Father Michael was named the 16th Rector of Trinity Church in February, 2015. He comes to Asbury Park from Red Wing, Minnesota, where he served as Rector of Christ Episcopal Church for three years. Prior to that he served as the Curate at All Saints Episcopal Church in New Albany, Ohio.
Father Michael offers this brief description of his faith journey: “Serving as a priest in the Episcopal Church constitutes my second career, following a twenty year stint directing special events at major New York City cultural institutions and, in the sports world, organizing hospitality programs for corporate sponsors at “Grand Slam” tournaments around the country. I was always drawn to the church and sensed from a young age that I was called to the priesthood, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually begin the long journey toward ordination. But it was not until I returned to my native Ohio in order to care for my frail, elderly parents that I recognized that God was providing me with the opportunity to close the chapter on my first career and begin the next in God’s service.
I approach my role as priest armed with a passion for hospitality, a love for liturgy, a commitment to social justice, a desire to offer pastoral care and, above all, a conviction that I can best serve God by helping others to discover the respective gifts and talents they can bring to the service of God and their neighbor.
Deacon Gail was assigned by the bishop to Trinity Church in January, 2005. She is a gifted pastor. Years of serving as a volunteer hospital chaplain and now as a hospice chaplain have given her a keen ability to be present to a person in pain. In addition to having a love for youth ministry, Gail possess strong desire to bring the awareness of the poor, the lonely and those in need to the wider congregation. She has been a part of the diocesan mission group to the province of Haiti four times and served as a chaplain at Ground Zero for nine months.
Diane Caruso has been the Director of Music for Trinity Church, Asbury Park, NJ since July 2005. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College, studying with Terry Yount and Robert McIver, and her Master of Music Degree from Westminster Choir College, studying organ with William Hays and choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt. She served churches in both Riverton and Princeton, New Jersey prior to coming to Trinity.
Since coming to Trinity, Diane has expanded the music program substantially. She has rebuilt the Adult Choir, overseeing its growth in numbers and musicianship, greatly increasing its repertoire and parish responsibilities. She has also founded the Trinity Choristers, an after-school outreach initiative, which provides homework help, free piano lessons, and mentoring for children from ages 5-17. The Choristers are also an active choir of the parish, regularly singing Eucharistic services and Evensong both on their own and with the Adult Choir. Trinity Choristers are now in demand in the community of Asbury Park as well, occasionally singing for civic occasions. In 2007, the Junior Choristers were formed as a training ground for younger singers in grades K-2. The program is affiliated with and active in the Royal School of Church Music.
When time permits, Diane enjoys reading, gardening, baking, and restoring her 122 year-old home in Riverton, NJ, where she lives with her husband Jim, and daughter Astrid.
Interested in learning about one or all of our choirs? Contact Diane. She will be more than happy to speak with you.
Assisting Ecumenical Pastor
Jill Osis has day to day charge of the parish offices, volunteer coordination and does much of the financial record keeping for the parish. Her office is the hub of information. If you are ever in doubt about a program or ministry, call Jill. You will be greeted by a warm voice ready to help you.
Fr. Tom, a Catholic priest is retired from active ministry and has a small private psychotherapy practice in Asbury Park. Tom and his partner, Malcolm, have lived in Asbury Park for 12 years with their dogs: Chloe, Bojkie, Lily and Rosie.
They are co-owners of Heaven Art and Antiques on 721 Cookman Avenue and both are involved in Asbury's civic life. Malcolm works with the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), which works at bringing new business into Asbury Park and contributes to restoring the city's infrastructure.
Tom is a Monmouth County Master Gardener, the Chair of the Asbury Park Environment and Shade Tree Commission and the Vice Chair of the Asbury park Hope Academy Charter School; Foundation Board.
Tom says, "Trinity has become my place of worship because of its uniqueness as a diverse community of faith. Tradition and ritual are wrapped in welcome and acceptance and God is alive here. The invitation to extend the Eucharistic table out the doors into our daily life where a God-hungry world awaits is a constant theme that nourishes and challenges me every Sunday."
Tom assists Trinity by doing the pre-marital counseling with couples, participating in the Adult Formation classes, and preaching at the weekend liturgies on a regular basis.