Fr. Gregory Barras – Chair
Ordained 1984; Diocese of Biloxi
I am Gregory Michael Barras, a priest of the Diocese of Biloxi for thirty-five years. I have been Director of Youth and Co-Director of Continuing Ed in our diocese. I am privileged to serve on the AUSCP Leadership Team. My love of Church is centered in Vatican II spirit. AUSCP embodies, envisions, and lives this spirit. As we follow Pope Francis, inspiration, vision, and mission give me life and desire to serve.
Fr. Mike Bausch – Vice-Chair
Ordained 1979; Diocese of Rochester, NY
Michael ‘Mike’ Bausch was born and raised in Batavia, NY, holds a BA degree from St. Bernard College, Cullman, Alabama and Master Degree from St. Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, NY, and was ordained in 1979 for the Diocese of Rochester, NY. Since 2002 Mike has been the pastor of The Church of the Transfiguration Parish in Pittsford, NY. His previous assignments included parish ministry, he also has served as the Executive Director of both Catholic Family Center, Rochester and Southern Tier Office of Catholic Charities, Elmira, NY. Mike has served on the Camp Stella Maris Board, DePaul Clinic Board, first Chair of the Diocesan Public Policy Committee, Development Committee of Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes and Catholic Charities of Wayne County, Catholic Family Center (CFC) Board, Diocesan Catholic Charities Board, Diocesan Priest Personnel Board, Diocesan Presbyteral Council and numerous community agencies boards. He was also a member of the New York State Catholic Conference Public Policy Committee and Catholic Charities USA Social Policy Committee. He continues to serve, in an advisory capacity, the CFC Board and Catholic Charities Board and remains active on numerous community agencies.
Michael Hickin – Secretary
Born and raised in Ohio, I served in the military for 3 yrs, tried a monastic vocation for another 3 yrs, and lived in Europe for nearly 12 yrs over 4 different occasions, some before and some after ordination 1997.
Friendship with Jesus—that daily struggle to see the world and its people through his eyes and serve them with his heart—has seen me through 4 pastorates and two stints working as a seminary faculty member (Josephinum 99-03; NAC 09-14).
I warmly welcome Pope Francis’ agenda for Church reform and find in the AUSCP a home and a laboratory for living in a synodal Church
One of my favorite quote is from J.H. Newman, “To grow is to change and to become perfect is to have changed much.” AUSCP is a friendly, dedicated gathering of souls to make good change happen.
Peter Murray, SJ
Society of Jesus
I joined AUSCP while I was living and working in Buffalo (around 2014-15).I recall attending the fine Assembly in Chicago in June of 2016. By that time I was working down in Raleigh NC at a busy growing Catholic parish there. They had a lot of Spanish-speaking folks there, so I took my turns with the various Spanish masses along with the others.
Volunteer in Turkey. The 53 years since then have been filled with: marriage to an adventurous husband;
two blessedly wonderful daughters; six grandchildren; and living around the world (Switzerland for one
year, Australia for seven years – where I worked in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Office
for Worship; and Singapore for two years – where I volunteered in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Singapore Family Life Office.) We also lived aboard a 47-foot sailboat for four years.
following: resettling refugees by forming Friends of Southeast Asian Refugees, Inc. (a 501c3 non-profit
organization); studies at Andover Newton Theological School (four years), Hebrew College (two years for
a Meah certificate), and earning an M.Div. degree (Class of 1989) at Pope Saint John XXIII National
Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts (I am the second and last woman to have done so. Sr. Shirley
Nugent, SCN, was two years ahead of me. I always say her name); and four years as the first Catholic
woman “Chaplain” at Wellesley College.
the first coordinator of the Working Group for the Second Goal: Priest Support. Then I shifted my focus to
the role of women in the Church, while continuing efforts on behalf of collaborative ministry for clergy and
laity to work together for renewal. Currently, I am leading the Women’s Emerging Voices Working Group,
which is now identified as a Continental Deacon Circle, partnering with our friends in Discerning Deacons
Collaborative in Wellesley.
although I prefer being on land where I am always happy riding other people’s horses (three times a
Jeffery Ott, OP
National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus
I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. For the past 13 years I have served as the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Atlanta.
Feeling the call to follow Jesus, I joined the Order of Preachers 28 years ago in the Province of St. Martin de Porres (Southern Province). Having attended the first gathering of the AUSCP at St. Leo University, I was impressed by the commitment of the priests to preaching a just gospel and promoting the vision and values of Vatican II.
I serve on the boards of the Interfaith Community Initiatives, Inc.; Mercy Care Services in Atlanta; and the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. In 2002, I was ordained to the priesthood and graduated from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO with the M. Div and M.A. in Theology. Earlier this year I completed training in spiritual direction at the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson, AZ.
When I’m not busy with all the required stuff, I love to travel, commune with friends and family over a meal, and take in a concert or show.
Neil Pezzulo – Treasurer
Glenmary Home Missioners
Neil Pezzulo was born in Schenectady, N.Y. and raised in Scotia, N.Y. After high school he attended and graduated from S.U.N.Y. Delhi Ag & Tech and Elmira College with degrees in Business Administration. After joining Glenmary he studied philosophy at The DeSales School of Theology and studied theology at the Washington Theological Union, located in Washington D.C.
After working for ten years in both retail and direct sales he joined the Glenmary Home Missioners in 1992. Glenmary is a community of brothers, priests and lay co-workers who serve exclusively in the rural south and the Appalachian regions of the United States — areas where the Catholic communities are small, often only one percent of the total population. Poverty, unemployment, and addiction are common in these rural areas of our country.
After being ordained in 1999 Neil served missions in southeast and western Arkansas for twelve years. In 2011 he was elected to serve as the First vice President of Glenmary. While he was Vice President he also served as a Sacramental minister in southeastern Kentucky. Since January of 2020 he serves as a mission pastor in east Tennessee.
“When I am not involved in mission work, I spend my time outside, hiking, camping or kayaking,” Neil said.
Congregation of the Mission
Rev. Louis Arceneaux, C.M. is a native of New Orleans and has been a priest in
the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent DePaul since 1966. After
ordination, he studied in Rome and received a Doctorate in Theology. He served in
a variety of ministries and in a variety of cities during his priesthood: seminary
professor, parish associate and pastor, retreat director, spiritual director and
preacher of parish missions. He served in Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, Dallas,
Alexandria and Grand Coteau, La. In 2006 he returned to New Orleans and has
been serving as spiritual advisor for Ozanam Inn, ministry to homeless as well as
being board member of Hotel Hope, a shelter for unhoused women with children.
St in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He is the leader of the Peace and Justice
Committee of the Western Province of the Congregation. He has been a member of
AUSCP since initial gathering and was board member for two terms.
Diocese of Greensburg
I’m a Founding Father of the AUSCP, and that because I experienced being a member
of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests since the early 1970’s and then a member of
COOPESA, the association of El Salvadoran priests since 1975 and still a member as
well as a member of PAPS, the Guatemalan equivalent from 1990 to 2002 while
working there pastorally.
I’m currently serving a 3 rd term on the AUSCP Leadership Team because an association
as provided for in Canon Law gives agency to priests they would otherwise not be able
to CHOOSE as a Diocesan.
Donna Doucette – Representative of AUSCP Friends
Voice of the Faithful
Donna recently retired as Executive Director of Voice of the Faithful, an organization whose mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. Her work with AUSCP, which led to her participation in the Friends, has included collaborations on white papers, colloquia, and joint projects that promote dialogues to bridge the gap between laity and clergy in the Church.
Prior to her work with the AUSCP Friends and VOTF, Donna ran a technical writing department at a computer software firm, worked as a business consultant, published industry newsletters on energy research and development, and edited science publications. She is a widow, mother of two, grandmother of four, and lives in the Boston metropolitan area.
Fr. Stephen Newton, CSC – Executive Director
Ordained in 1989; Congregation of Holy Cross
Stephen Newton is a member of Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana. He serves as a Campus Minister at St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame. When asked what strengths do you bring to the Leadership Team of the Association of US Catholic priests, he answered: Creative thinking; persistence; faith in the Spirit; desire for authenticity; help others see in new ways.
“I consider status quo to be merely a step to what is next in any endeavor, including religion and spirituality. So I am always looking for new ways to understand and proclaim the Word. Often enough, therefore, I initially find myself on the margins rather than at the center of developments until persistence leads to understanding. Then, it’s time to move on.”
“I have a special affinity for those who have been hurt by the institutional church, ministering primarily to others on the margins: homeless and addicted people; disaffiliated and minority groups; students and catechumens. My approach has tempered through age and experience but thirst for what is right has not. Some folks think my use of spontaneous humor can be very effective; some do not.”
Sr. Jackie Doepker OFM — Executive Secretary
Sr. Jackie Doepker is a Sister of St. Francis of Tiffin, Ohio.
Sister Jackie spent 21 years in elementary education and 16 years in community leadership. She
worked for the Social Action Office of the Diocese of Cleveland for 7 years, developing
programs on Catholic Social Teaching and working on specific social justice issues.
Other past ministries include jail and prison ministry, pastoral ministry, social outreach in
Appalachia, and hosting refugees in a Sanctuary community.
She works to promote the spirit of Vatican II, encourage servant leadership within the Church, and promote justice.
Sr. Jackie has served as Executive Secretary of the AUSCP since September of 2014.
Paul Leingang – Communications and Media
Paul R. Leingang
Paul has assisted AUSCP communications since the first Assembly in St. Leo, Florida, 2012, the year he retired from diocesan communications after 25 years in Evansville, Ind. His background includes minor and major seminary studies in Belleville, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., a bachelor’s in philosophy and education, and post-graduate studies in Theology and Scripture.
Paul’s career included radio and television news, on-air and in management at broadcast stations in Missouri and Illinois, with national honors for his newscasts from United Press International.
Paul and Jane, married in 1971, have two sons and two grandchildren. Paul and Jane participated in Marriage Encounter and Cursillo, and served in diocese leadership for Teens Encounter Christ. They served in local and national leadership in the Christian Family Movement, a Cardijn See-Judge-Act movement, for many years.
Sr. Linda Scheckelhoff – Office Assistant
Sister Linda Scheckelhoff is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, Ohio.
She ministered as an elementary teacher for 8 years, served in community
leadership and worked 25 years as a missionary in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de
las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. She returned to the States in 2020 and has been
working as assistant to Sr. Jackie for 2 and a half years. She strongly believes in
and promotes the values and ideals of Vatican II. She is currently ministering to
Hispanic immigrants in the local county jail and supporting various other social
Last updated October, 2022.