Saint Michael Parish Staff
Very Reverend John-Michael Lavelle, D. Min.
A native of Hubbard, Father Lavelle attended Saint Patrick Elementary School and Hubbard High School. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a degree in Elementary Education, working in area schools prior to entering the seminary in 1995. He obtained a Master’s in Divinity degree and a Master’s degree in Religious Education from Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, PA. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin in 2000, the year of the Great Jubilee. He served as an associate pastor at Saint Mary, Massillon and Saint Christine, Youngstown, and was appointed to his first pastorate in April of 2003 at Immaculate Conception, Ravenna. In 2008, he received a Doctorate in Ministry degree from Saint Mary Seminary, Cleveland. His doctoral dissertation was on the physical and spiritual restoration of parish communities. In 2012, He was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Niles. Along with his role as pastor, he has also served the diocese as Pastoral Director CTNY (Catholic Television Network of Youngstown), Director of Advancement for Catholic Charities, Director of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal, and Director of Faith Formation at John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Warren. Father Lavelle currently serves on the Presbyteral Council, the Diocese of Youngstown Foundation Board, and Priests’ Retirement Board.
On April 15, 2021, Bishop David J. Bonnar appointed Father Lavelle Vicar for Missionary Discipleship for the Diocese of Youngstown and Pastor of Saint Michael Parish, Canfield. In addition to these responsibilities Bishop Bonnar has appointed Father Lavelle as director of stewardship and development for the Diocese effective September 1, 2022. (Read more about this appointment HERE.)
Father Lavelle’s family (mother Nancy; sister Kristin, her husband Josh, and their children: Michael, Brayden, and Abigail) all reside in Hubbard. His father, Jack, and sister, Wendy are deceased. Father’s favorite line from Sacred Scripture is “The Lord loves a cheerful giver!” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Learn more about Father Lavelle HERE.
Pastoral Associate for Adult Faith Formation
Ms. Hall returned to Saint Michael Parish in 2007 as Director of Youth Ministry, a position she previously held before taking several years off to pursue a PhD in theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. As of July 1, 2011, she took over the duties as Pastoral Minister of Liturgy & RCIA, and as the Spiritual Leader for Christ Renews His Parish Women's Renewal. In addition to her doctoral work, Ms. Hall has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Ursuline College in Cleveland and a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Ms. Hall has been an avid choir singer, and sometimes sings with the Saint Michael Adult choir. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, studying philosophy and playing with her cats.
Pastoral Associate for Youth Faith Formation
Ms. Fessler joined Saint Michael Parish as the Pastoral Minister for Catechesis in July of 2021. A native of Buffalo, NY, Ms. Fessler has a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Canisius College in Buffalo and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from the former Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. She has ministered in parishes in Buffalo, Erie, Pennsylvania, North Canton and Youngstown, Ohio. She has also ministered in the Catechetical Office of the Diocese of Boise, ID. When she is not working, Ms. Fessler enjoys cooking and baking, reading, going to dinner with friends, crocheting and adding to her yarn stash.
Music Ministry Director
Laura Kunkel comes to us from Saint Edward Parish in Youngstown. She lives in McDonald, is married, and the mother of three little boys.
Mrs. Howley joined Saint Michael's office staff in October 2006 and is the parish's Business Manager. She attended Youngstown State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After having been part of the office staff at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Youngstown, she then held various positions in area companies, working mostly as a Human Resource Manager, before coming to St. Michael. Mrs. Howley happily resides in Austintown with her husband, Tom and daughter, Emma Olivia. Mrs. Howley loves spending as much time as possible with her daughter, who keeps her very busy. She also stays busy helping her husband on projects to update their home. Mrs. Howley enjoys baking, watching Cleveland Indians baseball, attending concerts, walking, and spending time with a group of friends she has had since her early years in school.
Maxine was born and raised in Youngstown, and currently lives in Canfield. She has four children: Kim, Kellie, Craig, and Jen and six grandchildren: Anthony, Lexie, Jessica, Natalie, Addison and Cara. Maxine has been a member of Saint Michael for many years, since the mid-70's and loves the parish. She currently serves as Chairperson of our Parish Pastoral Council. She was an elementary teacher in Poland for 35 years and retired in 2005. When Maxine is not working, you can usually find her walking in Mill Creek Park (early in the morning), working around the house and outside, reading, walking her dog Bentley, or visiting her children. Three of them live out of town, so she visits whenever she can.
The position includes working to maintain the buildings on a regular schedule, preparing for special events and activities, minor maintenance to the outside (a separate service will do lawn cutting and snow removal) and orchestrating various outside contractors as needed for larger maintenance issues.