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Father Alan (Al) Hirt, Pastor


Fr. Al has been a Franciscan priest for 43 years. Thirty-four of those years have been in parish work.

Born and raised in Batesville, IN, he spent the first 13 years of priesthood in inner-city parishes in New Orleans and Kansas City before coming to Cincinnati in 1990.

Fr. Al hopes to see “…this parish in the heart of Over-the-Rhine thrive as a center of Franciscan spirituality and ministry.”

Bro. Timothy (Tim) Sucher, Pastoral Associate

Bro. Tim Sucher, O.F.M is a professed religious in the Franciscan Order of the Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati, OH. He professed his first vows in 1976 and final vows in 1985.

Bro. Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Duns Scotus College Seminary, Southfield, Michigan in 1977. He studied theology at St. Leonard Seminary, Centerville, OH, The University of Dayton, and Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL. From 1978-1981, he served on the faculty of Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne, IN. From 1985 until 1990, He was the live-in manager of St. Vincent Hotel for the Homeless in Dayton, OH. He was the Director of Franciscan students preparing for final vows and ministry from 1990-1996. During this time, he also served on the faculty of Catholic Theological Union, a graduate school of ministry, as the Director of Field Education. In 1996, He was transferred to St. Christine Church, an inner-city parish, in Detroit, MI where he served as the Pastoral Associate and Outreach Director until 2004. He came to Cincinnati, OH in 2005 where he was named the Guardian of St. Francis Seraph Friary, the Administrator of St. Francis Seraph Ministries which includes St. Francis Seraph Church, St. Francis Seraph School, a soup Kitchen, a hospitality center for homeless people (Canticle Café), a women’s empowerment program (Sarah Center), and a lunch bag program for day laborers.

During his time at St. Francis Seraph Bro. Tim is responsible for establishing a 501-C3 for all the outreach ministries once sponsored by the parish. St. Francis Seraph Ministries is a sponsored ministry of the Franciscan Province and is governed by a board of directors. This ensures the continuation of the Franciscan charism as well as financial stability.

He currently is the Guardian of St. Francis Seraph Friary.
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Joe Pearce, Parish Secretary & Admin. Asst.

Joe was born in Albuquerque, NM, and raised in Indianapolis, IN. He holds a B.S. degree in Secondary Education, Social Studies from Indiana University, where he also studied philosophy, theology, religious ethics, and world religion.

Throughout his life, he’s been a school principal, associate pastor, evangelist, gospel recording artist, stockbroker, and is now a writer — He recently wrote the book “The Art of my Life”, which is available online through most retailers — and artist (oil painter), who works for St. Francis Seraph part-time as “the office guy.” He came to St. Francis Seraph in 2017.

He has an accomplished adult daughter who has a master’s degree in Epidemiology and Business. Joe lives in downtown Cincinnati, OH, and enjoys spending his time in the revitalized Over-the-Rhine arts district where he has an art studio at the Pendleton Art Center. You can follow Joe’s art at www.JoePearceArt.com.
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Judith (Judy) Cox, Parish School Accountant

Judy has been with St. Francis Seraph since 2014 and handles the finances for the Parish and School.

With a degree in Business Admin from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a Master’s degree from UC, she has over 40 years of non-profit accounting experience.

Steve Cox her husband of 41 years is an Electrical Engineer and together they have three children, Robin, Stephanie, and Dan.

Judy enjoys working with the Franciscan Friars and hearing the stories of their studies in Oldenburg, IN, where the nuns from her grade school also studied.
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Halsey Mabry, Principal of St. Francis Seraph School

Halsey has been in education for the past 20 years. For the last 6 years, he has been the Principal of St. Francis Seraph School in OTR. Before becoming the Principal of St. Francis Seraph, he moved to Cincinnati to become the Associate Director of Urban Schools Excellence. He worked with inner-city schools in Cincinnati and Dayton.
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Mary Kay Espelage, Part Time Bookkeeper

Mary Kay has lived on the west side of Cincinnati all her life. Her husband Bill & she will be married 50 years in July of 2021. They have 3 adult children and 5 beautiful grandchildren.

Mary Kay graduated from McAuley High School and then worked at Cincinnati’s General Hospital in the main x-ray department. She left there to work at Western & Southern as a bookkeeper. After choosing to be a stay at home mom for a period, she went back to work at Husman Snack Foods doing payroll and payables. Now she is the bookkeeper at St. Francis Seraph.

Mary Kay had an Aunt (Sister Irvin Marie Kreimer) who was a Franciscan nun at Oldenburg. She also had a brother (Father Richard Kreimer) who was a Glenmary priest. Bill, who enjoys retirement, had an uncle (Bishop Sylvester Espelage) who was a bishop in Wuhan, China, and another uncle (Bishop Bernard Espelage) who was a bishop in Gallup, NM. He has a first cousin who is a Franciscan priest and who was the celebrant at their wedding (they were his first wedding after he was ordained a priest).
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Patricia (Pat) Ruthemeyer, Faith Formation

Pat has been with St. Francis Seraph Parish since 2013 and has developed and coordinates the various aspects of faith formation and sacramental preparation within the parish. This includes RCIA, adult, and children’s faith formation, Bereavement ministry, Baptism, and Confirmation preparation, among other duties.

Pat earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, an Associate and Master’s degree in Radiologic Technology and Administration from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from the Athenaeum of Ohio (Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary) in Cincinnati.

In the summer of 2019, Pat was blessed to be able to participate in a Franciscan Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi – an ‘experience of a lifetime’ – which included a special day-trip to La Verna, the site where St. Francis was visited by the Seraph angel near the end of his life and received the stigmata.