Pastoral Team

Our Pastoral Team is a group of priests, lay managers, and parishioner-advisors who share in the decision making and managerial processes of our Catholic Community. Canon Law has long required a Finance Council to share in the fiscal management of parishes and the Los Angeles Archdiocese and many others strongly urge a Pastoral Council to advise the Pastor. Saint Francis Xavier has included the ministry of both of these Councils for many years.

Current reality includes lay ecclesiastical ministers as well as ordained religious in our Community management group. Our commitment to conscious and active participation in all aspects of our Catholic Community has led to the further addition of parishioner-advisors to the Team.

Our Catholic Community of Saint Francis Xavier, just as a living tree – our vision of ourselves – requires that each member actively participate and support the whole and receive support from the whole. In addition to the active and prayerful participation and contribution of each member, this requires that it all be integrated and coordinated. Your Pastoral Team collectively shares the pastoral governance and coordination tasks required to make Saint Francis Xavier the living, changing, and growing Catholic Community that means so much to each of us.

From our symbolic vision of the tree to our everyday operation and governance we strive to build God’s Kingdom; to more fully share our time, talent, and treasure; and to fully realize the call to universal priesthood of Vatican II.


Fr. Sebastian Vettickal


Fr. Sebastian, a Carmelite priest just like Fr. Benny, was born on December 22, 1962. After graduating from high school, he joined the religious order of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). He was ordained on December 31, 1991. Fr. Sebastian arrived in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2000. He served two years at Sacred Heart Church in Ventura, 11 years at St. Denis Church in Diamond Bar and currently serves as the Administrator at Holy Trinity Church in San Pedro.

Prior to his ministry in the U.S., holding Masters degrees in both Theology and Counseling, Fr. Sebastian worked in the Diocese of Bijnor (India) as the Rector of the Seminary, Formation Coordinator, and Pastor and manager of a high school. He also worked as the editor of the Diocesan Journal, and has authored two books: Jericho to Jerusalem and Cornerstone. His motto: “Love God and serve Him in others.”


Paul Sullivan, Ed.D

Principal of St. Francis Xavier School

Paul is a Burbank native. A first generation Irish – American, Dr Sullivan attended St. Finbar with his brothers Brian and Robert.

Dr. Sullivan is also a graduate of Notre Dame High School, CSUN, Mount St. Mary’s College, and Pepperdine University.


Jim Roope, Deacon & Rosie Roope

Religious Formation

Jim spent the first 21 years of his life in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved to California in 1980 and settled in the South Bay. He’s been working in radio most of his adult life, except for a four-year stint as the entertainment director at Marineland.

He met Rosie in 1987, had their first date in 1988 and married in 1989. Jim and his family joined the parish family in 1998 after moving to Burbank from Redondo Beach. Jim is a Lector, involved in our Confirmation Program and the middle-school youth group “The FLOCK,” and a member of the Parish Council.

His wife Rosie is charge of Religious Formation, is an Eucharistic Minister, adult leader in “The Flock,” and has been a Room Mom, and involved in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word and is the greatest thing to ever happen to Jim. They have three kids. Ryan graduated from our 8th Grade and is now attending Northridge college. Megan is at San Diego State University and Tyler currently attending Burroughs High School. Jim’s hoobies include sports, music and making people laugh.


Rev. Benny George

Associate Pastor

Fr. Benny, a member of the Religious Congregation, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, was ordained in 1988 for the mission Province of Bijnor.

He worked on the Mission in various capacities as the Secretary of the Bishop, as the auditor of the prov­ince, and as a missionary for ten years among the poor at the Ghansali in the Himalayas.

He has his degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the Dharmaram Pontifical Institute, Bangalor, India. He has a post graduate degree in Social Sciences. His hobbies are gardening, read­ing, and watching and playing basketball.


Rita Recker

Pastoral Associate/Director of Parish Administration

Rita’s immediate family joined the parish in 1994, although Rita remembers attending the ICF Christ­mas parties and the Cabrini Pilgrimage as a little girl. She is now a mother of three, all of whom attended our Parish School.

Rita started working for our Community in 1997 as the SCRIP Coordinator and was invited to be our chief administrator in July 2000. Her family is strong on volunteering.

Her hus­band Brad has co-chaired the Faire. Her children have volunteered at the Faire, Feast of Ten Tables, Ministry Faire, and much, much more. Rita’s hobbies are running, hiking, gardening, and anything you can do outside on a sunny day.


Richard Dixon


Richard was received into the Faith after completing RCIA here at St. Francis in 1999.

He currently serves as a sac­sacristan and Eucharistic minister, and is a member of the Altar Society, RCIA, Bereavement Ministry, Pastoral Council, and Finance Council.

Recent years he has been Chairman-CEO of IDEA Associates, a consulting firm; prior to that he worked for Los Angeles County for 35 years, rising from Deputy Sheriff to Administrator for the entire County.

His hobbies are working, reading, and his granddaughters.


Jaime Abrera


Bio Coming Soon!