We are called to serve not to be served
Fr. Thanh Liem Nguyen, Pastor
Father Liem was born in Phu Loc, Vietnam, the first son in a "typical" Catholic family of thirteen children (six boys and seven girls). Grew up in the Southern Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
In 1977 he began to study Vietnamese at the Padagogical University in Saigon with a goal to become a highschool teacher.
However, for religious freedom he and with 94 people escaped from Vietnam in a small fishing boat in September 1979. At that time, he was nineteen years old. After spending thirteen days in the Pacific Ocean, they arrived in Malaysia. He spent almost a year in a refugee camp Pulau Tengah of Malaysia. Then he left Malaysia for the former West Germany in May 1980.
Father Liem studied German and worked for two years as machine operator before settling in the United States in 1987 where he reunited with his family.
Ordination of Priesthood: June 19, 1999.
1999-2005: Parochial Vicar at St. Michael Parish, Gainesville.
2005-2009: Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Toccoa and St. Catherine Laboure Mission, Commerce.
2009-2011: Special Ministry to assist raising funds for retired priests in Vietnam.
2011-2013: Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Blairsville.
2013-Present: Pastor of St. Peter the Rock Parish, The Rock.
August 2015: A Licensed Barber in Georgia.
2007-2011: President of the Federation of the Vietnamese Catholics in USA.
Hobbies: Fishing, reading, gardening, golfing, haircutting.
Deacon Tom Kretzmer
I was born in Teaneck NJ, the second son and third child born in a family of seven children. We were raised in the Catholic faith and attended parochial school in New Jersey and in Wisconsin.
After elementary school I explored a religious vocation at St. Lawrence Minor Seminary. At the advice of my spiritual director a vocation was not in my immediate future.
I graduated from the seminary and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1976. While in the service I became an Aviation Medical Technician, stationed on the USS Saratoga CV60; which inspired me to pursue a career in Optometry.
After my enlistment was completed I attended Kennesaw College in 1981, while working at Kennestone Hospital. In 1986 I was accepted at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis Tennessee. I graduated in 1990 with a Doctor of Optometry.
In 1991 I moved to Thomaston Georgia to purchase an existing Optometric Practice. I started to attend St. John the Baptist Mission run by the Redemptorists out of Griffin Georgia.
In 1992 I was elected Vice -President of the Parish Council and in the following year was Parish Council President a position I held until we broke ground for our new parish church in 2005. I was on the committee to over-see the combination of two missions into a parish, was on the capitol campaign to raise funds to start the new parish. I am the charter financial secretary for our Knights of Columbus council.
I have been at various times stewardship committee, finance committee, and building committee person. I have been a teacher of RCIA, confirmation class teacher, Adult education teacher, CCD teacher. I served for four years as a sacristan. Over the period of last 24 years served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and Usher. I have been a trainer for the ministries mentioned above, as well a alter server trainer.
In 2009 I applied to enter the permanent deaconate and completed the formation process in December of 2015.
My Ordination of Diaconate is on Feb 6, 2016 by the Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.