Baraga Association Advisory Board Members

Baraga Association Advisory Board Members


Very Rev. Timothy Ferguson: Chaplain

I'm Father Tim Ferguson, rector of Marygrove Retreat Center. I was ordained to the priesthood in 2015 and served for a few months at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette before coming to Marygrove. I was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, and entered the seminary right out of high school, in 1985. After seven years of seminary formation, I left, and drifted through a couple of different jobs at a retreat center, in restaurants, a publishing company, and a gold mining company before settling in as a parish secretary at St. Dominic's Parish in San Francisco. From there, I returned to studies in the field of canon law, and worked on the Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Detroit for about ten years. 

During my time of discernment between leaving the seminary and returning, I came to know about Bishop Baraga. I read about his heroic exploits, his strong devotion to the faith and to God's people, and his tenacity. In the end, I placed the decision about my vocation in the hands of three intercessors: St. Benedict Joseph Labre, Venerable Solanus Casey, and Venerable Frederic Baraga. Within months of me doing so, doors began to open for me that allowed me to return to the seminary. When I told Bishop Alexander Sample that I did not want to be a priest, I wanted to be a holy priest, he said, "Then you have to be like Bishop Baraga." Bishop Sample accepted me into priestly formation, and I was sent to finish up my studies at Mount Angel Seminary, in north central Oregon. 

James A Surrell, M.D.: President

President, Bishop Baraga Association Advisory Council
FACS – Fellow, American College of Surgeons
FASCRS – Fellow, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
Dr. Surrell has also been working with the Diocese of Marquette with regard to the Bishop Baraga Sainthood efforts with documentation sent to the Vatican for review. He also gives Power Point slide show presentations to review the history of the many significant contributions made by Bishop Baraga throughout our great Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Dr. Surrell is a board-certified colorectal surgeon and holds fellowship status in both the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.  In addition to his best selling SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet book, Dr. Surrell has authored many articles in various medical journals. He recently published his latest book, The ABC’s For Success In All We Do.        
“Doc” or Jim (as he prefers to be called) has a special interest in helping people make “Healthy Lifestyle Choices”.  He blends a significant amount of humor into his many talks and speaks frequently about his SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet, nutrition and weight loss, cancer screening and prevention, and other healthy lifestyle topics.
Dr. Surrell Contact Information:     Email –     Cell Phone – (906) 360-1213 

Deacon John P. Vidmar, PhD: Vice President

Dr. Vidmar is the permanent deacon at the Slovenian Catholic Mission in Lemont, IL which is part of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  He is the treasurer for a diaconal ministry, Hopes On The Way which has served as second responders to natural disasters and it supports various ministries in the Chicago Archdiocese. He has also lectured in Homilitecs in the Diaconate Formation program and serves as a facilitator in the Emmaus program which is a mentoring program for newly ordained deacons. He sits on the board for Villa St. Benedict, a senior housing complex in Lisle, IL which is part of the Benedictine Health Systems headquartered in Duluth, MN.  He serves as the Honorary Consul for Slovenia for Illinois. He is a social scientist by training and serves as the Chairman for the US Ipsos Public Affairs, a division which conducts policy research using survey methods for the federal government and international agencies as well as Thomson Reuters News Service. Prior to Ipsos, Dr. Vidmar was on the staff at the Survey Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois and was a lecturer in various academic departments.  He has been involved in the Baraga Canonization Cause since he was a teenager growing up in the Slovenian community of Cleveland, Ohio. He was named Baraga Man of the Year in 2013.

Jerry Parodo

Jerry Parodo resides in Manawa, Wisconsin with his wife Anita. He has four children.  Jerry is retired from the Television and Telecommunication industry where he worked for many years. He is a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.  Jerry is a Navy Veteran with 7 years of service. Jerry is a lifetime member of the Bishop Baraga Association and actively promotes Venerable Bishop Baraga’s cause for canonization.


Lore Ann Parent

Lore Ann Parent was born and raised in Marquette, MI.  She majored in Business Management/ Restaurant while attended Northern Michigan University.  After graduation Lore Ann moved to Seattle, Washington and later to Alaska to work in the entertainment industry.  In 1985, Lore Ann returned to the Marquette area to pursue her career and to help care for her family as her father had recently been diagnosed with cancer. 

She has held numerous chair positions for local organizations and has been instrumental in fundraising for countless events.  Besides her business work, she studied and developed talents in the restorative art field acquiring 26 years of experience restoring several hundreds of ceramic, metal and marble pieces.  She also had the wonderful opportunity of restoring “The Stations of the Cross” in the Holy Cross Cemetery that took 521 hours to complete.  She is an illustrator, oil painter, and photographer.

Mark Canale

Mark Canale is a Marquette native who attended the local public schools as well as Northern Michigan University, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1979.  He currently owns three funeral homes in Marquette, Gwinn and Ishpeming and is active in many church and civic boards and committees.  He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and has been a lector at local parishes for over 40 years.


Mary Ann Biscorner-Dick

I am the mother of three wonderful children, grandmother of four, and wife to my husband and best friend, Marvin Dick.  I was born and raised in the Detroit area, attending Catholic schools my entire life including teen representative to Cardinal Dearden’s 1967-68 Synod.  Having lived the biggest part of my life in Monroe County, I retired from Monroe County Community College, working as a Workforce Development Specialist.   
After both Marv and I retired, we moved to Sugar Island, near Sault Sainte Marie, where we became active in our community and our mission church, Sacred Heart.  I am honored to serve as Eucharist Minister, Lector, Social Director, and on Parish Council.  It was through my involvement at Sacred Heart that drew me to work on the Holy Angels Restoration Project, one of the few remaining missions built by Bishop Baraga.  Delving into our local church history as well as tracing Bishop Baraga’s assignments throughout Michigan, I’ve found that my Catholic faith has taken on another dimension.  It is my hope that our work on Holy Angels Church will bring to the forefront the impact and sacrifice that Bishop Baraga made for our community. 
I am honored to be part of the Bishop Baraga Association’s Advisory Council as I pray it will keep me focused on the values he exemplified:  to love God above all else and to reach out to our neighbors in need.  

Sandy Jurkovich

Sandy Jurkovich is a member of St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. She and her husband, Bob, came to Marquette in 1976 to finish their education at Northern Michigan University and never left! They have three children, Fr. Robb Jurkovich, Anne (Jurkovich) & Adam Lund and Jay and Breanna (Cretens) Jurkovich. They also have five grandchildren. Sandy taught elementary school for 25 years and has been retired for five. She is very active with the Woman Caring and Serving/Altar Society woman’s group at St. Peter as well as the Hospitality Committee which her husband, Bob heads. Bob and Sandy have been long-time members of the Bishop Baraga Association and Sandy has served on the Bishop Baraga Education Center committee since its inception. She is looking forward to serving on the Bishop Baraga Advisory Board as we all pray for his cause to sainthood.

Bishop Baraga Association

615 S. Fourth Street - Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 227-9117 -

Diocese of Marquette ~ 1004 Harbor Hills Drive, Marquette, MI 49855-8851 ~ (906) 225-1141