Parish Leadership

St. Francis is guided by compassionate clergy, skilled staff, and an enthusiastic laity. The following are brief biographies of the St. Francis leadership team.
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The Rev. Maly Hughes, Rector

Maly was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. A cradle Episcopalian, she was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She grew up at the Cathedral of St. Philip where she sang in the St. Cecilia Girls Choir and was active in the youth group (then called EYC). Maly graduated from Northside High School in Atlanta (Buckhead). She attended a women’s college in Gainesville, GA – Brenau College. She graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree (English and Voice Performance).

Maly started seminary in 1993 and graduated from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA in 1996. She was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in 1997 at Trinity Cathedral, San Jose. Her first call was as youth minister at Christ Church, Los Altos. Later she was called to St. Mark’s, Los Olivos (Diocese of Los Angeles) as assistant rector and remained there until joining the staff of St. Timothy’s, Mountain View in 2000 as priest executive. She became the associate rector at St. Jude’s, Cupertino in 2010. She was called to St. Francis as rector January 1, 2013.

Maly is active in the diocese (ECR) as Secretary of Convention, President of the Standing Committee, Vocations Secretary for the Commission on Ministry, and was chair of the ECR deputation to General Convention 2015. She has served as an alternate deputy to the General Convention in 2009 and 2012, been on two diocesan strategic planning committees and was on the Bishop’s Search Committee that presented the slate resulting in the election of the present bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves.

She is married to Allan Hughes (retired) and they live in Willow Glen. They are both active in choral music in the Bay Area and are the proud parents of two orange tabby kitties, Julius and Peaches. Maly and Allan have five grown children and six grandchildren. "What a blessing and gift to serve as rector of St. that I will cherish." The Rev. Maly Hughes

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The Rev. Katherine Baginski Doar, Associate Priest

Since 1999, Katherine has been the Children and Family Minister at St. Francis, building ministries that form our children and youth as Christians with opportunities for all to discover and share their talents.

Katherine's journey toward becoming an Episcopal priest started at a very young age. "I felt that God wanted me to do something with my life that helped others, but as a Roman Catholic girl, I didn't see the priesthood as an option. I spent my young adult years looking for the place and way that God wanted me to serve: teaching in the Peace Corps in Africa, finding my denominational home in the Episcopal church, working for a homeless agency in San Francisco and a battered women's shelter in Boston, going to seminary to study feminist theology and instead ending up deeply engaged in pastoral ministry. Through all this, the pieces gradually came together for me, and I felt God calling me to be a priest in the Episcopal Church."

Her seminary education was at Harvard Divinity School and Church Divinity School of the Pacific, but she also credits her time in the Peace Corps, 18 months working in homeless services in San Francisco, and nine years as a co-op preschool parent as critical to her formation for ministry.

Katherine has three children—one in elementary, one in high school, and one in college—so one of her other hats is as a passionate advocate for our local public schools. She's also an avid skier and "a big time musical theatre junkie."

The Rev. Rick Bender, Deacon

Rick is a native Californian (mostly) living for a short time in Hawaii as a child and finishing school in Santa Clara County. He is a San Jose State alum and graduated from the School for Deacons in Berkeley CA. Prior to ordination he spent most of his secular career in commercial construction management and development. Currently he serves as the full-time chaplain for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. In addition he serves on the diocesan Commission on Ministry, the Property Committee, and the Board of Directors for the Episcopal Chaplaincy Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

Rick previously served as deacon of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga, CA until his call to St. Francis in September 2013.

Rick and his wife Sharon have been married for 15 years and they have been blessed with two wonderful children and “three sometimes wonderful dogs….or maybe that was three wonderful dogs and two sometimes wonderful children.”

He knew early in his formation that he was called to a pastoral ministry and as time went on that developed into a hospital ministry and finally blending into his current calling as the chaplain in Santa Cruz County. “It’s funny how God works in our lives because 20 years ago if you had told me this is what I would be doing I would have said you were crazy. The truth of the matter is it’s exactly what I am supposed to be doing, it’s perfect. Meeting the poor, sick and lonely…seeing the face of Christ among the least of us. Jesus was imprisoned, the Christ was criminalized and yet his suffering was for us. The least I can do is ease the suffering of a mortal man imprisoned just as Christ was. We all suffer in different ways, prisoners of our past, hostages to the future, and refugees of present circumstances. “

The Santa Cruz County jail system holds approximately 500 inmates at any given time between its three facilities in a combination of Medium/Maximum security. Most are there either awaiting trial, some have been convicted and are serving out relatively short sentences ranging from 30 days to possibly a year in the jail. Lately the jail population has increased as a result of the Governor’s AB109 imitative that allows those who previously would have served their terms in state prison to serve them locally in the jail. This means that rather than having inmates in the jail for months at a time they have some inmates for possibly years at a time. This of course in a facility that was never intended to house inmates long-term.

As the chaplain, Rick works to provide a well-rounded interfaith experience for the entire jail population of Santa Cruz County.

The Rev. Stephenie Rose Cooper, Deacon

Stephenie is our own home-grown deacon. After many years of study, volunteering in the community, and full-time employment in hi-tech, Stephenie was ordained in 2010 to the diaconate in the Diocese of El Camino. Her duties have her serving the community, her home parish, and Holy Child in Milpitas. For the past few years, she has also been appointed annually as an Assistant Secretary of Diocesan Convention.


Katie Gueorguieva, Organist/Choir Master

Ms. Ekaternia Gueorguieva, aka Katie, joined St. Francis' staff as Music Director, Organist, and Choirmaster in May of 2011. Katie received her BA from the Bulgarian State Academy of Music in her native Sofia where she majored in Piano Performance and Music History with support courses in Choral Conducting. She then won a scholarship to the graduate program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied piano, organ, and harpsichord, leading to her MM degree. Since graduation she has served as pianist, organist, and choir director at St. Paulus Lutheran Church, San Francisco; St. Peter Episcopal Church, Redwood City; Trinity United Methodist Church, Mountain View; and at First United Methodist Church, Redwood City.

Katie's audition thrilled those who heard it. She won high marks from the choir for her direction of their trial rehearsal. Katie and her family now live in San Jose within four miles of St. Francis. She looks forward to the opportunity to take our music program in new and exciting directions as well as to the shorter commute.

Carrie Maietta, Parish Administrator

Carrie joined St. Francis in May of 2012. She was born and raised in West San Jose and moved to Willow Glen 26 years ago when she married her husband Michael. Together they have two grown children. Carrie's husband Michael is an Engineering Manager for Ericsson and has been in the tech industry for more than 25 years. They built their current home in Willow Glen 19 years ago, and she is happy to be within biking distance to St. Francis.

Carrie worked for many years in Human Resources in the tech industry before “retiring” to raise a family. She has been an avid volunteer in her community and has received Volunteer of the Year awards from Presentation High School, and Junior League of San Jose (Crystal Bowl Winner). She has served on Presentation High School’s Parent Board, Bellarmine College Prep. Mother's Guild, and the Bellarmine AMEN Board (Alumni Mothers Extended Network), and is currently serving on the LAMP Board (Loving Alumnae Mothers of Presentation) for Presentation.

In her spare time, Carrie enjoys spending time with family, gardening, sewing (wedding/formal gowns, quilts, window treatments, and teaching teens to sew), and cooking.

Carrie works from 9am – 3pm Monday - Friday.

The Vestry

In the Episcopal Church, the vestry is the governing board of the parish. It is elected by the congregation as a whole, and conducts its secular business. The rector is an ex officio member of the vestry and usually chairs its meetings. The leaders of the vestry are the rector, Senior Warden and Junior Warden.

Originally the word vestry referred to the room where the priest would put on his vestments, at which time and place the members of the congregation would often gather to discuss the affairs of the parish. Later, the word came to refer to the lay leaders themselves instead of a room.

The Episcopal Church uses a representative form of government instead of a pure democracy and members of the vestry are elected at the parish’s annual meeting. As its primary responsibility, the vestry oversees the parish’s financial health. In partnership with the rector, it develops and approves the annual parish budget.

At St. Francis, the vestry meets on the third Tuesday of the month to conduct its business and on special occasions as needed.

Vestry Members: Kelly Castellon - Sr. Warden, Tim Ong - Jr. Warden, George Dobbs, Joe Head, Steve Homer, Mary Mackenzie, Desie Mehrabian, Robb Moore, Renee Nichols, Chris Peacock, Hugh Smith, and Phil Steinke. Clerk of the Vestry:  Donna Jewett.

Delegates to Diocesan Convention

Delegates represent St. Francis in the councils of the church, through their participation in deanery meetings and Diocesan Convention. Delegates ratify the diocesan budget, pass resolutions for diocesan government, and elect members of the diocese to various bodies and commissions, including the election of clergy and lay deputies to the national triennial General Convention. Delegates also have the privilege of electing diocesan bishops from time-to-time.

All active clergy are automatically members of the diocesan convention. In addition, each congregation in good standing elects lay delegates and alternates. The number of delegates and alternates is based on the average Sunday attendance of the previous year.

Deanery meetings are regional gatherings that occur two or three times per year. The Annual Meeting of Diocesan Convention is held in November.

The Rector of St. Francis, The Rev. Maly Hughes, currently serves as Secretary of Convention; President of the Standing Committee; Vocations Secretary of the Commission on Ministry; and Deputy to General Convention for the Diocese of El Camino Real. The Rev. Katherine Baginski Doar is a clergy member of convention for St. Francis, and is a member of the Youth Commission. The Rev. Rick Bender is a clergy member of Convention and serves on the Commission on Ministry, and The Rev. Stephenie Cooper is a clergy member of convention for Holy Child, Milpitas.

Lay Members of Convention (Delegates): Kelly Castellon, Joe Head, Janet Maich, Janet Mize, Andrea Shortal, and Isabelle Wright. Kimbra Ong and Mary Mackenzie are alternates.

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