gayle he probably could’ve fed at least 20,000 more people, raised a couple more people from the dead, cured leprosy and blindness – all before Gayle had even her first cup of coffee!
Jonathan Korpi – Director of Sacred Music
Jonathan Korpi was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the small mining town of Ishpeming. He recived a Bachelor’s of Science in History with a double minor in Music and Religious Studies from Northern Michigan University. He is currently working on his Masters in History from Central Michigan University. Past director, organist, and pianist positions held were: Bell Choir/Assistant Director of Music at Bethel Lutheran Church in Ishpeming. Pianist, Organist, and Orchestra Director at St. Joseph Catholic Church, and substitute Organist for area churches. He has performed and guest conducted in several musical groups in Marquette County. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends.