Father Jared was born in Providence and grew up in Warwick, where he was educated at St. Kevin School and Bishop Hendricken High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Rhode Island College, and his graduate degree in theological studies from Seton Hall University. He has served as Assistant Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi church in South Kingstown and of St. Brendan Parish in Riverside. Prior to the start of his ministry here at Christ the King parish in July 2012, he served as pastor of St. Elizabeth Church in Bristol.
Fr. Joseph R. Upton grew up in the Edgewood section of Cranston, Rhode Island. After attending Cranston public schools, Fr. Upton began his studies for the priesthood at Our Lady of Providence Seminary. After graduation from Providence College, he completed his formation at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD and at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. He formerly served as assistant pastor at Saint Francis of Assisi in Wakefield. He now serves as Catholic chaplain at the University of Rhode Island and director of the Catholic Center at the university. He also serves as chaplain and teaches at The Prout School in Wakefield.
Jen has been a member of Christ the King since 1984 and has been involved in many ministries over the years, including Director of Religious Formation, liturgy committee, Bible study, lector and Eucharistic minister. A former Catholic School teacher, her education and training include a Master of Education and Certificate of Applied Pastoral Service. With three sons, Jen has been involved in Boy Scout leadership for the past 18 years. In addition to Troop work, she serves as a counselor for the Catholic Boy Scout religious emblems. She received the Bronze Pelican and St. George medals – two BSA Catholic adult awards. She has served as past president of the Professional Religious Educators of Providence (PREP), chair of the diocesan advisory board for the Office of Religious Education, and is an NCEA (National Catholic Education Association) national Catechetical Scholar. Jen lives in Wakefield with her husband Mike.
Tom Kendzia is well known as a composer, arranger, producer, teacher, clinician, author and performer. He has been a professional liturgical musician for more than 30 years. Currently he is a music and liturgy consultant for Harcourt Religion Publishers and music director at Christ the King Catholic Church in Kingston, Rhode Island, where he lives with his wife, Mary Carol.
Our Associate Director of Music is Heather Skidds. Heather has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, where she studied voice and music education, and a Master of Arts in Liturgical Music from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, where she studied voice, choral conducting, and organ. Heather serves as the Director of the North Kingstown Community Adult and Youth Choruses. She is also on the board of the Providence Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Heather has offered workshops on many topics in liturgical music, liturgy, and theology at diocesan meetings and regional conferences. She comes to us after ministering as the Director of Music at St. Gregory the Great Church in Warwick for the last eleven years. Heather has performed for many years as a church musician, soprano soloist, choir director, pianist, organist, and teacher throughout RI, MA, NY and MN. She lives in Exeter with her husband Dennis and children Aidan and Rachel — all of whom we welcome to our parish family!
Georgann came on board as secretary of Religious Formation in 1994, taking on the role as RF chair soon after. Next she headed the junior high program, taking on the Confirmation program in 1999. Georgann became the director in 2013. She is a Certified Catehchist for the Diocese of Providence and has also completed the Religious Formation Director Certification program as well. As a member of the parish for more than three decades, she attended Christ the King as a URI student and has taught every grade of Religious Formation over her years as a parishioner. She instituted the preparation of Welcome House meals for the 8th grade classes, the Seder meal for 6th graders, Earth Day for Confirmation as well as other programs that incorporate different committees, children and families working for Catholic Social Justice issues. Georgann is a Eucharistic minister for weekends and funerals. She and her husband Len have three grown children who were confirmed here. Georgann was also a Master Trainer for Girl Scouts, working as Program Director training new leaders, girl training, and volunteer leader as well.
As Parish Manager, Beth is the contact person for most of the committees and groups in the parish. She’s the keeper of the “Calendar,” making sure all the activities in a vibrant parish do not conflict with with each other. The weekly bulletin is a big part of the job. A graduate of Mt. St. Mary’s University in MD., Beth joined the CTK staff as Assistant Parish Manager in 2003 after working a wide variety of customer service and management jobs, becoming Parish Manager in 2008. She is active in CTK’s Make a Difference project which supplies handmade blankets, hats and scarves to local needy. Beth lives in Narragansett.
The Director of Youth Ministry and the Director of the Confirmation Preparation Program for eighth graders is Robert Ferri. Robert has a wide range of experience in both religious education and youth ministry. He is a former owner of a successful business who went on to receive a Master of Arts in Teaching from Johnson & Wales University. He has more than twelve years experience as a Director of Religious Education, serving the parishes of St. Brendan in Riverside, St. Elizabeth in Bristol, and Immaculate Conception in Cranston. Robert is an avid cyclist who loves hiking camping, bowling, and walking his two Pit Bull mixes with Denise, his wife of thirty-six years. Their son Russell lives in New York and their daughter Stephanie lives in Los Angeles. Robert and Denise have been members of the Christ the King since February.
Religious Education Office: 401-789-0417
As administrative assistant in the Religious Formation Program, Brenda fills the myriad of roles necessary in a vibrant parish. A member of the parish for more than 17 years, Brenda joined the RF staff in 1999. The “voice” of the program, she is usually the first contact parish members have when reaching out for Religious Formation information. Brenda is bilingual and acts as the liaison between Assumption parish [in Providence] and Christ the King. She has served as a Eucharistic minister, kindergarten teacher, Confirmation mentor, and Religious Formation committee member. Brenda and her husband Mike have three children, one married and the others live with them in Richmond. All three went through the RF program at CTK.
Despite the southern accent, Doug was born in Fall River and raised in Newport. After graduating from Rogers High School in 1993 he moved to Kentucky where he worked in Facilities Management for more than 15 years until returning to Newport where he currently lives with his family. He enjoys spending time with his family, and being involved with his children’s sports activities. He loves cats, video gaming, and taking naps in his free time.
Judy and her husband Joe of 41 years have been members of CTK since 1978. She is an active Eucharistic Minister and Hospitality greeter and has also been a Stephen Minister, an RF teacher, Marriage Prep leader, collected for Catholic Charities door- to door and sponsored RCIA candidates. Judy began working at the Catholic Center in October 2009 and has accompanied Fr. Matt on two mission trips to Nicaragua. Before coming to the Catholic Center, she worked in the President’s office at URI for 10 years. Joe and Judy live in Wakefield and have 2 grown daughters who made all
their sacraments at CTK.