Crossroads Initiative Board Members
Fr. Mark Kusmirek
Father Mark Kusmirek was ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco as a Roman Catholic Priest in May 1977 following eight years of seminary formation. His seminary training was in California.
In 1995 Father Mark came on a visit to a seminary classmate of his who was assigned to a parish in Marshall, Texas. Finding that he enjoyed the area, he asked for a transfer here to the Diocese of Tyler.
He spent five years as pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church in Kilgore. In addition he has served for five years as a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy, serving Navy, Coast Guard and Marine units.
Since return to East Texas Father Mark has served as pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Rusk and now as Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in Jacksonville, Texas. That parish has grown from 350 families to 1,035 in four years. He recently completed building a new six hundred and fifty seat capacity church to accommodate the 1,200 people who attend the weekend masses. A food pantry feeding over 1,100 people monthly, an early childhood learning center and English as a second language classes, summer lunch program for children and school supplies for children in need are also a part of the parish life.
In addition to his ministry to his parish, he also serves as a Certified Volunteer Chaplain Assistant at Skykview and Hodge Units of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice here in Rusk, as well as ministry at Rusk State Hospital and other community activities. He is also a member of the Jacksonville Chambers of Commerce and Chairman of the Community Development Division and was selected as “Chairperson of the Year” in 2007. He is the Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman-elect for 2010.
In 2007 Fr. Mark was elected to the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Tyler to serve as a consultant to Bishop Alvaro Corrada. Fr. Mark is a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Assembly 2151.
Chris Hardin grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1987 with a degree in geotechnical and environmental engineering. He is a professional engineer with over 20 years experience starting and running numerous engineering businesses that specialize in the remediation of environmental contamination, solid waste management and protection of groundwater.
Even though Chris enjoys his work as an environmental engineer, his passion is his Christian vocation as the husband of Jeffie, and the father of four wonderful children, Rebekah, Joseph, Sarah and Benjamin. Chris and his family see the Catholic faith and the work of Crossroads as a natural extension of their family mission to “remain in the love of God as He has loved us”.
In addition to his vocation as a Catholic family man and work in the environmental field, Chris also spends most of his free time raising vegetables, grass-fed beef and chickens as a part-time organic farmer. This family hobby keeps Chris and his family grounded, and allows him to experience the joys and pains of a farming lifestyle.
Bill Christensen has been a direct marketing strategist and creative consultant to an international clientele for over twenty-five years. He specializes in improving marketing performance for organizations within the fields of publishing, banking, credit, insurance and retail investments. Clients have included companies such as Sylvan Learning Systems, Mellon Bank, Commercial Credit, United Group Companies, Legal and General (London), Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Advertising Age, Forbes, Phillips Publishing International, and more. He is a recipient of numerous national awards and is recognized for creating some of the "most profitable direct mail campaigns ever produced," as is documented in the industry textbook, Million Dollar Mailings. Bill has volunteered extensively with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and provided marketing, fundraising and capital development assistance to a number of Catholic organizations including Project Rachel, Christlife, the Nashville Dominicans, Ave Maria University, and Ave Maria School of Law.
George Misulia is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Business and holds a Masters of Religious Studies and a Masters of Biblical Studies from Providence College, where he taught theology before entering into full time campus and youth ministry. He was a founder of University Christian Outreach as well as the Director of Crossroads Music and Education for fifteen years. He co-hosted two radio shows, The Spirit and the Word and Common Ground. With his band Crossroads, George recorded fourteen albums and numerous music videos. His original compositions include internationally published songs such as Let The Fire Fall, Enter In and Put On Jesus Christ which have been translated into over fifteen languages. He has appeared on EWTN numerous times and has provided music for Catholic conferences throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. As a director of music for St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Westminster, MD for fifteen years George has provided musical leadership for retreats, Lifenights and the weekly Lifeteen Mass.
Barney Smith is president of SmithPrint, Inc, a commercial printing company which he founded in San Antonio, TX in 1995. He has been active in the San Antonio civic and business communities serving on the boards of the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Oak Hills Country Club. Having converted to the Catholic faith in 2002, he is also active in his parish of St. Anthony Claret but also in several apostolates, notably That Man is You, Covenant of Love, and the ACTS retreat movement. He, his wife Cece, and his four sons live in the Texas hill country just northwest of San Antonio.
Rick Wojciechowski grew up in Foley, MN, a small farming community north of Minneapolis. He attended college at St. John’s University, a Benedictine College in Minnesota and currently serves on their alumni committee. Rick moved to Dallas, Texas to work for Parkway Construction and is now a partner in that firm which specializes in restaurant construction and architecture. He resides with his wife Erin and 3 children in Flower Mound, TX and is a member of St. Ann’s parish in nearby Coppell, TX. Besides being passionate about his faith and family, Rick enjoys pursuing many outdoor activities.
Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio
Marcellino D’Ambrosio initially set his sights on stardom, playing bass guitar in several popular rock bands by the time he was 16. But a deeper encounter with Christ cause a change of course resulting in a Ph.D. in theology from the Catholic University of America under the guidance the renowned Jesuit theologian, Avery Cardinal Dulles.
Dr. D’Ambrosio, the father of five and a business owner, brings to his teaching a practical, down-to-earth perspective that makes his words easy to understand. For the past four years, his TV series on the Early Church Fathers has been broadcast internationally on the Eternal Word Television Network and he is currently one of the sought after guests on a variety of syndicated Catholic radio networks such as EWTN and Relevant Radio.
Dr. D’Ambrosio is a NY Times best-selling author, with his book on Mel Gibson’s film, The Guide to the Passion, selling over a million copies in its first three months. He is also a world renowned commentator on Catholic issues, recently defending the legacy of Pope John Paul II on Fox News’ “Geraldo Rivera At Large” and Bill O’Reilly’s radio show.
In 2001 Dr. D’Ambrosio left his position at the University of Dallas to direct www.CrossroadsInitiative.com, an apostolate of Catholic Renewal and evangelization, and to oversee the growth of Wellness Opportunities Group, an international company dedicated to helping people attain physical, mental, and financial freedom. He, his wife Susan, and their five children, reside just outside San Antonio, Texas.
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