Father Don Zeiler
Fr. Don was born in Paris, Arkansas in 1965. He was raised in the Catholic faith and taught by the Benedictines who operated a Parochial School at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He then moved to Texas to work making printed circuit boards. He worked in the Engineering field until 1994, when he entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, Texas. In 1996 he began Theology studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston, Texas. He was ordained a priest on June 2, 2001 for the Diocese of Dallas. For his first year of priestly ministry he served as Parochial Vicar at All Saints Catholic Church under Pastor Fr. Tom Cloherty. In September of 2002 he was moved to St. Pius X Catholic Church where he served as Parochial Vicar under Pastor Msgr. Larry Pichard. In November of 2004 he began serving as Pastoral Administrator of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Duncanville, Texas and one year later was named Pastor. Father Don was installed as Pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel on January 20, 2008 by Bishop Kevin Farrell.
Fr. Jovita Okoli
Fr. Jovita Okoli was born in 1969 in Akpugoeze (a small town in South Eastern Nigeria). He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1996 for the Catholic diocese of Awka Nigeria. For his first assignment, he taught at Holy Family Spiritual formation Center Okpuno (Awka) for one year. At the request of his home bishop, he proceeded to Catholic Institute of West Africa where he obtained licentiate in theology specializing in Canon law. He later worked as one of the secretaries of the bishop of his diocese. From 2001 thru 2006, Father Jovita served as Pastor of Immaculate Heart Parish Ekwulobia and also as Defender of the Bond, Onitsha Inter Diocesan Tribunal. He was directed by his bishop to move to the United States to work for Arch Diocese of Detroit in 2006, serving as Associate Pastor at St. Angela Parish (Roseville, MI) & Our Lady Star of the Sea (Grosspointe, MI) from 2006-2010; then as Administrator at St. Jude Parish in Detroit, MI. Along with parish duties he served as Defender of the Bond and later as judge for the Detroit Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal.
Michigan winters were very new to Nigerian born Fr. Jovita and in 2011 he requested a new assignment to a bit warmer climate. Father transferred to the Diocese of Dallas and joined St. Gabriel’s as Parochial Vicar in August of 2012.