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Celebrating our diversity

300 Malabar Rd SE, Palm Bay, FL 32907

Office Hours: Mon - Fri, 9:00 am. - 5:00 pm.

(321) 725-3066

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church

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Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Akalue

Rev. Fr. Vilaire Philius

Rev. Fr. Vilaire Philius

Rev. Fr. Vilaire has joined us and the parish of St. Joseph's .  He will be serving weekend Masses at both parishes and will be with us for Masses and ministry on Monday and Friday's each week.

Father went directly to the Seminary from High School in 1994, at the Salesian House in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for his pre-novitiate. He then came to the United States of America in 1997. From there he was in New Jersey with the Salesians. In 2004, he left the Salesians to start theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary with the Diocese of Orlando. Father Vilaire loves to work with the youth and help to teach them with their faith, his greatest joy is to live his faith happily around the people of God and to serve them.

Rev. Fr. Vilaire was ordained on May 30, 2009 at St. James Cathedral.

Rev. Fr. Tom Shea CSC is priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. He studied grade and high school at the Vincentian Institute, Albany, NY and then finished college at StoneHill College, North Easton, MA and Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome Italy.

After being ordained on December 19, 1967 in Rome, he was sent to his congregation's new mission in Cartavio City, Trujillo, Peru. He ministered in Peru for 41 years mostly in informal and formal education, family counseling ministry and some parish ministry in several locations in Peru.

In 2009, he returned to the USA at the request of his superiors of the Congregation of the Holy Cross and accepted a position in the Hispanic Ministry at Nativity parish in Brandon, Fl in the diocese of St. Petersburg. In 2011, he moved into his congregations’ residence in Cocoa Beach, Fl and accepted to help out in the Hispanic ministry at Our Lady Of Grace, Palm Bay, Fl. He also helps out with the Hispanic ministry at Our Lady Of Lourdes (Melbourne, Fl), at Ascension (Melbourne, Fl) and at St. John of the Cross(Vero beach, Diocese of West Palm Beach, Fl).

As his friends in the Hispanic Bible study groups know well, he enjoys travelling especially to his beloved Peru. He also enjoys reading, listening to educational tapes, going to the movies, live opera programs and swimming. He also enjoy Hispanic parties.

Rev. Fr. Thomas Shea, CSC

Father Emmanuel is from Nigeria, West Africa. He hails from Ezi in Aniocha North Local Government Area (i.e County) of Delta State.  Providentially, his home town – Ezi – which belongs to his home Diocese of Issele-Uku (Located in Aniocha-North Local Government Area or “County” of Delta State) produced the First Catholic Priest in West Africa; namely, the late Fr Paul Emechete (Born in 1888, ordained priest in 1920 and died in 1948).    His home bishop, Bishop Michael Elue, gave him to serve as a missionary in the Diocese of Orlando.

After his High School career at St. Anthony's College, Ubulu-Uku in Delta State, he studied and obtained a Diploma in Agriculture at the College of Agriculture, Asaba, Delta State.  After a brief teaching career (teaching Economics, Agriculture and Fine Arts), he received and ‘hesitantly’ accepted the calling to the Priesthood.  Accordingly, in October 1986, Fr. Emmanuel entered a Seminary Spiritual Year Program at St. John of the Cross Seminary in Ekpoma in Edo State.  In 1987 he later proceeded to the Major Seminary of Saints Peter and Paul Bodija-Ibadan (Oyo State, Nigeria) where he studied for the priesthood for seven years. He was ordained a deacon on December 26, 1993, and ordained a priest on August 20, 1994.

Fr. Emmanuel originally came to the USA in 2002.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Father spent one summer visiting at Our Lady of Grace Church in Palm Bay in 2003.  In July 2004, he served the Diocese of Orlando temporarily as Parochial Vicar at St. Jude Catholic Church in Ocala.  In August 2005, Fr. Emmanuel returned to Nigeria and served as Pastor at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in Asaba. In October 2006, Fr. Emmanuel returned to the United States, to the Diocese of Orlando, as Parochial Vicar at St. James Cathedral.  On July 1st 2008, Bishop Thomas Wenski (now Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami Metropolitan See) appointed him Parochial Administrator ("Pastor") of St. John the Baptist Catholic Community, Dunnellon.  On August 1st, 2012, Bishop John Noonan (Bishop of Orlando) transferred him to Palm Bay, having appointed him the Parochial Administrator ("Pastor") of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. He is also the Coordinator for the African Catholic Community in Orlando Diocese.

Fr. Emmanuel has a deep love and unquestionable conviction for the Teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church as found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.  He loves organizing Bible Studies Programs and Doctrinal Teachings (animated with lively songs and hymns of praise under the influence of St Augustine of Hippo: "The one who sings prays twice").  His spiritual life is largely influenced by St. Paul Apostle and St. Augustine (for their courageous witness, personal life simplicity, openness and humility), St. Bernard of Clairvaux (his ordination patron saint and the principal 'player' in the 12th Century Church), St. Francis of Assisi (who received the vision: ‘Go and Rebuild my Church which is falling into ruins’), St. Padre Pio (for his faith commitment and great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Rosary), Sr. Fautina Maria Kowalska (for Divine Mercy devotion), Pope John Paul II (the main protagonist of the New Evangelization) and Pope Benedict XVI (for clarity of the presentations of the mysteries of our faith).  His late father, Damian Daniel Akalue was instrumental to his love for praying of the Psalms (his favorite prayer) and committing some Psalms and other prayers to memory.

Fr. Emmanuel's hobbies include reading, writing, painting (Fine Arts), and playing tennis.  He published a Book, "The True Church of Christ – A Theological Discernment of God's Will for His Church" in 2006, intended as a part of a series of publications to follow, by God’s grace, in future.  Finally, Fr. Emmanuel features weekly on Divine Mercy Radio – 920AM, Melbourne, where he tackles issues related to the New Evangelization and New Catholic Apologetics, toward rebuilding Christ’s Church by rebuilding the minds of God’s People with the Word of God.

Parochial Administrator

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