Fr. Silvio Kaberia comes to us from rural Kenya. His family believes he was to have a special calling as he was born pre-term that he had to receive the sacrament of baptism under the special circumstance. From birth he lived in a practicing Catholic family, so it was of no surprise when the Holy Bible was his first literature/book of interest. He received his early calling to the priesthood in high school and with his parents encouragement. This choice of vocation didn't come to light without disagreements from the rest of his family, especially his grandmother, but God's calling couldn't be silenced.
After his ordination to the priesthood in 1983, Fr. Kaberia's vocation would ironically took him back to Kenya for various academic and parochial assignments; he returned home for a time. Some of his former students from then are now priests and one of them is even now a bishop. One of his "postings" was an apostolate among the nomads of the Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo, a part of Kenya with a Muslim majority. His past brings wisdom and experience from knowing the challenges that come with being in the Christian minority, as a cathedral he served at was located directly across from a mosque.
His past years of experience in the various parishes he has served, was not only beneficial for his growth but for his assignment to our parish since 2012.
Fr. John Baab grew up in a large, devout Catholic family in Richmond, but shortly after college his faith took on a much more personal character through a series of profound experiences of God. It was then that he heard the Lord inviting him ‘to come and see’ the priesthood. After discerning his vocation while working for four years in direct marketing, Fr. John began priestly formation for the Diocese of Richmond at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He soon fell in love with the Sacred Scriptures and other theological studies. Graduating in 2018, he was ordained to the ministerial priesthood on June 2nd of that year and soon began his first assignment at Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach. In the summer of 2019 he began two years of ministry at Saint Bede in Williamsburg. He is grateful to God and to Bishop Knestout for sending him to the people of Blessed Sacrament in Harrisonburg in July of 2021.
Fr. John has many interests and pastimes. From philosophy and theology to sports, traveling, and wasting time watching his favorite show of all time, The Simpsons, he enjoys getting a lot out of life. He cherishes spending time with close friends and family and being uncle to twelve nieces and nephews. Grateful for his parents who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and many others who planted the seeds of faith and service in him, he strives to love Jesus and the people of God more each day. He hopes to continually grow into hearing and following the Spirit’s lead for the glory of God.
With a Bachelor's degree in Child Development from Berea College, she quickly became the perfect fit for theniche of religious education for the children of our Parish. She had a good Catholic upbringing, attended CCDclasses and a Catholic High School, which helped provide a strong foundation in her role as a part of the Blessed Sacrament staff...Valerie learned how important a deep faith was for the development of a child and has since been sharing her talents, time, and passion of the Lord to the future generations of the Parish. The best part of coordinating the children's religious education program is getting to know so many children and their families. She completed her Master’s of Arts in Theology in 2020 from St. Leo’s University and truly feels that she is doing exactly what God has been calling her to do for her entire life.
Valerie’s other calling has been as a wife of Russ and a mom to 5 grown children, as well as the newest edition in 2019 of their first grandchild! Living just outside of Bridgewater she enjoys spending as much time as she is able with her family and friends. She also enjoys teaching Group Fitness classes at Valley Fitness, reading, and working in the yard. Originally from Akron, Ohio she still takes trips up to spend time with her parents and 3 of her sisters.
Hope Ogden graduated from James Madison University in 2017with a B.A. in Public Relations. She loved it so much that she stayed in Harrisonburg and spent 2 years working for JMU as a communications professional before joining our staff in 2019. Originally from Alexandria, VA, she started researching different Christian denominations at age 16 to find her “home,” She was blown away by what she read about Catholicism. The Eucharist, church history, scriptural connection, and the church fathers made The Truth undeniable for her. Her freshman year at JMU she completed RCIA and officially entered The Church at age 19. Throughout her college career she sought to evangelize non-practicing Catholics through leadership roles at JMU CCM, including planning retreats, serving as the Communication Chair, and leading various small groups. She also was a Student Missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) at JMU for 2 years and was blessed with further evangelization training and spiritual formation there. She has been a volunteer with Blessed Sacrament’s youth ministry program and Confirmation class since 2015 and is ecstatic to continue sharing Christ with our parish’s young people as Youth Director.
Hope met her husband Patrick at JMU CCM in 2015 playing music and they married in September 2019. They love liturgical living and the domestic church. In her free time she loves perusing the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market, trying every cappuccino in town, hosting friends for dinner, reading, writing, live music, and her childhood hobby of nearly 20, Irish step-dancing.
Janet's Catholic and music roots stem from her childhood, however as of May 2017, her God given talents and gifts were acquired by our Parish. Born and raised Catholic in a home full of faith, love, and the joy of music, she strived and continues to strive in making the most of her God-given talents. Janet and her husband Paul have four children, three of whom are happily married, and their youngest who is in college. Personal pursuits: gardening, hiking, skiing, paddling, and exploring more of the wonders and simple joys of the Shenandoah Valley.
Earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from UConn and Central Connecticut State University, Janet began her teaching career in Connecticut, then continued to teach after moving to Vermont with her husband Paul. Janet remained active as a guest director for numerous District Music Festivals, conducting middle and high school. During the past 15 years while still in Vermont, she taught students from kindergarten to college age (including 7 years in a Catholic school), and directed ensembles ranging from beginner to now. She also has a wealth of experience in (and serious love of) musical theater, having played numerous pit orchestra jobs, and having directed school musicals for decades. One of the great joys of these later years was working as the featured vocalist with the Swing North Big Band – allowing the music to flow from that other side of her soul…She's moving forward and thankful for the genuine, caring support of our priests and staff, as well as the many thoughts and conversations with her ministry and fellow parishioners. Her main goal is bringing our faith family together in prayer, praise, and of course in song.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
"My full name is Liz Guadalupe Prieto Loya. Originally, I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but was raised in Virginia since the age of five. I guess you could say, that I am a true Virginian at heart.
Blessed Sacrament has been and will always be my home parish. There is no doubt that I am very blessed to be a part of the staff here at Blessed Sacrament."
"The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it."
The functionality and upkeep of our entire parish facilities would not be possible without the heart and passion of this special man, who started off as a "secret" volunteer assisting in maintaining the facilities without anyone knowing, until he was caught red handed in the act of fixing items in the sanctuary. We as a community must always remember his face, especially as he does all his work with a smile on his face.