Meet our priest formators and staff


Priest Staff Bios

Fr. Jonathan Kelly | Rector
Fr. Jonathan Kelly is a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and a member of the priestly fraternity, the Companions of Christ. Ordained in 2011, he was the associate pastor at All Saints in Lakeville, Minnesota until 2014. Since then he has been a formator and spiritual director at the Saint John Vianney College Seminary and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas. He is also a spiritual director and adjunct faculty for the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska. In January 2021, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda appointed him to be the ninth Rector of SJV.

Fr. Matthew Alexander | Spiritual Director & Formation Advisor
Fr. Matthew Alexander was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2015. Before coming to SJV, Father Alexander served as the associate pastor of Saint Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Mundelein, Illinois and then as a formator at Saint Joseph College Seminary in Chicago. In 2010, Fr. Alexander received an undergraduate degree in Philosophy at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and in 2017, he completed his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at Mundelein Seminary. Father Alexander has served on the SJV formation staff since the fall of 2019, during which he has been both a formator and spiritual director.

Fr. Paul Gitter | Spiritual Director
Fr. Paul Gitter, the longest-serving priest currently on the formation staff at Saint John Vianney, is the Director of Spiritual Life, a role he took up in 2019. Prior to that, he served for two years as the director of the SJV Rome Study Abroad Program, following a ten-year period as a full-time formator and 10 years of part-time ministry to the seminary before that. Father Gitter was ordained in July 1993 after completing his theological studies and priestly formation at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary) in Chicago, after which he served in parish ministry before his transfer to full-time work at SJV.

Fr. Colin Jones | Formation Advisor
Fr. Colin Jones, another Saint John Vianney alumnus, was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by Archbishop Hebda. Before joining the SJV staff in 2021, he served as the associate pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Wayzata. Fr. Jones completed his licentiate studies in Biblical Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.


Fr. Joseph Kuharski | Formation Advisor & Spiritual Director
Fr. Joseph Kuharski, who is a Companion of Christ, began his seminary formation at Saint John Vianney (Class of 2010), before going on to the North American College in Rome, where he studied at the Gregorian University and the John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family. Father Kuharski was ordained as a priest in 2014 for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Presently, Father Kuharski serves as the formator, as well being a spiritual director and co-professor of the second-year seminarians’ Catechism course.

Fr. Jeff Norfolk | Formation Advisor & Spiritual Director
Fr. Jeff Norfolk was born and raised in Mitchell, South Dakota. He completed his seminary studies at Franciscan University in Steubenville and St. John Vianney in Denver. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Sioux Falls on May 29, 2009, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls. Fr. Norfolk spent 4 years as an associate pastor as well as chaplaincy work at Northern State University, The University of South Dakota, Avera Hospitals, and South Dakota prisons and jails. He most recently served as the assistant at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls.

Staff Bios

Katie Anderson | Marketing & Communications Manager
Katie Anderson joined the SJV staff in March 2023 after five years of coordinating communications in school and parish settings. She studied Organizational Communication at Bethel University and lives in St. Paul.



Dr. Chris Burke | Director of Counseling Services & Assistant Human Formation Lead
Dr. Christopher Burke joined the SJV team as Director of Counseling Services & Assistant Human Formation Lead in March 2023, bringing with him a unique and varied experience. After graduating from the Colorado College (Colorado Springs), he served for 8 years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the P-3 Orion (anti-submarine warfare) aircraft. Dr. Burke then earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Burke has a passion for providing faith-consonant therapy for Catholic clergy and seminarians. He and his wife live in the Mac Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul and are proud members of the Nativity of Our Lord Parish. As a former adult league baseball player, Dr. Burke has a keen interest Seminarian Whiffle Ball games and is known to take part in some of the games!

Mary Frame | Student Services & Office Support Specialist
Mary has served SJV in administrative capacities for 16 years.




Alison Kaardal | Executive Assistant to the Rector
Alison Kaardal joined the staff of SJV in January of 2022, after serving most recently as the Executive Assistant to Bishop Andrew Cozzens.  She was raised in the Chicago area and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Finance, and the University of Chicago Law School.  Alison married her husband Erick in 1992, and they entered the Catholic Church together at the Easter Vigil three years later.  Today they live in the Merriam Park area of Saint Paul and have eight children.

Dede Leininger | Event & Hospitality Specialist
Dede Leininger has led event planning as a member of SJV's Administrative Support Team for 16 years. She and her husband John have 6 children and one grandchild.



Sue Quam | Finance Assistant
Sue Quam started working at the College of St. Thomas in January 1982 in the newly-named Computing Center. She switched to an on-call position in 1994 to stay home with her children then worked part-time in the Payroll Department and Accounts Payable in 2005. In 2012, Sue joined the staff at the Saint Paul Seminary working with the Finance Director. She retired from the SPS in July 2022 but continues to work part-time at SJV.


Mike Roesch | Director of Business & Operations
Mike Roesch joined the SJV staff in Fall 2021 after several years working in campus ministry and administration for the Diocese of Evansville, Indiana, and in finance and operations at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC. He studied Theology and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and has an M.T.S. degree from the JPII Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He lives in New Brighton with his wife and two children.

Phil Roeser | Director of Development
A longtime supporter of both SJV and The Saint Paul Seminary, Phil joined the seminary community after four decades of sales leadership, most recently in the health care industry. He is a devout Catholic, husband, father of three and grandfather of five who most recently founded PR Medical, LLC and served as managing principal of the medical device consulting startup.

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