Staff

Photo of Rev. A. Charles Cannon III
Rev. A. Charles Cannon III
Rector

Highlights:

  • Native of Greenville, South Carolina
  • Lifelong Episcopalian – father is a retired Episcopal Priest, mother was a lifelong Episcopalian
  • My 3 siblings live in South Carolina
  • My 2 adult children live in West Palm Beach
  • Ordained Deacon at Trinity Cathedral in Miami, FL on September 11, 1998
  • Ordained Priest at St. James the Fisherman Church in Islamorada, FL on June 19, 2011
  • 20 years of experience in organizational leadership within church and secular settings

Education:

  • Master of Arts in Theology – University of the South, School of Theology at Sewanee, TN 2011
  • Master of Social Work – Barry University 1985
  • Bachelor of Arts in Religion – University of Florida 1982

Ministry Gifts: Pastoral Care, Preaching, Community Building, Liturgy and Teaching

Past Ministry Experience: Ministry to families in crisis, teen-aged runaways, homeless adults, persons with AIDS and cancer, the dying, and those in prison.  Deacon in Charge of 3 churches in the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

My Approach to the Ministry of Priesthood: The Book of Common Prayer (1979) defines ministry, in the Preface to the Ordination, as a “gift of God for the nurture of God’s people and the proclamation of the Gospel here and elsewhere” (BCP p. 510)   In its broadest sense ministry is defined by its functions such as: building community, proclaiming of God’s Word, serving God’s people, and celebrating the sacraments.

Yet, it is easy to confuse ministry in the church as status. I think ministry is most accurately defined as service.  The four orders of ministry described in the Prayer Book have distinct, but complementary, focuses: Laity, Bishop, Priest and Deacon.  Whatever our particular type of ministry, everything that is done is done in response to God’s invitation to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”  I experience ministry most simply as a loving response to God’s call to love in God’s name.

My own strengths and weaknesses are part of the package I bring to St. Hilary’s and I offer them to God, who lovingly molds and equips me on a daily basis to serve God’s people.  I love life and see it as a special gift and strive to make the most out of it by sharing it with others. I love people and over my lifetime have developed skills in using my interest in people to create, nurture and sustain inter-personal relationships.

I see the world I live in as a world of infinite possibilities, so I get very passionate and excited about many things. This passion can be translated into inspiring and motivating others. Additionally, I have a keen ability to “help” people.  But, I have learned that there are situations and scenarios where that help is not “helpful” or warranted.

I have enjoyed several different careers during my lifetime including: medical social work, family counseling and Information Technology. The one constant passion of mine has been the ministry of the church: lay, deacon and priest.

To the ministry of priest I bring a strong sense of values.  This can cause conflict when the tasks I am asked to do are not in line with my values. I also bring a need to be authentic.  I live my life as my true self.  If it seems right I walk in step, if it seems wrong I cannot go along.  Everything I do feeds my quest to adapt my life and values toward achieving connection with God and inner peace.

Photo of Rev. Cynthia Montooth ObJN
Rev. Cynthia Montooth ObJN
Deacon

Deacon Cynthia Montooth is a native of the Central Coast of California. After conservatory training at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Cynthia served for thirty years as one of the founding members of the Kennedy Center Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Cynthia was raised up by St. Hilary’s, where she served as deacon for three years. She served as deacon for Epiphany, Atlanta for five years and at St. Timothy’s for five months. Cynthia is delighted to return to St. Hilary’s.

Photo of Christine Bielski
Christine Bielski
Parish Administrator

Born and raised in New York City, Christine has extensive office and administrative experience, as well as a background in graphics and fine arts.  She moved to Southwest Florida nearly twenty years ago, when her twin daughters were born.  While a stay-at-home mom, she was active in many organizations, mostly for environmental causes, and served as Chair of the Bonita Springs Zoning Board, as well as volunteering in the Big Brother/Big Sister program and as a reading tutor in various elementary schools.  Christine also served on Charter review committees, both for the City of Bonita Springs, and Temple Beth El in Fort Myers.

Christine enjoys photography, especially taking pictures of our beautiful surroundings here in Southwest Florida, reading, writing and playing Scrabble.

Photo of Alena Michel
Alena Michel
Organist

Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Alena’s musical career began at a school for young gifted musicians at the age of 7. An accomplished pianist and singer in her youth, Alena was awarded numerous recognitions for piano competitions and did solo work for the Minsk Philarmonic. As a teenager she was a voice for a popular cartoon called “Silver Bells.” At age 19 she started her teaching career at a college for gifted musicians, while continuing to work towards an advanced degree in piano.

Alena came to southwest Florida in 2002 and accepted a position as musical director and organist at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Cape Coral. After four successful years, she was hired by Saint Hilary’s as its organist/pianist. She thoroughly enjoys playing service music and considers the choir and congregation her family.

Outside of Saint Hilary’s, Alena participates in AGO organ recitals and is an active member of the Calusa Musicale. She is also chairperson of the Clara Blood and Betty Turon Scholarships. Her piano students have won numerous competitions including Stars of Tomorrow, Young Artist Awards, Steinway FGCU and the Bach Festival.

Alena is happily married and enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She loves to travel and experience new places with her family.

Photo of Jerry Frantz
Jerry Frantz
Saturday Musician

Jerry comes to St. Hilary’s as our Saturday worship musician.  An accomplished pianist, Jerry studied piano performance with Ann Rutledge and vocal performance with Barbara Manford at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, graduating with a double major in piano and voice.

Jerry’s music experience encompasses 22 years in directing all areas of Music Ministry primarily for three churches, ranging in size from 900 to 1,400 members.  His work has included directing adult and youth choirs, instrumental ensembles, and drama, and coordinating volunteers within the church. He has directed and written major musical/drama presentations, and made two recordings of Christian music.

You may have spotted Jerry playing piano or keyboard at area special events.  He has also recently performed as an actor with the Orpheus players in their presentation of “Sisters of the Sea.”

Photo of Maria Hayes
Maria Hayes
Financial Administrator CPA Accounting and Tax Solutions

Maria is a CPA who works has worked for seven years with several churches in the area on financial management and reporting. Maria is the owner of CPA Accounting and Tax Solutions. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Maria has three children and one grandson. She lives in Naples.