BIOGRAPHY

Biography

 

Frank DeSiano, CSP, was born in New York City in 1945 and raised on the West Side, in the Amsterdam Housing Projects.  He attended St. Paul the Apostle Church, mother church of the Paulist Fathers, and the parish school.  He studied at St. Charles in Baltimore, St. Peter's in Baltimore and St. Paul's College in Washington, DC. 

After ordination in 1972, he served in Portland, Oregon, as a parish priest at St. Philip Neri Parish.   Three years later, he served as Vocation Director for the Paulists and then, in 1978, as Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle in New York for nine years.  Completing a year of studies at Boston University (D. Min. 1990), he undertook a new pastoral program, Parish Based Evangelization, and worked for six years in a variety of parishes in the Washington, DC area.  During this time, he formed numerous evangelization teams, developed particular strategies of evangelization for different parishes, served as a Consultor to the US Bishops Committee on Evangelization, and worked as a writer in the development of "Go and Make Disciples, A Plan and Strategy for Evangelization in the United States." (1992).

 He authored or co-authored numerous books on faith (Presenting the Catholic Faith, Yes I Can Believe), on evangelization (Creating the Evangelizing Parish, The Evangelizing Catholic, Discovering My Experience of God), and on spirituality (The 7 Commandments of Discipleship). He is currently working on issues of theology and discipleship.   "Reactivating Our Catholic Faith," a book to help Catholics begin to get real about their faith, was published by Paulist Press in May, 2009.  He recently wrote "Why Not Consider Becoming a Catholic?" —available from www.pemdc.org.  Most recently he completed "Mission America: Challenges and Opportunities for Catholics Today" (available at www.paulistpress.com, and www.pemdc.org).  He also conducts parish renewals (missions) and presents at many conferences for dioceses, parishes and organizations. 

 He was elected President of the Paulist Fathers (1994-2002), and then served as Pastor of the newly constructed church of Old St. Mary in the Near South Loop in Chicago (2002-2006) where he began Old St. Mary's Catholic School with Barbara Smith as the first principal.   He became First Consultor of the Paulist Fathers in 2006 and returned to New York City once again (2006-2010). 

 While in Chicago, he developed the "Chicago Institute of Evangelization" with the evangelization committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He devotes a lot of time to training lay people in evangelization, and presenting to clergy and lay leaders about become a more evangelizing church.  He is a featured speaker in the "Paulist Comprehensive Evangelization Training" videos released in July, 2012.   He has also developed a process to help Catholics become more active in their faith, called "Awakening Faith" which is available through Paulist Evangelization Ministries (formerly PNCEA) in Washington, DC. Another project, "Seeking Christ," is designed to help parishes welcome and involve those seeking to be Catholics at any point after the RICA has begun in a parish  appeared in the Spring of 2010.  He is involved in developing material to help attract people to the Catholic faith and designing retreat experiences for parishes.

He has completed working on three new pastoral projects.  "Neighbors Reaching Neighbors: A Parish Invitation Tool Kit," is a collection of resources parishes can use to invite neighbors to get to better know us Catholics as people. He also a weekend-retreat experience for parishes--one that centers of discipleship and leads to ongoing small-group processes. In addition, he edited the "Catholic Book of Daily Prayer," and "Encountering the Living God"--a collection of reflections by David Thorp. In development is a new program to help people renew their experience of the God of Jesus.

His latest outreach, called "The Journey/El Camino," is designed to help Catholics and others affirm their personal relationship with Jesus.  Developed in three Parts, each Part explore a dimension of faith in an experiential way, using the dynamics of "lectio divina."  Part 1 deals with our experience of Jesus, Part 2 with our experience of Jesus' community, and Part 3 with our experience of his way of life.  

In January, 2009, he began  serving as President of Paulist Evangelization Ministries (formerly PNCEA) in Washington, where he presently resides.  He was elected to the Paulist General Council in 2010 and again in 2014.  The Paulists asked him to serve as interim Director of Formation in 2016.  When not in DC, he can be found on a highway or an airport.


SHORTER BIOGRAPHY

Fr. Frank DeSiano, born in New York City, was ordained as a Paulist priest in 1972.  He has served as pastor in downtown New York and in Chicago.  In 1990, he earned a D. Min. from Boston University, completing his dissertation on "Parish Based Evangelization."  He served as consultor for the US Bishops' Committee on Evangelization for over a dozen years.  He has written numerous books on spirituality, discipleship and evangelization, and is frequently published in periodicals like The Priest, Catechetical Leader, and Deacon Digest. In 1994 he was elected President of the Paulist Fathers  He presently lives  in Washington where he is president of Paulist Evangelization Ministries. He travels widely, conducting parish renewals (missions), presenting to Catholic clergy at convocations and retreats, and discussing the relationship of evangelization and catechesis.  Among his books are: "Mission America: Challenges and Opportunities for Catholics Today," "Faith and Culture in Catholic Education," and (e-book) "New Perspectives: A Report on the Synod on the New Evangelization."  He has developed processes to reach inactive Catholics and new inquirers for the RCIA.  He is overseeing the development of The Journey/El Camino, a process to help Catholics and others re-affirm their faith in Jesus Christ.  He is also working on a book about evangelization and liturgy.   


 


Summer Camp, approximately 1956, with Ricky De La Pena, from the archives of Joe Salgado.

 

I'm on the left, of course.

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