Reverend Augustine DeArmond, O.P., Pastor
Rev. Augustine Joseph DeArmond, O.P., was born Michael Joseph DeArmond in Hammond, Louisiana, on April 17, 1980. He is the son of Larry and Kathy DeArmond of Springfield, Louisiana. He hails from a large family, Sicilian on his mother’s side (the Notariano Family) and Cajun-French on his father’s side. He spent his childhood on a small cattle farm, involved in livestock projects for 4-H and FFA. He also was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, holding the rank of Eagle Scout.
Michael graduated from Springfield High School in 1998. After a brief period of priestly discernment with the Diocese of Baton Rouge, he attended Southeastern Louisiana University, where he earned a Bachelor of General Studies (2002) and a Master of Arts in English with a Concentration in Professional Writing (2006).
Before entering the Order of Preachers, his professional activities included: Technical Assistant and Liaison for Southeastern Louisiana University, originally working directly for the Office of Technology and later assigned to work with the Division of Student Affairs, focusing his work in the Office of Career Services. After completion of his undergraduate, he worked for the Hammond Holiday Inn Conference Center in Food & Beverage, before moving on to the Management Training Program and becoming a shift manager and part-time auditor. When he returned to Southeastern for graduate studies, he interned as a graduate assistant with the Office of Career Services, assisting the professional staff with promotional media, outreach to employers, and daily administrative duties. At the completion of his coursework, he taught English and Catholic Studies at Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville, LA, where he also oversaw the publication of the school yearbook.
Hearing the call to continue discerning the priesthood, Michael returned to Southeastern, seeking a salary that would help him reduce his educational debt and give him more flexibility in his schedule to make retreats. He became the Employment Relations Coordinator, a position that required him to outreach to employers nationwide, schedule on-campus interviews, publicize job vacancies, and coordinate the annual career fair.
In late 2006, Michael’s discernment shifted considerably, when he first considered whether he was called to religious life. The Dominican Friars have been part of his life since Fr. Brian Donovan, O.P., of the Province of St. Martin de Porres baptized him at Holy Ghost Church in Hammond. Once he began spending more time with the friars, he realized that this was the place God had been calling him to for many years.
In August of 2007, Michael entered his Novitiate at St. Albert the Great Priory in Irving, Texas. In addition to a life of prayer and community, he volunteered at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and spent several days at the province’s mission parish in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This was the first time Michael lived more than 20 miles from his home. He soon learned that “home” was wherever his Dominican community happened to be.
Michael professed Simple Vows on August 10, 2008, taking the religious name “Augustine” after his long-time hero St. Augustine of Hippo. He spent the next three years studying at Aquinas Institute of Theology and residing at St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis, Missouri. During that time, he had the opportunity to teach RCIA classes at St. Justin Martyr Parish, study Christian-Muslim dialogue in Cairo, Egypt, and minister in St. Louis-area jails and juvenile detention centers.
Br. Augustine professed Solemn Vows on May 25, 2011. He went on to study for a year at Blackfriars Hall in Studium, residing at the Priory of the Holy Spirit in Oxford, UK. Upon returning to the States, Br. Augustine began his final year of initial studies at Aquinas Institute and was ordained a Deacon on September 15, 2012, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in St. Louis. During his final year, Deacon Brother Augustine served at St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, were he had previously served as an RCIA catechist. He graduated with his Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity on May 10, 2013, also receiving Certificates in Thomistic Studies and Biblical Studies.
On June 8, 2013, Deacon Brother Augustine moved to his soon-to-be new home at St. Peter Dominican Community in Memphis, Tennessee. On June 22, Bishop J. Terry Steib of Memphis ordained Father Augustine to the Priesthood at St. Peter Catholic Church. Fr. Chris Eggleton, O.P., Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, assigned Father Augustine to St. Peter Dominican Community on that day. At that time, Bishop Steib granted him full priestly faculties and later named him Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Catholic Parish, there to assist the Father John Boll, O.P., Pastor.
On Sunday, June 23, Father Augustine celebrated his Mass of Thanksgiving, surrounded by family, friends, new and old parishioners, his brother Dominicans, and his new community of Friars here at St. Peter’s. He looks forward to this new phase of his vocation and serving the St. Peter’s Community.
Reverend John E. Lydon, O.P., Parochial Vicar
Reverend Doctor Paul D. Watkins, O.P., In Residence
Rev. Paul Watkins, O.P. spent his early childhood in Ann Arbor, MI and then his high school and college years in and about New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Tulane University. Fr. Paul entered the Dominican Order in 1984 and was ordained in 1990. He has two masters degrees in theology: one from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and another from the Graduate Theological Union. He also has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Virginia. He has ministered in California, Atlanta, New Orleans and now Memphis. Fr. Paul is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Marketing, Management and Economics in the School of Business at Christian Brothers University. He teaches Business ethics and marketing courses there. Lastly, Fr. Paul loves photography, and cooking New Orleans dishes.
Reverend Victor Laroche, O.P., In Residence
Fr. Victor Laroche, O.P. – a native of Haiti – is fluent in English, Haitian Creole, French and Spanish. Before arriving at St. Peter, he served as Priest Chaplain at Duke University Hospital (Durham, NC). Previously, he served as Chaplain at two Catholic universities, respectively in Miami, FL (2001-2003) and San Antonio, TX (2003-2004). Fr. Victor spent the months of July and August 2013 in Trogir, Croatia, where he was an interpreter (French to English) for the General Chapter of the Dominicans. During his years in Texas and North Carolina (2003 – 2013), Fr. Victor was a preacher, spiritual director and retreat director as well as hospital chaplain.
Reverend Mr. Eddie Ramsey, Deacon
Jane Scharding-Smedley, Organist/Choirmaster
Organist-Choirmaster since 1980, Jane oversees the musical and liturgical life of the parish. Jane holds both Bachelor and Master degrees in Sacred Music, and the Colleague and Choirmaster certificates from the American Guild of Organists. A former Board member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, she serves as their regional liaison.
Christina Klyce, Director of Religious Education
Christina Klyce has been the Director of Religious Education at St. Peter Church since 2003. Her love for catechesis began as a special ed teacher in the Catholic Schools, and blossomed when she began Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training in 1998. In addition to her work with the children in the atrium, she is committed to the ongoing catechesis of teenagers and adults and helping adults of other faith traditions learn more about the Catholic faith through RCIA.
Beth Mitchell, Director of Communications / Outreach Coordinator
Julia Waggoner & Devan Langston, Youth Team Co-Coordinators
Brenda A. Pryor, Office Manager
Leon Coffey, Maintenance Assistant
St. Peter Parish Council
Parish Council Coordinator
Fr. Augustine DeArmond, OP
Deacon Eddie Ramsey
Church Office Manager
Archives: Bobbie Rennie, Chair, Eugene McDermott, Asst. Chair
Communications: Beth Mitchell
Finance: Ramon Marus
Hospitality: Melissa Petersen
Liturgy: Tommie Cervetti
Maintenance: (currently vacant)
Ministry to the Sick/Homebound: Kathy Anthony, Jim Owen
Music: Jane Scharding Smedley
New Parishioners: Warren Johnson
Outreach: Beth Mitchell
Planning: Jim Latta
Religious Education: Christina Klyce
Stewardship: Bill Robinson
Youth: Julia Waggoner, Devan Langston – Co-Coordinators
Young Adults: JD Elder
Diocese of Memphis