Our Staff

Reverend John J. Unni

Reverend John J. Unni

Pastor

Father John Unni grew up in North Reading, Massachusetts. Before entering the seminary, Father John taught English at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston’s North End and ran his own landscaping business. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, where he earned a master of divinity degree and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in June 1992. For the past 20 years, he has been the pastor of Saint Cecilia Parish, where he has focused his ministry on education, health, and spiritual growth—especially for those who are marginalized and impoverished.

When he is not presiding at Mass, Father John keeps busy serving on the board of directors for Saint Cecilia House, a residence for seniors of limited income in the Fenway, along with Health Equity International/St. Boniface Hospital and Build Health International, organizations dedicated to providing essential health services to the people of southern Haiti, especially the most vulnerable. Father John is also Chief Chaplain of the Boston Fire Department and Chaplain for Berklee College of Music.

Nicole Pascarelli O'Brien

Nicole Pascarelli O'Brien

Pastoral Director of Operations

Nicole joined the parish staff in June 2023 as Pastoral Director of Operations. In this role, Nicole works with Father John and the parish staff to further the mission and vision of the parish and its ministries. Nicole holds a master’s degree in education administration and Catholic school leadership from Boston College and was the recipient of a National Association of Independent Schools’ Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads. For more than two decades, she has held leadership positions at both Catholic and private schools, which includes serving as the interim head of school at her Newton alma mater, Mount Alvernia High School. Before her time in education, Nicole worked as a reporter for The Pilot. Nicole’s family has generational roots at Gate of Heaven Parish in South Boston where she has been involved in many parish activities. Nicole enjoys yoga, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two teenage children.

Mark Donohoe

Mark Donohoe

Pastoral Associate

Mark has been an active parishioner at Saint Cecilia since 1989. He finally took the plunge and moved from volunteer to full-time employee in 1994. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, he also received a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College and is a certified pastoral associate. In this role, he is involved in all things liturgical and sacramental and is the go-to person for baptisms, weddings, annulments, and funerals.

Scott MacDonald

Scott MacDonald

Director of Faith Formation & Parish Visibility

Scott was raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He had been part of the Saint Cecilia community for many years but began officially working for Saint Cecilia in 1997 as Director of Faith Formation. Scott’s position is composed of three parts: faith formation, parish visibility, and development of lay ministerial leadership. While there are multiple facets to his career at Saint Cecilia, he most prefers his role as the director of faith formation because he enjoys accompanying individuals on their journey to developing a deeper faith in Jesus Christ. In an earlier life, Scott was the manager and caterer for the Hasty Pudding Club at Harvard and he also catered private events. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cooking, theater, and listening to music.

Lisa Pickering

Lisa Pickering

Director of Facilities & Events

Lisa started at Saint Cecilia in February of 2016 and feels truly blessed to be part of this thriving community. Her responsibilities include facility management and coordinating and executing large parish events. Before joining our parish, Lisa worked for Catholic Charities in a family shelter for three and a half years where she managed the office and facilities and also direct care. While busy raising her family, she managed to take on a variety of jobs as a working mom including cleaning disabled adult homes, restaurant manager, and pharmacy technician. Lisa and her husband Ralph have been an active part of the Marriage Ministry at Saint Cecilia and have been married for almost 30 years. They have four children and one grandchild. Lisa has a personal connection with people struggling with addiction and is excited to start 12-Step meetings in our new community room space. Lisa enjoys cooking for family and friends and spending long days on the beach.  

Colleen Melaugh

Colleen Melaugh

Director of Finance & Development

Colleen joined the Saint Cecilia staff in the summer of 2018, after being awarded a master of business administration and master of theological studies dual degree from Boston College. Prior to returning to graduate school, she completed her undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross, did a post-graduate volunteer year in Ecuador, and directed service and immersion programs for the Holy Cross Chaplains’ Office. As the Director of Finance & Development at Saint Cecilia, Colleen works on business management, stewardship, and long-term strategic planning. In her free time, Colleen enjoys running and cooking.

Robert Duff

Robert Duff

Director of Music

Rob oversees the music program at Saint Cecilia and also serves on the faculty at Brandeis University as associate professor of the practice of choral music. At Brandeis University Rob oversees the vocal program, conducts the Brandeis choral ensembles, teaches conducting and choral methods, and serves as the performance track adviser for vocalists. Rob has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University and Mount St. Mary’s College. He holds degrees in conducting, piano, and voice from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Temple University and the University of Southern California. Additionally, he served as director of music for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. An active commissioner of new music, Rob has given several world premieres of works for both orchestral and choral forces. He served as counsel to the New Hampshire Council on the Arts and is the past president of the Eastern Region of the American Choral Directors Association.

Fr. Jim Shaughnessy, SJ

Fr. Jim Shaughnessy, SJ

Pastoral Support

FrJim works on the parish staff part-time to assist with pastoral support, the celebration of Mass, and the sacrament of reconciliation. FrJim joins the cadre of staff who graduated from the College of the Holy Cross. Born and raised in Dedham, FrJim entered the Jesuits in 1971. He started working at Tufts Medical Center in 1986, a commitment he’s maintained, volunteering at Tufts Medical Center in the palliative care department. FrJim looks forward to seeing new and old faces as all continue to venture out!

Tanya Rybarczyk

Tanya Rybarczyk

Pastoral Associate

Tanya is a Catholic writer, speaker, teacher, and retreat leader specializing in adult faith formation, meditative Christian prayer, and spiritual caregiving. She most recently worked as the Director of Spiritual Care at two Massachusetts residential care facilities and as a retreat team member at Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in Connecticut. Tanya holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Portland and is excited to join the staff at Saint Cecilia! Tanya finds it a joy to walk with parishioners through the RCIA process, lead Saint Cecilia CARES, and liaise with our vibrant Parish ministries. Tanya lives with her husband in Waltham and is the mother of two college-aged children.

Christine Burns

Christine Burns

Digital and Print Media Coordinator

As our Digital and Print Media Coordinator, Christine is responsible for keeping our parishioners (and the world) up to date on all things Saint Cecilia Parish via our print collateral, weekly bulletin, e-blasts, and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). She most recently worked in communications at her hometown art museum, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM). Christine received an undergraduate degree in Art History and Spanish from Wellesley College. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, crafting, and eating sweets.

Carly-Anne Gannon

Carly-Anne Gannon

Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Carly-Anne has a bachelors degree in Religions and Theology and a masters degree in ecumenics, both from Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin. She earned a masters of education from the University of Notre Dame with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). She taught middle school religion and high school theology in Corpus Christi, Texas before moving to full-time ministry in higher education as the Catholic chaplain at Stony Brook University. She also earned a masters of arts (religious education) at Fordham University while serving as Director of Religious Education at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, NYC. Carly-Anne is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Theology and Education at Boston College. In her free time, she loves to run, visit art galleries, try new cuisine, and spend time with her niece and nephew.

Our Music Ministry

Tyler Cesario

Tyler Cesario

Assistant Director of Music, Tenor

Tyler Cesario is a graduate student at Boston Conservatory studying Vocal Pedagogy and Opera. Graduating from Westminster Choir College in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education, Tyler has held positions as soloist/cantor at St. Paul’s in Princeton, NJ, paid chorister at the Episcopal Church of Princeton University, choral conductor of the First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ and general music/choir/band teacher at National Park Elementary School. Tyler has been the tenor soloist in many major works including Bruckner’s Requiem and Te Deum, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B flat, and Handel’s Messiah. He is extremely honored to be a part of the musical program at Saint Cecilia.

Brett Maguire

Brett Maguire

Parish Organist

Brett is an award-winning organist, conductor, recording engineer, and filmmaker based out of Worcester. As an organist, he has performed at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and with the Boston Pops under John Williams. He won both First Prize and Audience Prize at the Biarritz International Organ Competition in France. Brett is the Assistant Director of the Assumption University Chorale. His video company, Crow Hill Productions, provides AV solutions to classical musicians. A passionate student of traditional crafts, Brett is a woodworker, spinner, and sourdough baker who likes to rock climb and read books. 

Daniel Lamoureux

Daniel Lamoureux

Vigil Organist

Daniel Lamoureux, a native of Chicago, is a Roman Catholic convert who went through the RCIA program at Boston’s Paulist Center in 1983. In addition to holding organist positions in different parishes in the Archdiocese, he spent twenty years on the faculty at Stonehill College. He also taught at the Longy School of Music and Northeastern University and has been a piano accompanist for ballet and modern dance classes at Emerson College and the Walnut Hill School. Now semi-retired, he continues as one of the pianists at the Symphony Café at Symphony Hall, Boston. Daniel was interim organist at Saint Cecilia in 2019 and became a parishioner at that time. He is delighted to return!

Pendexter Macdonald

Pendexter Macdonald

Assistant Organist

Since 2000, Penn has volunteered as an assistant organist for Saint Cecilia’s Sunday 8:00 a.m. Mass. He was welcomed onto the staff as assistant organist in June 2023. He minored in church music as an undergraduate at Harvard, where his practicum was at Church of the Advent (Boston) under John Cook. Since 1980, he has been Director of Music and/or organist at several churches in the Pacific Northwest.

Audiovisual Support

Maureen Deery

Parish Photographer & Slide Show Creator

Geoffrey Edwards

Livestream Videographer

Vasily Izumchensky

Livestream Sound Engineer

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