Fr. Shawn Clerkin began his vicar appointment at St. Stephen’s June 1, 2018. He has an MDiv in Anglican Studies from Bexley Hall Seminary, with additional studies through the Oxford (England) Summer Theology Programme. Fr. Shawn has served as a congregational leader for almost two decades in the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, first as lay/clergy leader of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Erie; assisting priest at Cathedral of St. Paul, Erie; and vicar of St. Mary’s Lawrence Park, Erie. Fr. Clerkin is also an associate professor/co-director of the School of Communication and the Arts at Gannon University, where he also serves as director of the Liberal Studies Program. Fr. Clerkin has also earned an additional degrees of MFA in Theatre/Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA and BA in Theatre/Communication Arts from Gannon University. Previously, he has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University and Mercyhurst University. Fr. Clerkin has been awarded the Bruce Morton Wright Artist of the Year by Erie Arts and Culture. Fr. Clerkin has guided travel programs to England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and has facilitated service learning/volunteer outreach trips to Dade City, Florida, to work with Habitat for Humanity, and the Fr. McKenna Center for the homeless in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Shawn appreciates the Christ-guided commitment that the members of St. Stephen’s has made to facilitate and support the growth of young people, especially children in Fairview through its accredited nursery school, and middle and high school students through volunteer efforts for the Charter School of Excellence.
My instinct is with the landless man against the lord of lands, and with the breadless man against the master of millions. I may be wrong, but I do hold it a most terrible sin that there should be landless men in this island of waste yet fertile valleys, and that there should be breadless men in this city where great fortunes are made and enjoyed.
– Patrick Pearse, from Irish Freedom, October 1913
Director of Ministries and Operations
Claire Wachter joined the staff in February 2017 and is also a member of St. Stephen’s. Claire is invested in seeing St. Stephen’s grow and flourish. Claire has a Physician Assistant Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and lives in Fairview with with her husband, Tim and three children, Andrew, Madeline and Kate. Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Finance
Susan Schuette is the Director of Finance for St. Stephen’s Episcoapl
Church and St. Stephen’s Nursery School. She has volunteered and
worked at St. Stephen’s since 2006. Susan has an Accounting Degree
from Mercyhurst University and is a proud parent of daughter,
Emma and son, Ethan.
Director of Communications
Heather joined the staff in March of 2018. Heather has a heart for helping others and is passionate about making the world a better place. She has over 15 years of experience in social services and administrative work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Mercyhurst University. She is married to Scott, and has two daughters, Maelyn and Maya and a dog named Benson. Heather and her family, can often be found on the shores of Lake Erie searching for beach glass and other treasures.
Director of Music
Prior to Kate’s appointment at St. Stephen’s, she spent seven years as the music director at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Erie. She is also a choral music teacher at Westlake Middle School in the Millcreek Township School District.
Kate received a B.M in Vocal Performance at Mercyhurst University and a M.M. in Classical Voice from New York University. She is an avid performer in the region, having appeared onstage at the Erie Playhouse, Dramashop, the Riverside Inn, and with the murder mystery troupe in All Seriousness. Some of her favorite shows include Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot, Forbidden Broadway, Chess: In Concert and Evita. Kate has also appeared as a guest soloist with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Butler Symphony, and the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Kate is a frequent accompanist and vocal coach for choral groups and musicals. She directs the Westlake Middle School Musical and the Honors Chorus. In her free time, Kate works as an independent travel agent for the Vacationeer, an agency specializing in Disney vacations. She enjoys golfing and traveling with her husband, Patrick.
Dorene Sommers – Bishop’s Warden