Parish Staff

Rev. Gary Graf, Pastor

GrafFr. Gary Graf is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Prior to St. Procopius, he was pastor of St. Gall Parish in Chicago, and at Holy Family Parish in Waukegan.  Fr. Gary loves working with Spanish-speaking communities, young adults, and those who are in greatest need.   As a young priest, Fr. Gary worked in small villages in Mexico.

Rev. Patrick M. Casey, S.J., Pastoral Ministry

fr-caseyFather Pat Casey came to St. Procopius parish in April 2011. Before this he had worked in Peru, South America for some 43 years as an educator, pastor, and missionary. Fr. Casey was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived his childhood and adolescence in Our Lady Help of Christian’s parish on the west side. He studied high school at St. Ignatius in Chicago and joined the Society of Jesus in 1959. He earned a B.A. in English from Spring Hill College and a Masters of Education from Loyola University in Chicago. He studied theology in Mexico City in the Jesuit school of theology. He was ordained a priest in 1972.

While in Peru he was the director of Colegio Tito Cusi Yupanqui, a Jesuit-run public high school; Colegio Valentín Salqui, a Jesuit-run high school for Indian youth in the Amazon Jungle; Colegio San Jose, a Jesuit-run school with students from pre-kindergarten through high school in the city of Arequipa; and Colegio San Luis, a Fe y Algeria (Faith and Joy) school with pre-K through high School, in Jaen, a part of the Jesuit mission in northeastern Peru. He served as Pastor for a short time in Piura and Chiriaco. He was superior of the Jesuit communities of San Ignacio, Cajamarca; of the jungle mission in Amazonas y Cajamarca; and in Arequipa. He also taught and was spiritual director in the Jesuit high schools of San Ignacio, Piura and Cristo Rey, Tacna.

Rev. Joseph Simmons S.J. – Assisting Priest

Simmons PreachingFr. Joe (“Padre Pepe”) Simmons is from Milwaukee, WI.  He studied Spanish, classical languages and theology at Marquette University. He joined the Jesuits in 2006, and earned a Masters in Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, writing his thesis on the verifiability of religious experience.  Fr. Joe has taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis, and at Creighton University in Omaha, NE.  Throughout his eleven years of formation, Fr. Joe has worked with Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta, Jordan, and Lebanon, and served a summer in a remote Jesuit mission in northeast India.  Joe has given retreats on the Spiritual Exercises around the country, and writes and edits essays for The Jesuit Post, a blog on faith and culture.

Fr. Joe just completed three years of theology studies at Boston College and was ordained to the priesthood in early June.  He is spending this summer serving at St. Procopius and will return to Boston this fall to complete his theology studies.

Rev. Mr. Candelario Rodriguez – Deacon

Mr-Candelario-Rodriguez–DeaconDeacon Candelario Rodriguez arrived in the United States at the age of 19.  He was born in Potrero de Campa el Oro Durango Mexico and grew up on a ranch, herding cattle and planting corn. He worked for Northwest Medical Center for 20 years: five years as a janitor, mechanic assistant for 5 years and maintenance department supervisor for 10 years.

Candelario met Raquel in 1973 and married her in 1975. The couple has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  He took a Bible course at St. Pius, a year of pastoral leadership and four years for the diaconate.  He was ordained a deacon in 1993. He came to St. Procopius more than 10 years ago and serves as a deacon, pre-baptismal class coordinator, and celebrates baptisms. He is currently employed as the building manager for Near North Montessori School.

Silvia Juarez – Business Manager

Silvia- JuarezSilvia Juarez, born in Michoacan, Mexico, is the Business Manager/administrator at St. Procopius Parish.  She graduated from Benito Juarez High School, and has attended National Louis University and Loyola University in Chicago. She has worked at St. Procopius for many years and since she was raised in Pilsen she knows many of the parishioners.

Javier Arteaga – Parish and School Maintenance

javier-arteagaJavier Arteaga is our “chief engineer” in charge of the maintenance/repair of our parish buildings and the care of the landscaping throughout the parish and its properties. Javier was born in Coeneo, Michoacan, Mexico. There is barely a challenge that Javier cannot meet and overcome in the maintenance of the historic buildings of St. Procopius.



 Josefina Medina – Coordinator of Religious Education

Josefina Vega

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico; she came to reside in the city of Chicago in 1990.

Mother of three sons: Luis R., Jose M., and Pablo E.

During the time that their children were studying elementary school, she was dedicated to prepare herself academically, attending leadership workshops and English as a second language classes and remained active as leader of school committees, as well as community leadership. In 2010, she enrolled at St. Augustine College, where she studied and was certified with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood/ Preschool Education (ECE) (Magna Cum Laude).

Besides, she completed two semesters to reach her goal towards the bachelor’s degree in the same academic area. In 2012, she began working at St. Augustine College as teacher associate and with the Community program ‘ENLACE Chicago’, when she received the opportunity to be part of the pastoral team of the church, working as Coordinator of Religious Education.

For the past three years, Josefina has helped in the parish of St. Procopius as a volunteer, thanks to Maria Ramos, our former Director of Religious Education, who invited her to participate in the many different activities that she, as director, served in the parish, helping with office work;supporting with the catechists and parents meetings, coordinating the retreats for the Quinceañeras program and our annual Kermes, while being instructed in the catechetical,pastoral and ministerial fields. Her expectations and goals are to contribute to help that the program continue to develop and to offer a better service to the community of St. Procopius Parish. She also hopes and expects to grow into the ministerial service and continue to obtain a better personal and spiritual formation. She deeply appreciates the opportunity that she has received, which what she considers as a great blessing.

Isaac Barrera


Isaac Barrera born and raised in Pilsen has always attended Mass at St. Procopius. He attended CCD classes here in preparation to receive his First Communion and Confirmation sacraments. He later became a catechist himself and was also assistant youth minister. He now participates in Mass as a lector and a communion minister. He attended Northeastern Illinois University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.


Miquita Ibarra – Social Services


Micaela “Miquita” Ibarra, 85, from Michoacán Mexico is a very active and long-time parishioner of St. Procopius.  She has been doing volunteer service at our parish for almost 25 years. Miquita is at the parish 4 days a week. During her time here, she works on organizing the food and clothing banks.  She oversees the preparation of the holiday baskets, organizes the rummage sales, and is one of the key people in the kitchen during our annual kermes.

Guadalupe Paz – Evening and Weekend Office Assistant

guadalupe-pazGuadalupe (Lupe) joined the parish staff in 1999. She currently works as the evening and weekend office assistant. She is a graduate of St. Procopius Grade School and High School. Guadalupe and her family have been parishioners of St. Procopius since the 1950’s.

Juanita Galvan


Juanita Galvan, born in Mexico, mother of 6 has been in the United States for 29 years. Mrs. Galvan joined the St. Procopius team 10 years ago and works 2 days a week.