Church of Saint Brigid Clergy
Rev. Joseph Devine, Pastor
Fr. Devine comes to us from St. Rose of Lima in Meriden where he has been overseeing a vibrant bi-lingual community for the last five years. Prior to that, he was just down the street from us at St. Lawrence O'Toole, and very early in his career he was a Navy chaplain. His is a Connecticut native. Please welcome him warmly to St. Brigid.
Rev. Robert J. Grant
Fr. Grant is in retired from St. Patrick's Church in Collinsville (the church where Fr. Dawson has just become Pastor.) He is in residence at St. Brigid and will be serving as a chaplain at St. Francis Hospital. Occasionally we will have the pleasure of him saying Mass for us.
Deacon C. Eric Thermer
Originally from Waterbury, Connecticut, Deacon Eric is a graduate of Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury and from the University of Hartford where he majored in Politics & Government and Philosophy. His first 1 ½ years in college were spent in residence at St. Thomas Seminary exploring a vocation to the priesthood. As life and finances would have it, Deacon Eric found himself unable to attend college full-time and used his restaurant skills to land full-time employment with the Howard-Johnson’s Company as an assistant manager as he worked his way through college. Through a remarkable chain of events and divine providence, Deacon Eric met his wife, Cathryn, while attending a summer economics class at UCONN in West Hartford and then changed careers from the hospitality industry to law enforcement. Deacon Eric and his wife have been married 24 years and have a 17 year old daughter Sara and a 12 year old son Jesse. Cathryn is a registered nurse by trade and serves as the parish nurse at St.Timothy’s in West Hartford.
Deacon Eric is a 24-year law enforcement veteran who has served both in municipal and state police forces in a wide variety of patrol and administrative functions. Deacon Eric retired from state service at the rank of Lieutenant from the Office of Administrative Services as the Commandant of the Connecticut State Police Academy and Educational Coordinator for the Department of Public Safety in 2007.
While in the State Police, Deacon Eric earned his master degree in Public Administration from the University of New Haven (’92) and then his doctorate in Education from the University of Hartford (’98). Since 1998, Deacon Eric has taught at all levels of higher education holding adjunct positions at Middlesex Community College in the Criminal Justice Program; a visiting faculty position in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford as well as an adjunct role in the Sociology Department teaching policing and leadership related courses; an adjunct faculty position at the Albertus Magnus College at the graduate and undergraduate levels teaching Change Strategies, Religion in the Workplace and American Government. He also held positions at Quinnipiac University as Associate Director of the Organizational Leadership Program and Visiting Assistant Professor of Management in the Lender School of Business. In August 2010, Deacon Eric joined Goodwin College as Associate Professor and Director of the Organizational Studies and the Business Administration Programs. In March of 2011, he was promoted to Chair of the Department of Social Science, Business and Education. Additionally, he is the director of the Transitions Food Pantry at Goodwin College which provides services to the Goodwin College community and their families and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Hartford YMCA.
Always aware of the presence of almighty God throughout his law enforcement career, Deacon Eric responded to the call to continue his service of God’s people in the diaconate. As a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Deacon Eric is a devoted supporter of the clergy and the Holy Catholic Church. With the Church in crisis and the moral fabric of our culture under attack, Deacon Eric entered the diaconate program in the summer of 2005 and was ordained in June of 2010. It was a remarkable journey of learning and faith building that led to Deacon Eric’s ordination and allowed him the privilege to minister at St. Patrick Church in Farmington before coming to St. Brigid Church in February. Deacon Eric also serves on the organizing committee of the Connecticut Catholic Men’s Conference. He has a passion for leading men back to fulfill their spiritual leadership roles in their families and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through work in the Church and the greater community.