Pastor: Fr. Brian Cokonougher
Phone: 586-791-3930 ext. 312
Fr. Brian was born in Warren, Michigan in 1969. His parents are John & Betty Cokonougher. He also has two younger brothers, Joseph and Daniel. After living in Roseville through the grade school and Jr. High school years his family moved to Yale (in northern St. Clair County) in 1982. He graduated from Yale High School in 1987 and attended St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron for two years before entering Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit in 1989 to study for the Catholic priesthood. He graduated from SHMS College in 1992 and SHMS School of Theology in 1999. Fr. Brian was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 22, 1999. His assignments to date have been:
- Joan of Arc, St. Clair Shores (associate pastor, 1999-2002)
- Gerard – Immaculate Heart of Mary – Presentation/Our Lady of Victory, Detroit (associate pastor, 2002-2003)
- Jude, Detroit (pastor, 2003-2005)
- Holy Trinity, Port Huron (pastor, 2005-2016)
- St. Thecla, Clinton Township (pastor, 2016 to present)
In 2006 Fr. Brian received training in Pastoral Spanish at the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas in order to better serve the spiritual needs of Spanish-speaking parishioners in Port Huron. Between 2011 and 2014 Fr. Brian received training in the Spirituality of the Diocesian Priesthood and Spiritual Direction through the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska. Since 2014 he has served as an adjunct spiritual director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
For fun Fr. Brian loves to travel. He has organized and led parish pilgrimages to Italy (2007), the Holy Land (2009), Greece (2011), Ireland (2013) and France & Spain (2015). He also loves learning about American History through reading and visiting historical sites around the US. In addition to traveling, Fr. Brian likes to play the trumpet, attend concerts (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Jazz Festival) and watch Detroit Tigers ball games.
Associate Pastor: Fr. Radek Zablocki
Phone: 586-791-3930 ext. 314
My name is Radoslaw Zablocki and I am the associate pastor here at St Thecla Parish. May 23rd, 2015 was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
I am from Poland, where I was born and raised. My home town is Kolo, it has a population of 25 thousand, and is located in central Poland on a main road and railway track that runs from east to west. My home town parish is Our Lady of Czestochowa (Parafia Matki Boskiej Czestochowskiej). It is a young parish, erected in 1982. It is the parish where I received the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. For many years I was an altar server and my vocation to the priesthood was born there.
After I finished elementary school, I went on to high school. It was during this time the idea of the priesthood first appeared in my mind, but I did not decide to go to seminary just yet, I went to university to study history. In 2002, I graduate and received a MA in History. I started to work as a history teacher in middle school and in high school. I worked there for a few years. During this time for the second time, the idea of the priesthood appeared in my mind. I decided to talk with my pastor about going to the Diocesan seminary in Wloclawek. He had no objections and in September 2008, I entered the seminary in Wloclawek where I studied philosophy. During this time I was involved in missionary activities in our seminary; also during my time in the seminary beginning about 2009, I decided to continue my studies at SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary, and to be a priest in the USA. So, I left the seminary in Wloclawek and in September 2009, I continued my studies in Cracow where SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary has a formation house.
During this time in Cracow, I along with another seminarian prepared to study in Orchard Lake, Michigan. We had an intensive English course that included Mass in English three time a week and prayers in English such as the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
In 2011, I came to The United States to study theology and to prepare for the priesthood in this country. During my studies, I decided to join the Archdiocese of Detroit and to serve as a priest here in the Detroit area. St Thecla is my first assignment and I would like to use my skills that I received during my theology studies, to bring people to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Deacon Tom Houle
Phone: 586-791-3930 ext. 317
Born Pre-Vatican II, I grew up at Guardian Angels in Detroit and was an Altar Server well into my High School days. I attended Sacred Heart Seminary for High School as I wanted to become a priest. I was encouraged at that time by several priests who became role models for me. Although I enjoyed my time at the Seminary, it became evident by my junior year that this particular calling was not for me.
I received my BS from Eastern Michigan University with a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate. However, as providence has a tendency to intervene, I quickly found myself in the Paint and Coatings Technology field. I continue in a related field to this day.
I met Conni shortly after College graduation through a mutual friend on my softball team. She not only became my hairdresser but my girlfriend as well. We were married in April of 1979. She has been my true source of strength, encouragement and my constant reminder of humility. Conni & I have two children, Tim and Beth. Tim married Erica in May of 2007 and they have three children, Sebastian, Milo and Imogen.
Providence played a role again after Tim had graduated from College and Beth was in her freshman year at Eastern. I had an encounter with someone who would guide my path vividly and decisively since then – Jesus. This time, the calling was true and not to be denied. I always asked the Lord, when are you going to put this all together? That one St. Blase Sunday in 2004 is when I received my answer.
I started to attend classes at Sacred Heart Major Seminary that spring and the attraction only got stronger. After two years of study I applied for the Permanent Diaconate and Conni & I were accepted into formation. Formation was just that, shaping, molding and forming. I was ordained by Archbishop Vigneron on October, 1, 2011. Providence was at play again as I was assigned by the Archbishop to St. Thecla.
The encounter continues today with my relationship with Jesus being ever strengthened by the Body of Christ at St. Thecla. It is an honor and privilege to be of diakonia (service) to this amazing School and Parish of St. Thecla.
Faith Formation Director: Jeanine Walker
Phone: 586-791-3930 ext. 363