The Saint André Bessette Staff has nearly 150 combined years of experience in liturgical & pastoral services, theological education, program coordination & direct services, resource development, administration, and nonprofit management. Meet the team below!
Fr. John Patrick Riley, CSC | Pastor
A Westerner by heart’s desire, Rev. John Patrick Riley, C.S.C. was born in Buffalo and raised in nearby Lockport, New York, receiving degrees from Jesuit Canisius College of Buffalo and the University of Notre Dame Law School before serving as an Army Judge Advocate Officer in West Germany and Texas. Returning to Notre Dame for seminary and a Master of Divinity, he professed perpetual vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross in ’93 and was ordained in ’94. He has served as associate parishes in South Bend and Colorado Springs, attempted missionary work in Western Uganda cut short by illness, and served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Notre Dame for nine years. In addition to parish ministry, Fr. Riley also enjoys recreational & competitive running, birding, Sherlockian studies, and books in a variety of esoteric subjects, including Westerns.
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Read Fr. John Patrick’s Community Corner Interview
Becky O’Neil McBrayer | Director of Community Programs
Raised on a small farm with her four brothers in Corbett, Oregon, Becky commuted to All Saints Grade School (’89) and Central Catholic High School (’93) in Portland. She studied theology and philosophy at Carroll College in Helena, MT, before earning a B.A. in Theology from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. Alumni of The Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, Becky was a labor and civil rights activist and political campaign manager and consultant in Kentucky and several other U.S. states, before finally returning to Oregon. She is the former Director of Charitable Giving at The Healing Place, Kentucky’s largest shelter and recovery program, and she served as Co-Director at St. Francis Dining Hall in Southeast Portland from 2009-2013. Becky has been at St. Andre Bessette since spring 2014. She is a Board Member of Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and a regional spokesperson on death penalty repeal.
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Andrew Rakestraw | Parish Office Manager
Andrew Rakestraw grew up in the wonderful city of Beaverton, Oregon. He received degrees in both Economics and Political Science at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!). Andrew is an enthusiast of ‘The Man of Steel’ (Superman) and all things superhero-related. He is also very passionate about his hometown team; the Portland Trailblazers. Back in his youth, Andrew was a two time chess champion in the state of Oregon. He is thrilled to work at Saint Andre Bessette Catholic Church, and is striving to positively impact as many lives as possible.
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Tom Gornick | Finance and Facilities Manager
A native Texan born in Dallas and a graduate of Jesuit College Prep and the University of Texas at Austin. Tom was a Tuesday volunteer at SAB before joining the staff in August 2017; SAB represents his third career. Before moving to Portland in 1998, Tom worked in the information industry starting in sales for a book publisher, moving to online services and finally ending as director of sales operation for a commercial software firm. His career took him and his family to Dubuque, IA, New York, Boston and Columbus, OH. In 1998, he joined Portland Archbishop Vlazny’s staff as director of Stewardship and then was asked to create and lead the Department of Evangelization Services. He served the archdiocese till 2014. In 1997 Tom was ordained a deacon serving in Dublin, OH and at St. Mary’s Cathedral. In addition he chaired and served on the United State Bishops’ Commission for Catholic Evangelization; the boards of the DePaul Industries, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Cascade Pacific Council BSA and the South Portland Neighborhood Association. Tom is married with two grown children.
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Rachel Francis | Jesuit Volunteer – Food Pantry Coordinator
A shameless cheesehead, Rachel was born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2017 with degrees in Theology and Pre-Health, where she was heavily involved in Notre Dame’s lesser known sports teams, such as club ultimate frisbee and women’s boxing. Rachel is thrilled to bring her passions for all aspects of food and fellowship to St. Andre Bessette Church as the Jesuit Volunteer and Food Pantry Coordinator this year! Curious and easily humored, she enjoys anything from hiking and swimming to coffee and good conversation.
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Br. Joseph J. DeAgostino C.S.C. | Pastoral Assistant
Hailing originally from the southern-central part of the state of Michigan, Br. Joseph J. DeAgostino, C.S.C. is a temporarily professed member of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in Medieval Studies and Theology respectively. Br. Joe has engaged in a wide variety of ministries during his time thus far with Holy Cross and finds himself most drawn to serving various marginalized populations. He also serves at the University of Portland, working with campus ministry in the areas of faith formation and grief work for students. Additionally, Br. Joe lives and serves as a pastoral resident in a men’s residence hall. Br. Joe enjoys reading (sci-fi/fantasy), exercise, and gaming of various kinds.
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