Offices & Departments


St. Stephen’s Catholic Church
525 Jackson Street, Anoka, Minnesota 55303
Telephone: (763) 421-2471
Fax: (763) 421-4230

Academic Year Parish Office Hours:

Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (when Faith Formation is in session, otherwise closing at 5:00 p.m.)
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (when Faith Formation is in session, otherwise closing at 5:00 p.m.)
Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Summer Office Hours (mid-May – August):
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

St. Stephen’s Catholic Church

our staff

Fr. Bennet Tran

Fr. Bennet Tran was assigned by Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda as Pastor of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church effective July 1, 2018.

Fr. Bennet is a native of Saigon, Vietnam. He is the fifth of eight children in his family; he has five sisters and two brothers. He is a transplant to the Twin Cities having lived many years in Western Michigan.

He completed undergraduate studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Psychology. He worked for several years in banking and information technology prior to entering the seminary.

While at Saint Paul Seminary, Fr. Bennet interned at our neighbor parish of Epiphany in Coon Rapids and his deacon summer internship was at the Church of Saint Bernard on Rice Street in St. Paul. He was ordained a priest April 26, 2008 by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn. He served St. Stephen as Parochial Vicar (Associate Priest) June 2008 until June 2011. He then served St. Vincent de Paul as Parochial Vicar (Associate Priest) June 2011 until June 2012. He was appointed Pastor of St. Joseph in Waconia July 2012 and served there through June 2018.

Fr. Bennet enjoys reading, travel and is a University of Michigan Football fan. He is praying for a conversion of heart so that he might earnestly cheer for the Golden Gophers.


Fr. Matthew Quail

Parochial Vicar

Father Matthew Quail was born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. He has one older brother who is married and has two daughters. After graduating high school, Father Matthew attended South Dakota State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business, with minors in music and Spanish.

After graduating college, he entered the Saint Paul Seminary. He completed the two year philosophy program and thought that he wasn’t called to continue on and be a priest of Jesus Christ. So, he left the seminary, thinking everything was done. For two years, Father Matthew worked in banks. He began in Sioux Falls then moved to Saint Paul, where his office was in Minneapolis. After a while of working, he had the inkling that maybe this was not where God was calling him. Many months later, after much prayer and consultation with friends and family, Father Matthew entered the seminary once again and was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ on May 27, 2017. He is very excited to be serving here at St. Stephen’s.

In his free time, Father Matthew enjoys running, playing cards, playing golf, going to the lake, hiking, reading, spending time with family, and enjoying good conversation with friends.


Fr. Matt Shireman

Parochial Vicar

Father Matt Shireman grew up in Minnetonka with his parents, one brother and one sister.  He attended St. Therese in Deephaven.

After graduating high school, Father Matt attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and participated in campus ministry.  He graduated with a degree in civil engineering.  He then attended MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).  During those years, he attended weekend discernment retreats. He graduated with a master’s of science in transportation and worked for a time in Cleveland Ohio, scheduling buses and trains.

He entered the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 2011.  He was ordained a transitional deacon in May 2016.  He then spent the next year working at St. Stephen.  Father Matt was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis May 26, 2018 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, by Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda.

In his free time, Fr. Matt follows sports and plays basketball, soccer and ultimate frisbee.



Deacon Ramón García

Hispanic Ministry Coordinator

Prior to his assignment at St. Stephen, Ramón was a consultant for Hispanic Ministry for the entire Archdiocese, and he has worked extensively on family retreats, Marriage Encounter, Provida (pro-life), natural family planning, and domestic violence support groups.  As people observed Ramón’s faith, dedication, and talent, a number suggested that he become a permanent deacon.  Ramón heard God’s call through them and took the classes from 2004 to 2008. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt on September 27, 2008, and assigned to St. Stephen’s in Anoka.

Ramón and his wife Suzanne married in 1997 and have been blessed with three children, a son and two daughters.  Ramón and Suzanne are partners in Hispanic Ministry at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church.  They coordinate the Mass in Spanish celebrated each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. as well as preparing Spanish speaking families for the celebration of sacraments and quinceañeras, leading bible study in Spanish, making pastoral visits to those in need and more.



Suzanne García

Hispanic Ministry Coordinator

Suzanne García began working at St. Stephen’s in 2008, alongside her husband, Deacon Ramón García. She coordinates the music program for the Latino community, translates all materials into the Spanish language for use in the Hispanic Ministry programs, coordinates the Quinceañera preparation program, and serves as a bridge between the two communities.

Originally from Owatonna, Suzanne graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, with a B.A. in Spanish and a Music Minor. She has been involved in the Latino community since 1994, has great admiration and love for them. Additionally, she is a Spanish teacher for grades pre-school through eighth grade at Catholic School in Minneapolis.

Suzanne and Deacon Ramón have been richly blessed with three children, and the entire family is involved in ministry at St. Stephen’s, where they feel right at home.



Jay Gish

Parish Administrator

Jay became the Parish Administrator in September 2007.  Prior to joining St. Stephen’s, he worked 23 years as an Operations Manager in the textile supply industry, most recently as the Corporate General Manager for a company based in the Midwest.

In Jay’s role as Parish Administrator, he represents the Pastor in and has oversight for all the business affairs for the parish and school. The Administration Department reports to Jay.

Jay earned his B.A. Degree in biblical studies at North Central University. He enjoys spending time at the lake cabin fishing and is an avid sports fan.


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Lynne Pinewski

Administration and Finance Director

Lynne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with responsibilities to manage the general accounting functions for the parish and school which include preparing financial reports and working in conjunction with the Parish Administrator in budgeting and other financial needs.

Lynne is a lifelong resident of Anoka and joined St. Stephen’s Church in 1985 through RCIA.



Marisa Moreno

Administrative Manager

Marisa joined St. Stephen’s staff November 14, 2016. She will assist the Administration and Finance Director with the general accounting functions for the parish and school.

Prior to joining St. Stephen’s, she worked as the Operations Manager for a chiropractic clinic in Bloomington, MN.

Marisa attended St. Stephen’s Church as a young girl and became a member in 2011, when her son, Francisco started school here.

Marisa’s interests include spending time with family and friends, baking, and dancing. She is also fluent in Spanish.



Mary Jane Beberg

Calvary Cemetery Coordinator

Mary Jane works part-time for the Church as the staff liaison for Calvary Cemetery.  She especially enjoys the interaction with parishioners and staff while carrying out her various job assignments. Mary Jane is also the staff liaison to our annual Mardi Gras Gala.

Mary Jane’s family joined St. Stephen’s Parish in 1974 when they bought a home in Anoka.  Over the years, Mary Jane and her husband Pete have volunteered in many areas of the parish and school.  Their three children attended St. Stephen’s School and Totino Grace High School.  All three are married.  Mary Jane enjoys spending her free time with grandchildren.



Julie Gerads

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Julie began working at the church as the part-time evening receptionist in September 1995. She then moved into a full-time position in July 1998. Julie’s primary responsibilities include coordinating the weekly parish bulletin, updating the parish website, creating social media posts, creating/coordinating messaging on the indoor and outdoor electronic signs, coordinating the parish e-newsletter, assisting in the coordination of parish mailings and marketing pieces, and assisting staff and parishioners in their ministries.



Eileen Howe

Administrative Assistant/Database Coordinator/Facility Scheduling

Eileen joined the parish staff as an Administrative Assistant in June of 2014 after having worked at St. Stephen’s School for eight years.  Prior to that she worked as a Network Administrative Assistant/PC Support in the banking industry.

She grew up, with her seven siblings, just north of Bethel, MN and attended St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Isanti.  She and her husband joined St. Stephen’s when they were married here in 1993.  They have twin boys that graduated from St. Stephen’s School in 2013.



Renee Hogan

Front Desk Administrative Assistant

Renee began working at St. Stephen’s as a full time front desk receptionist in September of 2013.  She has held Administrative and Customer Service positions with two large corporations over the last 30 years.  After much thought and prayer, she left the corporate world, and is thrilled to be working in a faith filled environment, close to home.  Her duties are many. They include, but are not limited to:  answering incoming calls and directing them to staff, assisting staff with projects, and assisting parishioners and volunteers with the many ministries of the parish.

Renee and her husband have been members of St. Stephen’s  for  over 10 years.  “I truly enjoy working at my own home parish, being able to put names to the many familiar faces of the parishioners I have come to know over the years, as well as meeting, greeting and helping as many people as I can each day.”


Dr. Mary Newton

Music Director and Principal Organist

Mary joined St. Stephen’s staff in September of 2018. She is a native of Minnesota and had previously worked at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church (Plymouth) for 18 years. She also taught piano and organ at the St. Barnabas Center for the Arts music school. Mary holds music degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) Concordia University-Chicago (River Forest, IL), and from the University of Minnesota.

Mary is very active in the American Guild of Organists. She maintains an active profile in the Guild, both locally and nationally, is an active recitalist, and has written for “The American Organist” and the “Clavier Companion.” This past summer she was in Kansas City for the National Competition for Organ Improvisation (NCOI) and performed organ recitals in Hutchinson, MN, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mary is very excited to join the St. Stephen’s community!


Emily Smithley

Liturgy Coordinator

Emily joined St. Stephen’s staff in September of 2018. She is originally from Winona, MN, where she stayed until she moved to St. Paul to attend the University of St. Thomas. She graduated in 2014 with majors in Music and Catholic Studies. While there she met her husband, Phil, and they married in 2015. They moved to Anoka last October and had their first baby girl, Lola, in January.

Emily has been a part of church music choirs and ensembles since she was in eighth grade. During her time in college, she interned at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona as an assistant administrator, and worked in Campus Ministry at St. Thomas as a Music Ministry Coordinator and Liturgical Assistant. Emily was also a part of the St. Thomas Wind Ensemble (flute) and the Liturgical Choir. She spent a year working for the Ordway as an usher and the last three years working in Delano at the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe as the Liturgical Administrator.

Emily is very excited to continue working for the Church and for Christ. She’s even more excited to begin a new journey with everyone at St. Stephen’s. Please feel free to introduce yourselves and chat with her whenever you see her around. She looks forward to getting to know the parishioners of St. Stephen!



Terri Renner

Worship Associate

Terri has the privilege of directing four music groups which minister to our community on weekends and Holy Days.  These groups include the Adult Choir, Teen Music Ensemble, Youth Choir and Handbell Choir.  Occasionally, she sings for weddings and funerals.

Terri joined the Catholic church, the parish of St. Stephen’s, and became actively involved in the music ministry all at the same time in 1978, when she married here.  Terri joined the staff in 1995 as the youngest of her four children entered school. All four children are now grown.  Terri’s hometown is Hopkins and she received her Music Education Degree from St. Cloud State University.


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Amanda Lutes

Worship Associate

Amanda joined St. Stephen’s staff in April 2016.  She coordinates Environment and Art, schedules the various liturgical ministers, orders liturgical supplies, and supports the work of the Worship Department.

She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul where she earned a B.A. in Marketing Management with a Minor in Psychology. While at St. Thomas, Amanda served as Choir Librarian for the University of St. Thomas Liturgical Choir.  She is from Onamia, Minnesota.  She and her husband Tom enjoy being active members of St. Stephen’s faith community.


Maredith Toweh

Director of Faith for Life

Maredith joined St. Stephen’s staff June 4, 2018.  She was born and raised in Southern California were she began her career in ministry. Maredith comes to us with much experience and knowledge about faith formation from all areas of ministry with children, youth, young adults and families. Her experiences as a guest speaker, master catechist, pastoral associate and faith formation director in the church are just a few of her most treasured experiences.

She believes that our children and young people are not only the future of the church, but they are the present! One of her favorite scriptures is Matthew 18:
At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? “He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Saint Anne is her favorite saint, she loves to experience God in nature, she loves spending time with her husband and son. Cooking is a way she likes to relax and she holds her friends and family close to her heart. Family is everything to her. She makes it a point to find Jesus in everyone she meets.

Her goal is to encourage others to live out their baptismal “CALL” as well as to become friends with Jesus and to let them know how much they are truly loved.



Emilie Bauer

Coordinator of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), RCIA for Children/Youth, First Reconciliation Prep, First Eucharist Prep

Emilie was born and raised on a farm in North Dakota.  She received her Undergraduate degree in teaching from Minot State University and taught Business and Physical Education.

She has four grown children and three granddaughters.

Emilie received her MA in Religious /Adult Education from Regis University in Denver.

Areas of ministry she has been involved in include Family Life and Liturgy for the Diocese of Dodge City, KS, campus ministry at Illinois State University, K-12 at St. Colette in Rolling Meadows, IL, DRE at St. Patrick Parish in Oak Grove.

Her favorite things to do are knitting, reading and gardening.


Katie Kelly

Coordinator of Confirmation and Youth Ministry

Katie joined St. Stephen’s staff in August 2017. She coordinates Confirmation programming and Youth Ministry.

Katie graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a Bachelors of Arts in Theology in 2016. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Ministry at St. John’s University. Prior to St. Stephen’s, Katie coordinated the Elementary Faith Formation program at St. Patrick’s in Edina.

In her free time, Katie likes to be active, especially running and swimming, spending time with family and friends, and loves to play board games.




Ann Ridder

Coordinator of Sunday School

Ann has been an active member of St. Stephen’s parish for 25+ years.  She has a degree in early childhood education and family studies and has worked with pre-school children for 29 years.

After having decided it was time for her to work part time and work with children in a different way, the opportunity to be a part time Sunday School Coordinator arose at St. Stephen’s Church.

Ann is excited to be a part of the Formation Team. Her goal is to help teach and pass on the faith in a positive and interesting way to our young children. She knows how important a positive start is, so that children will continue to carry out their faith as they grow and mature.


Cristian Reyes Rodriguez

Coordinator of Elementary and Middle School Faith for Life and VBS

Cristian joined St. Stephen’s staff September 7, 2017.

Cristian was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico.  After moving to Goshen Indiana at the age of 14, he graduated from Goshen High School. He entered the Seminary and attended Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. Then, he attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland for Theological Studies.  He move back to Mexico and did two more years of Theological Studies at the Pontifical University of Mexico.

After much discernment and prayer he discerned out of the seminary. Later he married his wife, Ann and moved back to Minnesota. He is very excited to be serving here at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church.

In his free time, Cristian enjoys running, playing cards, playing soccer, hiking, exploring the outdoors and meeting people.


Cristian nació y creció en la ciudad de México, México. Después de mudarse a Goshen Indiana a la edad de 14 años, se graduó de la escuela secundaria de Goshen. Entró en el seminario y asistió a la Universidad de Saint Mary’s de Minnesota. Se graduó con una licenciatura en filosofía. Luego asistió al seminario de Mount Saint Mary’s en Emmitsburg, Maryland, para sus estudios teológicos. Regresó a México y realizó dos años más de estudios teológicos en la Universidad Pontificia de México.

Después de mucho discernimiento y oración Cristian discernió salirse del seminario. Más tarde se casó con su esposa, Ann y regresó a Minnesota. Él está muy entusiasmado de estar sirviendo aquí en la Iglesia Católica de San Esteban.

En su tiempo libre, Cristian disfruta de correr, jugar a las cartas, jugar al fútbol, explorar la naturaleza y conocer gente.


Jan Tait

Faith for Life Administrative Assistant

Jan joined the Faith for Life Department as the Administrative Assistant in September 2017.  Her main responsibility is to support the Faith for Life Team.

Before coming to St. Stephen’s, Jan worked at a credit union for 20+ years. She was involved in the daily operations of the credit union and was on the management team for several years.

Jan grew up in south Minneapolis. She is married with three children and three grandchildren. Two of her grandchildren attend St. Stephen’s School. She enjoys knitting, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren.



Sister Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND

Pastoral Care Director

Sister Mary Anne joined St. Stephen’s staff in August 2015.  She grew up in St. Paul in the West 7th Street area, across the street from the Mississippi River. Being near the Mississippi now provides an at-home feeling. As a School Sister of Notre Dame she has had several ministries, sometimes being assigned, sometimes being invited, and sometimes searching, or you might read that as trying to discern where the Holy Spirit is leading. She has taught in the 4th through 8th grades, she has been a single employee for an organization, she has been a hospital and hospice chaplain. (Hospice included volunteer and bereavement coordination.) Sister Mary Anne has served in spiritual care to the Sisters in the SSND Health Care in Mankato, and she has served in parishes in a variety of roles. She feels blessed to have been chosen to serve at St. Stephen. Sister Mary Anne hopes that we may be a blessing to one another. A Scripture text that she read and found meaningful since she learned she would be here at St. Stephen is from 2 Corinthians 9:8. God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.