Get to Know Jennifer Rice

Name: Jennifer Rice
Title: pastoral associate, care and consolation

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up the oldest of 2 in Toledo and remain loyal to my Detroit Tigers. I’ve been married to Grant for 16 years, a parishioner for 14 years, and mom to triplet boys who will soon be 13 and attend our school. I love to read, cook, garden, and craft (scrapbook, sewing, Cricut!). I have worked in social work from seriously mentally ill in prison to high school to counseling trauma survivors, hospice, and bereaved.

Tell us about your role here.
I lead the pastoral care ministry. I support the 80 volunteers who minister to homebound and the nursing facilities, visiting as well; provide counseling; consult and support staff and school care needs; coordinate and support outreach programs; coordinate all funerals and related ministries, and provide grief counseling and support. Plus, leadership team and “duties as assigned” depending on the needs of the parish.

How did you come to work at St Brendan’s?
I was a clinical social worker for hospice and wanted to know more to provide spiritual support to my patients and families, so I completed a master’s in theology. I felt called to work in a parish with a vision for what that role could be. It took 4 years of waiting, praying, then everything happened fast. I have known Father Bob 20 years now and he became pastor, Sister Pat (who brought me on to run grief support groups) was leaving, and it all just came together. I have been here over 5 years and love that I can drop my kids at school, walk across the parking lot to my office, and work in my own parish.

What is the best part of your job here?
Being present in the tough messy times. Yes, it is hard, but it’s important that the church is really there for her people, walking alongside them in good and in suffering. People do come to cry on my couch, but I pray they leave with more peace and to know they are cared for.

What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?
Hang with the family at home with a game or a movie, work outside, and make pancakes for breakfast.

Favorite book:
Anything feel-good set in a small town with quirky characters – the Mitford series by Jan Karon.

Favorite movie:
Mary Poppins

Favorite Saints:
St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. Damien of Molokai

Go-to snack:
lately I’m loving mini turkey sticks

Tell us what you’re proud of.
Of course, I’m really proud of my once micro-preemies who are now huge and taking on their worlds. Here I am most proud of bringing Walking with Purpose to our parish and watching it grow and thrive with a team of amazing women.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make coffee (always flavored) and sit with the daily scriptures, reflection and prayer. In good weather it’s outside where I can greet the morning and listen to the birds.

Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.
I double-majored in psychology and theatre, studying drama therapy extensively, but also acting – including a professional stint. Someday I’ll get back to it!

Get to Know Deacon Jim

Name: Deacon Jim Morris

Title: Deacon

  1. Tell us a little about yourself

Married in 1975 in Wellnitz Hall to my wife Jean. St Brendan parishioner since 1992. We have 6 children and 3 (almost 4) grandchildren. I am a retired civil engineer. I worked mainly for government agencies (Ohio DNR, AZ Water Resources, United States Geological Survey) in the area of water resources. BS and MS in Civil Engineering from OSU. I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2005.


  1. Tell us about your role here.

I am currently assigned to St Brendan by the Bishop and primarily work in the diaconate roles of Word, Altar, and Charity. I assist at Mass, proclaim and preach the Gospel, perform Baptisms, Marriages, and Funeral liturgies.

I teach Baptism preparation classes, prepare couples for marriage, help out RCIA and other St Brendan ministries as requested. I oversee the Inviting Catholics Home program also.

And, of course, any other duties as assigned.


  1. How did you come to work at St Brendan’s?

Jean and I have always performed whatever roles we could here since we joined the parish in 1992. Many of our children went to school here. Jean is a Master Catechist and is still teaching on Monday nights. Jean and I helped start both the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop in the 1990s. I didn’t really apply for the job as Deacon (not really a job now is it?) but the St Brendan community certainly has been very supportive, as have the Pastor(s), other priests, and Deacons over the years. I just celebrated the 14th anniversary of my ordination at the end of January.


  1. What is the best part of your job here?

I always tell folks that Baptisms are the very best, on top of being the initial Sacrament of our faith, there are babies and everyone is happy. Great fun. Really I enjoy all the things I do because the community—and our Catholic Faith—are awesome.


  1. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Well, since I retired all days are weekends really. I like to read and I greatly enjoy the time I now have to study more. Obviously, family and especially grandkids are great fun. I have a few more renovation projects to complete at the house and I enjoy that work too.


  1. Favorite book:

Almost any military science fiction


  1. Favorite movie:

Last Starfighter


  1. Favorite Saint(s):

St. Stephen and St. Lawrence of course


  1. Go-to snack:

chips mostly


  1. Tell us what you’re proud of.

My family, all great people


  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Grumble, then take a shower


  1. Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.

Nothing that exciting