Clergy and Staff

Here you’ll find information about our dedicated clergy and staff members who work together to cultivate an atmosphere of faith and learning and to keep the parish running smoothly. We welcome your communication and urge you to contact any staff member with concerns or questions you may have.


Fr. Andrew McNair
P: (910) 692.6613

About Fr. Andrew McNair

Fr. Andrew McNair is a native of Swansboro, North Carolina. He entered the seminary in 1985 and was ordained a priest on Christmas Eve of 1997 in Rome, Italy. He studied classical humanities in Salamanca, Spain, and philosophy and theology in Rome. Before ordination, he served as a missionary for three years in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, working with the Mayan natives.

After ordination, Fr. Andrew taught theology at Mater Ecclesiae College in Greenville, Rhode Island, for eight years. During this time, he was a columnist for the National Catholic Register. In 2008, Fr. Andrew was assigned to parish ministry and appointed chaplain for the Office of Black Catholic Ministry in the Diocese of Providence. He served as assistant pastor of Holy Spirit parish in Central Falls, Rhode Island, for two years and as assistant pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Providence, Rhode Island, for one year. In 2012, he was appointed pastor of SS. John and James parish in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

In 2014, Fr. Andrew returned to the Diocese of Raleigh to serve as administrator of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In June and July of 2016, Bishop Michael Burbidge installed Fr. Andrew as chaplain of African American Catholics in the Diocese of Raleigh for a term of three years and as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua. Fr. Andrew looks forward to serving the African American Catholic Community in the Diocese of Raleigh. Praise be to Jesus Christ.

Deacon Pius Gabriel, D. Min.
Pastoral Assistant
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 226

About Deacon Pius Gabriel, D. Min.

The Rev. Dr. Gabriel, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret), serves the members of the St. Anthony of Padua Church and also serves as a volunteer chaplain at the First Health Moore Regional Hospital and Hoke County Correctional Institutions. He was appointed to the Deacon Community Advisory Board for a second three-year term by the Bishop of Raleigh. He has been appointed by the governor of North Carolina to lead the resources council at Hoke County Correctional Institution. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Moore County Airport, as appointed by the Moore County Commissioners. He started a weekly prayer service, now in its sixth year, at the Moore Regional Hospital.

Since 2010, Gabriel has been instrumental in organizing and providing annual Thanksgiving meals for people in the local area who are unable to have a Thanksgiving meal at home. In 2015, this program provided 1300 meals. Gabriel is the executive director of the international charity organization Brothers of the Poor, which has been supporting children in Sri Lanka since 2004. Rev. Gabriel and his wife continue to provide assistance to various Catholic churches in his native country. His education includes a degree in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering, a masters degree in political science with an international relations emphasis, and a doctoral degree in ministry.

Deacon Stephen (Gordon) Dozier


About Deacon Stephen (Gordon) Dozier

Dcn. Stephen G. Dozier was ordained to the diaconate in 2008 for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Josephat in Parma, Ohio. He received permission to serve as a Latin Rite deacon as well as in the Byzantine liturgy. Mr. Dozier spent almost 30 years as a business officer for private independent schools, and he retired and moved to Southern Pines in 2004. In May 2005, he became the bookkeeper for the St. Anthony parish and school. He has been married to Eva for 50 years, and they have eight children and 19 grandchildren.


Mercedes Abundis G.
Hispanic Ministry
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 260

About Mercedes Abundis G.


Kevin Benitez
Choir Director

About Kevin Benitez

Kevin Benitez started in music ministry at a young age within the Diocese of Raleigh at St. Julia's Catholic Church in Siler City, NC. While there, Kevin’s family formed the group Yedidias. Kevin studied music though grade school, high school, UNC Greensboro, and now at Guilford Technical Community College pursuing a degree in commercial music. He has performed and coached young musicians. Kevin was accepted to perform with one of three groups at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention). While being an instrumentalist first and foremost, Kevin has continued to achieve in the world of vocal music. Despite the many commitments he has as a student, he has received multiple awards and scholarships from the NCMEA (North Carolina's Music Educators Association).

Jeremy Dixon
Office Assistant/Parish Organist
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 225

About Jeremy Dixon


Josel Pingol
Confirmation Coordinator

About Josel Pingol

Josel was born and raised in the Philippines. He went to all Catholic schools in elementary, high school, and college. He immigrated to the United States in 1986 and entered the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Bloomingdale, Ohio in 1989. Josel had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria, Belgium, Portugal, and Italy. Josel has met many leaders of the Catholic faith, especially Pope John Paul II in 2000 and 2002. In 2008, through an invitation from a good friend Dr. Robert Deucher and his wife, Beth Deucher, Josel moved to North Carolina and worked at Belle Meade on Camp Easter Road. Josel was one of our parish weekend sacristans from 2008 until recently. Currently, he is an employee at Pineknoll of St. Joseph of the Pines, in Southern Pines as an expediter and prep cook. Josel married the love of his life, Rosita England of Red Springs in 2014. They reside in Carthage.

Rose Root
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 227

About Rose Root

Rose is originally from Potomac, Maryland, but she has been living in North Carolina for a few years. She is married with three teenagers. Rose has a degree in business administration and a minor in accounting from Montgomery College. She has a passion for politics, cooking, and country music.

John Rowell
Administrative Assistant
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 221

About John Rowell

John Rowell has been with St. Anthony of Padua parish since December of 2015. Originally from the state of Minnesota, he grew up working in the family business. Mr. Rowell is married and has one son. Among his interests are traveling, fishing, hunting, golf, tennis, and soccer, and he brings an additional talent through his fluency in Spanish. Having lived in Europe and Mexico, Mr. Rowell enjoys the natural beauty of North Carolina and the warm, country atmosphere of the Sandhills.

Diana Wake
Parish Secretary/Religious Education Coordinator K-6
P: (910) 692.6613 ext. 224

About Diana Wake

Diana Wake has served as the parish secretary at St. Anthony for over twelve years. She is responsible for the weekly bulletin and maintaining the parish membership database, among other things. Ms. Wake is also the coordinator for religious education for grades K–6, which includes sacramental preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion. She works with qualified volunteers from within the parish to offer a solid quality program to educate the children of the parish in the faith.

Diana taught religion classes for many years, starting with the religious education program on Pope Air Force Base and in Eagle River, Alaska, before coming to St. Anthony of Padua. She continued teaching the catechism when she came here, starting with elementary RE classes, and eventually teaching the high school confirmation class and children's RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children). Ms. Wake is a graduate of Sandhills Community College, where she earned her associates degree in business administration. She is the single mother of three grown sons who grew up at St. Anthony's but whose jobs have landed them in three different states. Her biggest joys are seeing her sons, daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters whenever she gets the chance.