For over a decade I have been doing ministry around the country. It has been such a blessing. Using the medium of music and message I have attempted to communicate the truth of Christ’s love and forgiveness in a way that makes a difference. First with Scarecrow and Tinmen and then for over the last eight years on my own, I have been doing ministry. It has been amazing to connect with kids and adults in various parishes and youth events around the world. Doing keynotes and concerts, writing articles or giving interviews, it has all been utilized to convey the importance of who Jesus is and what He has, is and will do in the lives of His people.
In the Easter of 1999, I entered the Roman Catholic Church, which has been one of the most amazing adventures of my life. Many stereotypes and preconceived notions had to be modified for me to make such a transition, but the longer I searched, the more convinced I became.
I have also been blessed with the most amazing wife. Linda and I met in high school and have been in love ever since. With nine children, tons of memories, and prayerfully many years before us to grow in this vocation, I am graced to spend this time with my best friend. Touring around the country is cool, but having the stability of my family at home has been the backbone of this apostolate.
In January of 2006, I took a comprehensive exam and graduated that May with my M.A in theology from Franciscan University. This was a major achievement for me, especially with all of the travel and responsibilities at home. This educational journey continues, and I have begun doctoral work at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio.I hope to have my STL/STD (doctorate in Sacred Theology) shortly. I am grateful for everyone who has kept us in prayer and supported our journey.
As for what is to come, I am open to whatever, wherever, and whenever. Whatever He wants that is what I want, wherever He desires me to be, that is where I wish to be, and whenever He chooses for it to happen, that is when I wish it to happen as well. If our paths cross, it is my prayer that you aren’t entertained as much as drawn into a deeper intimacy with Jesus. I am entrusting this ministry to Mary’s intercession. I figure if she can bring us closer to her Son, then she will certainly take me to the places I need to be at, in order to share Christ’s love.
I pray you realize that Mary is pouring the graces of her Son upon you even now
Jack Rigert is a co-founder of the John Paul II Renewal Center and presently serves as its Managing Director. In his earlier life, Jack was a professional chef with a degree in Hospitality Management. He owned and operated a number of successful restaurant concepts. Jack also served many years in the financial services industry and went on to found his own company. While attending graduate classes at the Catholic Theological Union where he studied scripture and early church history, Jack came across the teaching of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. It changed his life. He went on to study at the Theology of the Body Institute under Christopher West, Dr. Janet Smith, and Dr. John Grabowski, among others. Jack presents Theology of the Body to groups of all ages, including many who have attended the Gift of Self Marriage Preparation seminar sponsored by the Rockford Diocese. In addition to writing for the John Paul II Renewal Center, Jack is a frequent guest on Relevant Radio and Radio Maria. He has three grown children and five grandchildren. He lives in Saint Charles, Illinois with his wife, Jeannie, and he is an active member of St. Patrick’s Church.
Father David Simonetti
Good day, friend. My name is Rev. David J. Simonetti, ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago in May 2005. I am serving as the joyful new pastor of St. Florian Catholic Church in the historic neighborhood of Hegewisch in Chicago. Recently I have earned a Doctorate in Ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary with the Thesis inspired by my THREE beautiful dogs. It is titled, PET & PRAY: The Transforming Power of Grace and Communion Through God’s Beloved Creatures. Bella the Ballerina (tri-colored black collie); Francis the Bear (brown bear-like Newfoundland), and Frankie “Blue,” – aka... Frankie Shakes, aka... Frankie “Squeaks” – a black and white Old English Sheepdog. I earned a Master of Divinity degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake coinciding with ordination, and since successfully completed a three-year Certification for Spiritual Directors: Ignatian Method program from the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University.
I have many areas of interest, including cooking, art, writing songs (The Ballad of Bella & Francis), and table ministry with others. I find that in eating with others it builds and strengthen relationships – communion – connection, among us. Three years ago, I took this passion and launched Communio Sauces, a non-profit line of six home-style, professionally produced spaghetti (and other) sauces. 100 % of the proceeds go to local charities. As of 2018 over$15,000 had been donated to shelters, food pantries, Catholic Charities, etc. in the Chicagoland and NW Indiana regions. This wonderful Mission has been featured on WGN 9 News, Ch. 5 Chicago “Making A Difference,” Chicago Tribune, National Catholic Register, and others. Recently Communio filmed our first commercial which can be seen at Communiosauces.com. The motto: “It’s More Than A Meal – It’s the Way Back Home!” I have established The Good Padre Foundation for these wonderful charitable donations to be given through. My passion is to evangelize through BEAUTY. To this end I have now added three new animals to my parish – PEACOCKS – yes, peacocks! (Mighty) Max, Angel, and Gina.
This year I have accepted an invitation to teach, part-time, at St. Joseph’s College in Whiting, In. I love to preach retreats, days of reflection, and missions with humor and Gospel joy. See you soon!