Mepkin Selects New Superior

On Nov. 3, Fr. Joseph A. Tedesco will become the fifth leader of Mepkin Abbey. Fr. Tedesco succeeds Fr. Stan Gumula who has led the Mepkin community for the past 12 years.

Fr. Joe, as he is known in the community, entered Mepkin in March 2008 and made his solemn profession as a monk on June 28, 2014. He has worked on the farm, cooked and supervised the kitchen, managed the Abbey Store and Reception Center, and as director of monks in temporary vows.

“The Holy Spirit was truly with us as we journeyed together as a community to come to know what God was asking of us,” said Fr. Joe. “This helped us to clarify how to go forward. I feel blessed to know as I begin the spiritual leadership of Mepkin, that we are open to the Spirit, supportive of one another and energized as a community. So, I can say that we are full of gratitude for the past, hopeful for our future, and approaching our present with passion. This is the gift we have given to each other.”

The son of Anthony and Anna Tedesco, Fr. Joe was born in Philadelphia. He has two sisters (one is a member of the Society of the Holy Child) and two brothers (one his twin.) He attended Catholic grammar and high schools in Philadelphia, received a B.A. in theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1975, and an M.A. in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore in 1979. He was a priest in the Diocese of Trenton and served there from 1979 to 2007, in parishes as associate pastor and pastor and in various diocesan roles.

In 2015, Fr. Joe published Food for Thought: Mepkin Abbey Fare which contains the mostly vegetarian recipes he cooks for the monks and visitors.