Parish Office Hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Our Pastoral Team is here to assist you in whatever way we can.
Fr. Eamon Tobin
Fr. Eamon was born and raised in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He was Ordained for the Diocese of Orlando in 1972. He has a Masters Degree in Formative Spirituality from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Fr. Eamon came to Ascension Parish in September 2001. He has written books and articles including Prayer, A Handbook for Today’s Catholic and How to Forgive Yourself and Others. Hobbies: Reading, movies, golf, dinner with friends.
254-1595 ext 3070
Fr. Michael DiRenzo
Part time Assistant
Fr. Mike was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Fr. Mike was ordained for the Diocese of Steubenville in May of 1970. He is a retired Air Force chaplain. Fr. Mike ministers at Ascension on the weekends and helps as needed throughout the week.
Deacon Michael McElwee
Director of Adult Religious Education and Director of Ministries
Deacon Michael McElwee was born and raised in Philadelphia. He holds a Masters of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. Michael and his wife Eileen and their four children came to Ascension in 1990. Michael was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 1993. He is the Director of Parish Ministeries – especially overseeing our Adult scripture and spirituality programs and outreach to the poor. Hobbies: running, tennis, sports, gardening and reading with one eye on the TV.
254-1595 ext 3076
Deacon Dr. Sergio Colon, D.Min.
Grief Ministry, Counseling
Deacon Sergio was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Brooklyn New York. He spent 21 years in the U.S. Air Force and is a Vietnam Veteran. He has degrees in Philosophy, theology, chemical dependency. He is a Board Certified Master Addiction Counselor. Deacon Sergio also has a Masters and Doctorate degrees in Pastoral Psychology counseling. Areas of ministry: presides at baptisms, marriages and wake services, grief support counseling. He also works with Tribunal work at the Diocese. Deacon Sergio and his wife, Elsa, have one daughter and one grandchild
(Those seeking counseling services of Deacon Sergio, please be aware that he is not a paid employee of the parish)
254-1595 ext 3082
Deacon Tom Stauffacher
Deacon Tom was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Montana and a Master of Science Degree from Florida Institute of Technology. After retiring from the Army in 1993, he moved to Melbourne with his wife, Kathryn and two children, Michael and Maribeth. Deacon Tom was ordained permanent deacon in 2004. Ministries at Ascension: Coordinates our Adult Confirmation Program and the Altar Servers. Presides at baptism, marriages and wake services. His “outside the walls of Ascension” ministries include: Catholic Campus Ministries (Florida Tech), Daily Bread and the Ascension Thrift Shop. He teaches at Florida Tech in the College of Business, plays tuba in the Melbourne Municipal Band and in the Ascension Brass Ensemble.
Principal, Ascension Catholic School
Doug was born and raised in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and has had the honor of serving as a Catholic school principal in Hawaii, Virginia and Tennessee before arriving at Ascension in 2007. He received his education at the Virginia Military Institute, the University of Southern California, and Mount St. Mary College, where he received the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts, Master of Science in Systems Management, and Master of Education in Primary and Secondary Education. Doug is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Immaculate Heart of Mary Award and a Certificate of Excellence in Faculty Faith Formation from the Diocese of Memphis, two Meritorious Service Medals, from the President of the United States, for his service during Desert Storm, and the Navy Commendation Medal for Educational Leadership. He has participated in several humanitarian or disaster relief operations, while serving with The United States Marine Corps.
As a member of the Board of Directors for the Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County, Doug represents the interests of private sector schools and has been instrumental in adding four Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten classrooms at Ascension. He also introduced the “Soarin’” program for gifted students, developed by Mary Wells. Having a good deal of experience in Special Education, Doug is also aware of the needs of those students and is dedicated to meeting the needs of all, within the capability of the school. Doug also serves on the Board of Trustees of Central Catholic High School and is deeply committed to the growth, expansion and continuous improvement.
As an active member of the parish, Doug serves as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and enjoys the opportunity to worship with and support Ascension families.
Sr. Joseph Barden
Director of Development, Ascension Catholic School
Sister Joseph Barden was born and reared in Ireland where she received her B.A. degree, in 1963 and her Higher Diploma. in Education the following year. She taught Math and Music for two years at the Convent High School in Ardee, Ireland. She entered with the Sisters of Mercy in Ardee in 1957, was professed in 1960, and in 1966 was assigned to join the Ardee Sisters already in the U.S.
She taught a variety of classes at Holy Name of Jesus School for five years before coming to Ascension as Principal in 1971. She received her Master’s degree in School Administration from Stetson University, and took summer courses at Barry College to become certified During her 30 years as Principal she helped the school to grow from 223 to over 600 students and receive a National Blue Ribbon Award in 1986. She assisted in the campaign to build a new school that was completed in 1997 and made it possible to have a double stream of classes PK -8.
Sister retired from her work as Principal to become the Development Director for the school in 2000. Her first project was to build a school gymnasium that was completed in three years. Apart from her work in Development, Sister is a Parish lector and helps school students to become proficient at reading in Church. When time permits, she assists the Science teacher in preparing students for Science Fairs. Interests are: reading, cooking, photography, and gardening.
Director of Music, Liturgy & Initiation
Mary was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Mary and her family came to Cocoa Beach in 1986. She joined the Ascension staff in 2003. She holds a Master’s degree in Theology and Liturgy from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Mary oversees all of the music and liturgical ministries. For the past several years Mary has a national ministry in Christian Initiation and Sacramental Catechesis and has written several books and articles in these areas. Hobbies: movies and dinner with friends.
254-1595 ext 3068
Director of Religious Education (K-12)
While born in Wisconsin, Betsy was raised on the west coast of Florida. She left Florida for 8 years while pursuing degrees at Southern Methodist University (B.A.) and the University of Notre Dame (Master of Divinity). She moved back to Florida and served as a DRE in Port Orange, FL for 5 years before joining Ascension in 2008. Betsy oversees our Religious Education program, which has about 450 students grades K through 12th and about 25 catechists. In her leisure time, Betsy enjoys music, making scrapbooks and spending time with her family (including her new niece born in March 2008).
254-1595 ext 3080
Religious Ed. Assistant
Shelly was born and raised in Ohio and moved to Melbourne Florida with her husband Dave in 2002. She joined Ascension parish and became involved teaching religious education in 2003. She and Dave adopted their son in 2005, and so joined Playground Pals and continue to be active in the FISH ministry for preschoolers. Shelly is also actively involved in the CRHP ministry. Recently she began working as the assistant to the Director of Religious Education as well as with the Extended Care at Ascension School. In her free time, Shelly enjoys doing crafts, reading and cooking.
Junior High Youth Minister
Mary was born and raised in Enon, Ohio. In 1979 she graduated from Wright State University School of Nursing and worked as a nurse until 2007, the last twelve years in hospice. In 2009 she finished her Masters in Pastoral Studies through LIMEX, Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program, and now serves as a junior high youth minister. She also helps teach 4th and 7th grade Religious Education. She and her husband Rick have two grown sons- Daniel and David. Her favorite things to do include camping, reading, and learning how to do new stuff on the computer.
Music Director for Contemporary Music
Ashley was born and raised in the heart of Cajun country: Lafayette, Louisiana. Ashley and his family came to Ascension in 2004. He has certificates in ministry from NET Ministries, and in Liturgy from the National Life Teen Program. Ashley directs the Contemporary Music Ensemble for the 5:30 PM Sunday Mass and provides music for many ministries of the parish. In the midst of ministry and family life, Ashley has recorded his first CD, “Set Me On Fire” a collection of original works. Interests: biking, frisbee golf, gardening and spending time with his wife and children. Ashley’s personal site is at www.ashleybreaux.com
254-1595 ext 3077
Mark was born in St. Louis, MO., grew up in St. Louis area and is a fan of the Rams, Cardinals and SLU Billiken basketball. He and his family have been very active in Ascension parish. His wife Theresa is a 1st. grade teacher at Ascension school, daughters Celia, Susan and Mary have all attended Ascension school and have been very active in youth ministry. Mark has been involved in ministry as a volunteer since he participated as a teenager and young adult in Teens Encounter Christ (where he met his wife) and served on the board of directors. At Ascension, he has served as an RCIA Catechist, CRHP Spiritual Director, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and Core Team Member of Youth Group. He likes Catholic apologetics and has a love of the Summa by St. Thomas Aquinas. He is working toward a Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies. He has bachelors in Business Administration and Management Information Systems and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
254-1595 ext 3075
Parish Office Staff
Teresa was born and raised in California. She is the smiling face that you see when you come to the Church Office. Teresa and her husband Dan have been members of the Ascension Community since 2001, and are active in many Parish Ministries. They have 1 daughter and 2 grandsons. Teresa enjoys cooking for family and friends, gardening, spending time with the grandkids, and facilitating the women’s group, Women Of the Word (W.O.W.), on Tuesday nights.
Mary was born in Leominster, MA and raised in Plantation, Florida. She has 20 years experience in both legal and accounting professional offices. Mary is the parish’s CFO and budget manager. She is also actively involved in our Junior High Religious Education program and in the process of becoming a Master Catechist. Mary and her husband, Tom have two children. For recreation Mary enjoys tennis, cooking, reading and spending time with her family.
254-1595 ext 3078
Parish Secretary / Bulletin
Maria was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Connecticut. Before joining our parish staff in 1991, Maria worked as a registered nurse for ten years. Maria is secretary for Fr. Tobin and Mary Birmingham, our Music/Liturgy Director and prepares our weekly bulletin and helps in other areas as needed. Maria, a widow, has two grown children and two grandchildren. Maria has a great love of theatre. For a number of years, she co-coordinated St. Genesius Players, a theatre ministry, which presented a Junior Musical in the Fall (grades 3-6) and a Broadway Musical Production in June (grades 7-12).
254-1595 ext 3072
Anne was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Long Island. She received a certificate in Business and Word Processing from Suffolk Community College in New York, holds an AS degree in Child Development and Education from Brevard Community College, and is currently working towards her degree in Business Administration. Anne joined Ascension in 2005. She is the assistant to the parish’s CFO and budget manager, as well as provides support to office staff. Anne and her husband George, have two sons. She enjoys the theatre, leisure time with her family and friends, and reading.
254-1595 ext 3074