Father Fernando was born on December 12, 1961 in Anserma-Caldas, Colombia. He was the second of eight children born to Maria Enoe Restrepo and Gildardo Luis Molina. After completing high school, Fernando served for one year in the Colombian Army. In 1982, he worked in radio communications for a major oil company in Bogotá and began studying economics at the Military University of Colombia. Feeling spiritually conflicted; he did not complete this course of study, but began to consider the possibility of entering the seminary.
In 1987 Father Fernando became a missionary in México and remained there for almost two years. While in Monterrey-Nuevo León, México, he formally started philosophical studies. He then returned to Bogotá and finished his philosophical studies in December of 1991.
In 1992, due to several life altering events, including his father’s illness and eventual death, Father Fernando left the seminary. During this time he worked to help support his mother and family and eventually made the decision to move to England to study English.
In 1994, Father Fernando arrived in New York and worked there until he was accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Father Fernando enrolled in Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in January of 1995.
Father Fernando was ordained a deacon on July 1, 1998 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, and his first assignment was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City. He returned to the seminary to complete his studies and served during the weekends at Saint Bernard of Clair Vaux in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Father Fernando finished his theological studies in 1999 and received two master’s degrees from Saint Vincent’s: one in Religious Education and the other in Divinity.
Father Fernando was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta on June 12, 1999 at Saint Catherine of Sienna in Kennesaw and returned to Holy Trinity where he had previously served as a deacon. He remained there for two years, after which he went to Saint Michael in Gainesville, and then to Saint Joseph in Marietta. In 2003, he started a new assignment as pastor of Christ our King and Savior in Greensboro. In 2005 he was named administrator of Our Lady of the American in Lilburn. In 2009 he was named pastor of Saint Theresa in Douglasville. In July of 2014, Father Fernando became the pastor of Transfiguration and happily accepted a new ministerial experience as a priest.
Fr. Junot Nelvy was born in 1982 in Les Cayes, a town in Southwest Haiti. Fr. Junot is from a family of four, three boys and one girl, and is the youngest in his family.
After completing high school, he studied civil engineering for four years at the Salesians of Don Bosco Technical School. Fr. Junot has a love of music and plays guitar, bass, and drums. He played music in his home parish from 1998 to 2005 and served as choir director for one year.
In 2005, Fr. Junot began his discernment to the priesthood at his home diocese of Les Cayes and started seminary that fall, studying Philosophy. Due to some spiritual conflict, he left seminary in the fall of 2007.
As Fr. Junot was looking toward to the next chapter of his life, he thought he would most likely finish his engineering degree, but once again, felt called back to seminary.
During a visit with his brother in Marietta, he applied to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. In the summer of 2008, Fr. Junot moved permanently in United States and begin to study English at Georgia State University. In fall of 2009, he started at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio where he continued Philosophy and Theology studies and, in 2011, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.
Fr. Junot was ordained as a transitional deacon on May 25, 2013 and was assigned to Transfiguration Catholic Church for that summer. In the fall of 2013, he returned to Josephinum to complete his studies in Theology. In May 2014, Fr. Junot graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum with a Master of Divinity.
Following his ordination to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ on June 28, 2014, Fr. Junot was assigned as a Parochial Vicar to St. Catherine of Siena Roma Catholic Church in Kennesaw, GA.
Fr. Fred Wendel was born in Seattle, WA and adopted by his parents, Vera and Al Wendel, when his father was stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. He is the son of a career Army officer who retired at Fort McPherson, GA. His parents are both deceased and he is an only child. Fr. Fred grew up in Atlanta, attending both secondary school and college in the state of Georgia. He served in the Army beginning 23 July 1970, for several years.
Following his service he returned to Atlanta, completed college and then went on to the seminary. He was accepted by the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming and attended seminary at St. Thomas in Denver, Colorado. He was ordained a priest on 9 June 1978. While serving in Wyoming, he was an Army National Guard Chaplain for 8 years.
In 1997 he returned to Atlanta and the Archdiocese of Atlanta where he continued in the Chaplaincy until 1999, when he resigned his commission and received a second Honorable Discharge. He was also the pastor of 2 parishes while in Atlanta.
On 1 July 2008, Fr. Wendel came on Active Duty as a Regular Army Chaplain. He has served at Fort Belvoir, Fort McPherson, the Chaplain Career Course at Fort Jackson, SC and Warner Barracks in Bamberg, Germany.
His interests include: working out, traveling, long distance bicycling, movies, cars and reading.
Deacon Paul Gorki was born and raised in North Haven, Connecticut. He received a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute and a MS in Construction/Project Management from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Atlanta on 7 February 2009. Paul and his wife, Elise, live in East Cobb County. They have three children and two grandchildren. After retiring from the Army, Deacon Paul and his family moved to Atlanta in 1994. They have been members of Transfiguration since 1994. Deacon Paul has an interest in the Ministry of Caring and the Adult Education program as well as in working with the extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and in the training of our Altar Servers.
Peter was ordained a Permanent Deacon on February 6, 2016, at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, GA. Since ordination, Peter has been assigned to Transfiguration, his home parish for 15 years.
Deacon Peter has special interest in religious education, social justice issues, supporting church ministries, and sacramental preparation programs.
Peter and his wife, Kay live in East Cobb County. They have one son, Robert. He an Kay are active with St. Vincent de Paul & several other ministries. They ask that you consider joining one if not already involved.
Peter is a Marietta native, growing up in Cobb and graduating from Marietta High School. Kay is originally from Korea and has been a Georgia resident since 1980. Whenever we have a dance, you will probably see Kay and Peter on the dance floor. Please join them.
Peter is a graduate of Georgia State University and is a retired educator, having served as a teacher and administrator with Fulton County Schools for 33 years. Before retiring to finish his diaconal studies, he was Assistant Principal at Riverwood International High School for 13 years.
Members of Transfiguration for 15 years, Kay and Peter look forward to continued sharing of service and worship with you.
Deacon Paul Franklin is a native Georgian. Born in Athens, he lived in several towns, before moving to Valdosta, where he went to high school. He graduate from Georgia Tech, and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees. He married Margaret (whose parents were founding members of Transfiguration) in 1982, and they have four children: Justin, Christine, Julian, and Samara. His career took him from Atlanta to New Jersey, California, North Carolina, and again to New Jersey before returning to Atlanta. Paul and Margaret currently live in Kennesaw.
Deacon Paul was ordained in May 2012 in the Diocese of Trenton. Deacon Paul has supported prison ministry, youth ministry, sacramental preparation, and adult faith formation. He was assigned to Transfiguration in March 2017.
Outside of church, Deacon Paul enjoys gardening and square dancing with Margaret.
Linda Rega is the Pastor’s Administrative Assistant. She moved here from NY in 1993, where she was an Assistant Manager at the Bank of New York. She has been a member of Transfiguration since 1994, and joined our staff in 1997, starting in the Day Care dept. She is married and has one son.
Liana was born and raised in Hawaii. After leaving Honolulu, she lived in Austin, TX, Boston, MA and finally moved to the Atlanta area (all capital cities!) in 1985. Since earning her AA in early education in 2005, Liana has been teaching at a small special needs school in Roswell. She has been a catechist for 10 years, and is also a member of many ministries as well as a COR representative.
Liana is married to Bob and they have been blessed with nine grandchildren. She continues her faith journey trusting in God and knowing that He is leading the way.
Carlos Gutiérrez is the Director of Hispanic Pastoral Ministries at Transfiguration Catholic Church. Carlos’ family moved from Nicaragua to Miami in the early 80’s, where Carlos was born and raised. He moved to Georgia in 2005. He has one sister and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Carlos also enjoys swimming and swam competitively for 18 years. Carlos also enjoys volunteering as a teacher with our PEEP program.