The Clergy of St. Gertrude the Great

Pastor - Most Rev. Charles J. McGuire

Bishop Charles McGuire was born in 1981, just outside the small town of Chillicothe, Ohio. When he was about fifteen years old, he and his family left the New Vatican II Religion and became Traditional Catholics. Fr. Anthony Cekada was instrumental in helping him to understand what had happened in the Church since the 1960s. After much deliberation, Bp. McGuire left his childhood home for Detroit, Michigan in 1999, in order to join the seminary which is under the direction of Bp. Sanborn. He attended the minor seminary for his senior year of high school before entering the major seminary. He was ordained a priest on November 16th, 2005 by Bp. Daniel Dolan at St. Gertrude the Great Church, West Chester, Ohio. In his first couple years, he moved around assisting different clergy and traveling to different missions. In late 2007, he was moved to and made pastor of St. Hugh of Lincoln Church, where he resided until December 2009. At that time, he was transferred to St. Gertrude the Great while still frequently visiting St. Hugh to offer Mass. He assisted Bp. Dolan in his work in various ways over the years, especially in visiting the sick.

Bishop McGuire was consecrated on May 18th, 2022 by Bp. Rodrigo da Silva, who had been consecrated by Bp. Dolan. Bp. McGuire continues Bp. Dolan’s apostolate as the pastor of St. Gertrude the Great Church, supporting her foreign missions, and traveling throughout the world to administer the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders.

Asst. Pastor - Rev. Stephen F. McKenna

Fr. Stephen McKenna was born in 1985, in Tewksbury, MA. Fr. McKenna wasn’t born a Traditional Catholic, but like so many Catholics in the world, he was raised in the Novus Ordo Church and this religion didn’t play a prominent role in his early life. Fr. McKenna graduated from Tewksbury Memorial High School as a member of the National Honor Society and then attended the University of Massachusetts, achieving two bachelors degrees in Philosophy and Criminal Justice at the end of 2006. Following his college education, Fr. McKenna worked as a property manager for Cummings Properties, a major commercial real estate company in the Greater Boston area.

In 2002, Fr. McKenna met some friends who encouraged him to take his Faith more seriously, become consistent in attending Church and saying the Rosary, and they started a non-profit organization, known as the Community of Hope, which performed many various charitable works throughout the New England area. While working with this organization, Fr. McKenna and his associates had a special focus on spreading devotion to Our Lady’s Rosary, the Brown and Green Scapulars, and the Miraculous Medal. They would contact churches all throughout New England (they succeeded in going to every church which would allow them to come in the entire Archdiocese of Boston), stand outside at each of their services and hand out these sacramentals for free to all attendees.

Soon after starting work with the Community of Hope, Fr. McKenna and a number of his friends discovered and attended the Latin Mass for the first time. Immediately he was struck by the beauty of the Roman Catholic liturgy as it was meant to be. This quickly started a path of study and discovery about the problems of the Second Vatican Council and the changes which constituted the Novus Ordo Liturgy and religion. Eventually, Fr. McKenna would meet Bp. Robert McKenna (no relation), who would put all the pieces together regarding the current crisis and help aid him on his journey towards his vocation. After having been made a Third Order Dominican, Fr. McKenna entered the seminary, studying in Spokane, WA under the tutelage of Fr. Kevin Vaillancourt, with the oversight of Bp. McKenna and Bp. Daniel Dolan, before finishing his theological studies with Fr. Anthony Cekada at St. Gertrude the Great in West Chester, OH. On February 11, 2012, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Fr. Stephen McKenna was ordained to the Priesthood by Bp. Daniel Dolan at Sacred Heart Church in Lawrence, MA, which he had helped rescue, restore, and establish as a Traditional Catholic Church.

Since that time, Fr. McKenna has worked at St. Gertrude the Great and spent most of his priesthood traveling and helping to establish and run missions both in the United States and abroad. In addition to his missionary work, Fr. McKenna soon became known far and wide for his frequent work on various podcasts. For years, he had regular shows on Restoration Radio with True Restoration, having his own series on Pastoralia and becoming a co-host of Behind the Headlines with Bp. Dolan. With the arrival of Covid-19 to the world, Fr. McKenna was a leading voice in helping guide people to understand the reality of this psyop and arming them with important factual information and direction through the confusion. He worked regularly with Dr. Daniel Stanislowski, Ph.D. and often would appear with him on Grand Forks Best Source, a live internet radio program based in Grand Forks, ND. Over the last couple of years, Fr. McKenna has become a regular guest on Catholic Family Podcast, where he is known for tackling difficult moral and pastoral questions as well as a series on modern philosophies.

Currently, Fr. McKenna is the pastor of St. Hugh of Lincoln Church in Milwaukee, WI, as well as missions in Dallas, TX, Austin, TX, El Paso, TX, Park Falls, WI, Grand Forks, ND, Minot, ND, and Effingham, IL. He also oversees and manages from afar Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spokane, WA. After the sudden death of Bp. Daniel Dolan, Fr. McKenna was made the Assistant Pastor at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, OH where he continues to live and assist Bp. Charles McGuire.

School Chaplain - Rev. Vili O. Lehtoranta

Father Vili Lehtoranta was born in 1978 in Turku, Finland. He attended the Finnish public school system and graduated in 1997. He converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism (Novus Ordo) in 1998, and started to study Church history at the University of Helsinki. After attending Traditional Mass few times in Stockholm, Sweden, he discovered Father Cekada’s writings about Sedevacantism, and made his first trip to the USA in 2006 in order to visit St. Gertrude the Great Church.

After getting his degree (Master of Theology) from the University of Helsinki in 2007, Father Lehtoranta started his studies at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida in September 2007. He was ordained on November 16, 2011, at St. Gertrude the Great Church by Bishop Dolan. After finishing his studies at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in 2012, he moved to St. Gertrude, and has since taught religion, Latin, and history at St. Gertrude the Great School. He’s also in charge of the Sodality of Charity, one of the youth groups of St. Gertrude.

Rev. Thomas J. Simpson

Fr. Simpson was born in 1997 in Blue Ash, Ohio. He was a parishioner of St. Gertrude the Great from infancy and was homeschooled K through 12. During and after high school he worked with a mechanic, helped out on a dairy farm and mowed lawns.

In 2016, a year after graduating high school, and due to the instrumentality of Fr. Cekada and at the time Fr. McGuire, he joined Most Holy Trinity Seminary then in Brooksville, FL. A year after the death of Fr. Cekada, Fr. Simpson and three others moved to St. Gertrude to finish their seminary studies there.

He received Subdiaconate and Diaconate from the Most Rev. Daniel Dolan, and was finally ordained a priest by the Most Rev. Rodrigo da Silva on May 11th, 2022, Bishop Dolan having died tragically a week before the scheduled date of ordination.

Fr. Simpson now resides at SGG and assists Fr. McKenna in taking care of the missions in Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois and North Dakota.

Rev. Anthony W. Brueggemann

Fr. Anthony Brueggemann was born in 1998 in Northern Kentucky and raised in Verona, a small rural town. Raised a Traditional Catholic, he attended St. Gertrude the Great Church from his infancy.

After finishing homeschooling, he worked for a little while at Bavarian Trucking, a garbage disposal company owned by his relatives, from whence he quit to try his vocation to the priesthood at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida in 2017; Fr. Cekada helped him to take this step and was supportive of him in pursuing this vocation until the day of his death. After Fr. Cekada’s death, Bishop Dolan devoted much of his personal time to Fr. Brueggemann who was then in the last years of his formation.

Fr. Brueggemann received Subdiaconate and Diaconate from the Most Rev. Daniel Dolan, and was finally ordained a priest by the Most Rev. Rodrigo da Silva on May 11th, 2022, Bishop Dolan having died tragically a week before the scheduled date of ordination.

Father has since resided at St. Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, visiting the sick and teaching online classes to the seminarians of SGG who currently reside in Seattle under the supervision of a fellow priest, Fr. Ercoli. Occasionally he also assists in servicing the various missions operated by the clergy at SGG.