Buya leaves Divine Savior Parish

Deb Hamm named parish director, to get help from three retired priests
Ozaukee Press staff

The pastor of Divine Savior and Our Lady of the Lakes Cluster Parish, Father Parish Gideon Buya, is moving on to his next assignment after three years with the parish.

Appointed by the archbishop, Buya will serve as the shared pastor for St. Roman in Milwaukee and St. Charles Borromeo in Oak Creek.

Buya said while he is sad to leave the families he has loved and served at Divine Savior in Fredonia and Our Lady of the Lakes in Random Lake, his heart is full and he feels fulfilled as the parish’s priest.

“For three years, I have been blessed to be part of a family that fostered the right environment through the sacraments, prayer and outreach for me to keep growing in Christian discipleship,” he said. “I will always be grateful for such a precious opportunity and to our Divine Savior and Our Lady of the Lakes families for opening up the doors of their hearts and homes for me.”

A going-away dinner was held on June 4 for Buya at Divine Savior.

Buya is a native of Kenya who was accepted into the Catholic faith in his late teens and decided to pursue a vocation in the ministry.

His first assignment was in the Dominican Republic at an archdiocesan sister parish. He then moved to Racine in 2006 and continued to serve the community of St. Paul.

After being ordained in 2014, he was assigned as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Faith Community in Hales Corners, then to Holy Name, St. Clement and St. Dominic parishes in Sheboygan before succeeding Father Todd Budde at the Divine Savior Parish.

Buya asked for prayers for parish staff members as they maneuver through the transition and invited them to visit him in his new assignment.

Deb Hamm has been appointed as parish director of Divine Savior and Our Lady of the Lakes parishes.

Hamm will be assisted by Assisting Priest Father Steve Lampe, Supervising Priest Father Don Thimm and School Priest Father Patrick Wendt. The pastoral team will assist with various pastoral needs in the parish like celebrating Masses and working with students at Divine Savior Catholic School.

Lampe was the assisting priest at St. Joseph Parish in Grafton for 11 years before retiring, Thimm was the assisting priest of St. James Church in Menomonee Falls before retiring, and Wendt is the pastor of St. John XXII Catholic Parish in Port Washington.

A Fredonia native, Hamm has worked in local parish ministry for nearly 30 years.

She began her career in parish ministry as the volunteer director of religious education at St. Rose Lima in Fredonia in the early 1990s.

In 1997, she began studying at St. Francis Seminary and earned a masters of divinity degree in 2004.

Hamm has been a pastoral associate for Divine Savior and Our Lady of the Lakes  Parish Cluster for 17 years.

“I have no doubt that God will continue to walk with all of us through this transition with a new leadership model,” Hamm said. “Incidentally, I would not have accepted this new challenge if I did not know that we have a strong and dedicated cluster and school staff and lay leaders who work tirelessly to care for God’s people.”

Hamm will provide spiritual leadership and pastoral care to parishioners, oversee the general obligations of the parish and coordinate the ministries of worship, education, human concerns and administration.

The parish director model is becoming more common in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. There are eight directors serving in the archdiocese, and three more planned for the near future.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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