About the St. Philip Institute
In his Constitution on Teaching the Catholic Faith in the Diocese of Tyler, Bishop Joseph Strickland announced that the Diocese would be "a teaching diocese." He said:
"In order to answer the question, “How do we become a teaching diocese?” I am founding the Saint Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization in the Diocese of Tyler. This Institute is charged with providing the parishes of the Diocese with the materials, expertise, and support to perform the mission of teaching as outlined in this Constitution. The Institute is founded for the service of the faithful of the Diocese."
To see more about the St. Philip Institute, click here to read the Bishop's Constitution.
Most Rev. Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop Strickland is the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Tyler in east Texas. He was ordained a priest in 1985, and then appointed Bishop of Tyler in 2012. Bishop Strickland has a great love for the Church, and founded the St. Philip Institute to ensure that the people of his diocese would have access to the teachings of the Church. You can read more about Bishop Strickland here.
David Tamisiea, J.D., Ph.D. — Executive Director
Dr. David Tamisiea is the Executive Director of the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization. Prior to serving as Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Tamisiea was a professor of theology and the director of the undergraduate theology program at Ave Maria University in Florida.
Dr. Tamisiea's chief areas of expertise in theology are in ecclesiology and in moral theology, but he also has some expertise in the theology of revelation and the development of doctrine; the relationship between faith and reason; Catholic social teaching; Catholic bioethics; and sacramental and liturgical theology. Dr. Tamisiea's doctoral dissertation focused on the baptismal priesthood of the christian lay faithful in relation to the Eucharist, and his master's thesis examined the Catholic idea of a living tradition.
Prior to his graduate studies in theology, Dr. Tamisiea was an attorney for ten years in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Tamisiea also worked in the business world for several years in the pharmaceutical industry. He has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, J.D. from the University of Texas Law School, and M.A. and Ph.D. in theology from Ave Maria University in Florida. Dr. Tamisiea and his wife Seana have six children ranging in age from two to twelve. Dr. Tamisiea loves spending time with his family, is a voracious reader, and enjoys exercising in his spare time. Dr. Tamisiea and his family enjoy watching sporting events together, and are devoted Notre Dame football fans.
Fr. Joshua Neu — Director of Faith Formation
Fr. Joshua Neu, SSL, is a priest of the Diocese of Tyler. After completing a B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Dallas, he began studies for the priesthood. Fr. Neu obtained an S.T.B. at the Pontifical Gregorian University and then went on to complete a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (S.S.L.) at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. In addition to his love of Sacred Scripture, Fr. Neu has particular interests in the Sacred Liturgy, Historical Theology, and Linguistics. In addition to his work as the Director of Faith Formation in the St. Philip Institute, Fr. Neu is a parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler, TX, and the Assistant Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Tyler.
Deanna Johnston, M.A. — Director of Family Life
Deanna Johnston is a native of Memphis, TN. She graduated from the University of Memphis with her B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish and later earned her M.A. in Theology from Newman University in Wichita, KS. After graduating from college, Deanna spent one year serving as a missioner in Mexico and continued working with the same organization in San Antonio, TX as Director of Development the following year. Discerning a call to full-time ministry, Deanna moved to Dodge City, KS where she spent almost seven years focusing on marriage preparation, adult faith formation, and diocesan Natural Family Planning (NFP) ministry.
Deanna is a certified Billings Ovulation Method NFP Instructor. She has a special interest in the writings of St. John Paul II, especially the Theology of the Body. She and her husband Michael have three children, Alexandria and Simon, and a baby due in August 2018. They are looking forward to raising their family in the Diocese of Tyler. Deanna serves as the Director of Family Life for the St. Philip Institute.
Luke Heintschel, M.A. — Assistant Director of Communications for the Diocese of Tyler
Luke Heintschel grew up in San Diego, CA; where he earned his undergraduate degree in Communications (emphasis in Theology and Philosophy), and a Master of Arts in Biblical Theology, both from John Paul the Great Catholic University. He wrote his Master's Thesis on priesthood and liturgy in the Old Testament and the Gospel of John. Luke moved from San Diego to Tyler in order to work for Bishop Strickland and contribute to the teaching mission of the Diocese. His work includes supporting the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization through both teaching and media development. He lives with his wife, Gabriela, and son Joseph. For fun, he enjoys mixology, comic book films, and most of all: spending time with his family.
Zaira Melchor — Administrative Assistant
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-2:00pm
Zaira Melchor was born and raised in Tyler, TX. She joined the St. Philip Institute staff in January of 2018 as the Administrative Assistant. She previously worked at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as the Administrative Assistant for 3 years, and Holy Family in Lindale as the Parish Secretary for about two and a half years. Before Parish Secretary in Lindale, she worked at the Diocese of Tyler for about four and a half years. Zaira graduated from T. K. Gorman High School in 2006 and went to Tyler Junior College where she received her dental assistant certification. Though she is dental assistant certified she decided to put that career on hold to serve the Church and be more available to her family. Zaira is married to Juan and they have two beautiful daughters, Nise and Genesis.