MEET THE TEAM
We are blessed here at Saint John Paul II Pastoral Unit to have an amazing and dynamic team. Come learn more about us by reading below!
Fr Manus Paul Bradley, Pastor of the Saint John Paul II Pastoral Unit, has been a Pastoral Team Member since December 2016 and Pastor since 2017. Ordained to the priesthood in 1989, Fr Manus ministered in his home diocese of Derry, Ireland, for 16 years before coming to Canada in 2005. He holds an honours degree in Modern History and Philosophy, as well as an honours degree in Theology with a post-graduate Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University, (with a specialism in Moral Theology and Bioethics).
Fr Manus worked in parish and school ministry in Ireland before volunteering to come to Canada. Having previously worked in the diocese of Cornwall and Archdiocese of Montreal, he came to the South Shore and became Pastor of the pastoral unit. He is interested in bringing together theology and spirituality, believing that a sound combination of both is essential to faith. He is concerned by the lack of vocations to the priesthood here in Quebec and wonders who will replace him when he returns to Ireland. Describing himself as an “accidental missionary” the challenge of working in the Church in Quebec, he says, is what keeps him here.
Going around antique shops and fairs in search of art and antiques are his leisure pursuits. Fr Manus visits Ireland, as often as he can, to see his parents, three brothers and two sisters, his eleven nieces and nephews, and his friends, and to enjoy time at his seaside cottage in beautiful Donegal.
Fr. John was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The family was transferred a few times before settling in Oakville, Ontario where he grew up. Fr. John completed a BA in psychology and religious studies. He obtained his Masters in Theology in Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, which included his Clinical Pastoral Education in hospital in Burlington VT. He joined the Diocese of St. Jean Longueuil and served as a Pastoral Animator in Good Shepherd and St. Michel schools in Brossard.
Fr. John was ordained at St. Mary’s Parish in Greenfield Park. He enjoys a wide range of pastoral opportunities, especially Liturgy and Adult Faith formation, focusing on the works of Pope Francis. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, gardening, and visiting with family and friends.
Fr. Manus Paul Bradley
Fr. Gérard Lachapelle
Fr. Gérard Lachapelle was born in Joliette in 1939. He has a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Biochemistry from the Université de Montreal and a degree in Microbiology from the University of Syracuse. He worked for Health Canada for 22 years. In 1984 he returned to the Université de Montreal for a degree in Theology and Pastoral Studies.
He was ordained as a priest in St. Amable on November 16, 1991. He was a Pastor for ten years in Sherrington, two years as Chaplain at a hospital in St. Jean and presently priest collaborator in the Pastoral Unit at St. Francis of Assisi in St. Lambert and Holy Cross in Boucherville. He enjoys carpentry, videography, and painting with watercolour for leisure. He enjoys tai-chi and meditation and wishes to continue world travel.
Karen deKoninck is a Pastoral Agent mandated for comprehensive family faith education as well as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) for the 8 parishes of the St. John Paul II Pastoral Unit. She also offers her time on the Diocesan Commission for Catechesis.
Years of volunteering in liturgy and faith education led to her pursuing a certificate in Pastoral Ministry from College Andre Grasset as well as a BA with a major in Theological Studies and a minor in Human Relations from Concordia University. She considers it a privilege and a blessing to accompany and rejoice with adults of all ages on their faith journeys. Karen is married with three adult children. She and her husband enjoy world travel in their leisure time.
Christine Wright is a Pastoral Agent mandated for the needs of the Pastoral Unit, including being a resource person for marriages and baptisms. She is part of the Faith Education team with an emphasis on children aged three to ten. She has a mandate as an Extraordinary Minister of Baptism. Christine was an early childhood educator during which time she volunteered in parish life including liturgy, sacrament initiation, youth ministry, and parish socials.
These interests led Christine to furthering her studies. She has a certificate in Pastoral Care from the University of Montreal and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia majoring in Theology with a minor in Education. Christine is married with two adult children and a proud Nonna to five grandsons. With her husband, she enjoys their furry pets, dancing, trivia, cards, board games, as well as travel to visit family.
Ljubica Dekic is from Macedonia in Eastern Europe. She grew up in a Catholic family where her faith was nourished by her parents. She studied education and worked as a Kindergarten teacher for over ten years. When she was teaching in Vancouver, Ljubica used the program, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
When she was a child, she met the Focolare Movement. In a meeting for youth from the Focolare she understood that God wanted her to give her life to Him. After a period of spiritual formation in Italy, she has been part of several Focolare communities. Now she is living in a community in Brossard. During her years in community, she has worked in a special way animating the children’s scripture programs. She hopes that her experience can be a gift to others.
Christine Gage joined the pastoral team as Administrative Coordinator in September 2021. Taking the Diocesan mission statement to heart, Christine relies on the Holy Spirit to guide her in this administrative role as she supports the members of the pastoral team as well as the Fabriques and parishioners of the eight Parishes of the Saint John Paul II Pastoral Unit.
As a revert to the faith some 20+ years ago and confident in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Christine leans on her continuing education of the Word of God through various programs offered within the Pastoral Unit. Christine is a mother of four adult children, a grandma to two grandchildren and many fur-babies, a gardening enthusiast, decor/renovation aficionado, she enjoys a busy life with family and friends by her side.
Choosing of the name
The name Saint John Paul II Pastoral Unit represents those values that Catholics hold so dearly. John Paul II is a saint of our times; most of us have seen him, heard him, and prayed with him and many of us remember the model of courage that he became as he faced his final life’s journey. He was a pope that welcomed all people in our society; he promoted ecumenical dialogue and initiated the call of World Youth Day, which continues still.
Rather than stay within the confines of Vatican City, John Paul II went out to the people where they lived. He called for a new evangelization and a new way of being. And even when an assassin tried to end his life, he arranged to meet the attacker in his prison cell and forgave him, living out the faith that we all share together.
Bishop Claude Hamelin
Joy and Hope