ST. John the Baptist meet the staff

Meet Our Staff

Father Alex Carlson, Pastor

Father Carlson grew up in St. Paul, and was a parishioner at St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul. He graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall high school in 2001, and attended Bemidji State University for a year. In 2002, Father Carlson was accepted into St. John Vianney college seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Catholic Studies. In 2006, he entered St. Paul Seminary where he received his Masters in Divinity and was ordained a priest in 2010 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He served as an associate pastor at Epiphany in Coon Rapids and St. Ambrose in Woodbury before being installed as Pastor here at St. John the Baptist in July of 2013. Father Carlson has a great love for the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession. He is also a big proponent of Catholic education, as it formed him into who he is today. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, golfing, and ice fishing.

952.474.8868, ext. 216


Deacon Gary Hoffman



Andrea McMerty-Brummer, Parish Administrator

Andrea joined the St. John's staff in March 2015. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she received her B.A. in Government and Public Policy and her Masters in Nonprofit Administration. Before coming to St. John's, Andrea served as Executive Director for an international Catholic nonprofit and lived for 10 years in Honduras with her husband and children. Andrea has 7 children, 4 of whom are students at St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School. When she is not at St. John's, you can usually find Andrea at her home parish of Holy Name of Jesus in Wayzata or hosting family and friends at her home in Plymouth. 

952.474.8868, ext. 204


Dr. Jacob Benda, Director of Music, Liturgy and Parish Engagement

Jacob Benda, a native of Saint Cloud, MN, earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University in 2015 where he specialized in organ, piano and music theory. Having toured extensively throughout the United States as a concert artist, his playing has been featured multiple times on American Public Media’s nationally syndicated radio program, PIPEDREAMS. He and his wife, Ali (short for Alison), are thrilled to be joining St. John the Baptist as we all strive to make known and realize the presence of Christ in the world.  

952.474.8868, ext. 205


Taylor Gruber, Director of Faith Formation

Taylor started working at St. John's in September of 2015 and oversees all of the faith formation programs of St. John's, starting at baptism and running all the way through adult formation. She grew up in Alexandria with her parents and six siblings, went to South Dakota State University, and served as a FOCUS missionary in Omaha. In her free time, Taylor likes to spend time with her family and friends, biking around the lakes of Minneapolis, and pulling pranks on her coworkers.

952.474.8868, ext. 207


Scott Kragness, Lead Maintenance Technician

Scott joined St. John's staff in the fall of 2016. He lives in Mound and he and his wife, Robin have two adult children, Hailey and Hudson and are awaiting their first grandchild.  Prior to St. John's, Scott worked at Target for seven years. He is an avid reader, enjoys golfing, and was a sailing boat captain and scuba instructor in Hawaii for twenty years. One time, while scuba diving, Scott rode a whale shark.

952.474.8868, ext. 206


Mike Pylka, Custodian


Christa Vassallo, Bookkeeper

Christa has four boys (one husband and three sons!), and is from Chanhassen. She went to Minnetonka High School, graduated from Northern Arizona University, and has worked in accounting for most of her life. She loves to create, is very artistic, and is always in the middle of a design project.

952.474.8868, ext. 203


Megan Adam, Office & Cemetery Manager

Megan has three (almost) adult children, Cate, Shannon and Michael, and two rambunctious dogs named Luci and Pickle. She earned her Bachelor's at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, then moved to southern California to work in banking management for eight years before coming home to raise her children in the relative sanity of Minnesota. She lives in Minnetonka and enjoys gardening & home repair/renovation projects, as well as spending time with friends and family - often enlisting their help on those repair/renovation projects! She feels very blessed to have found St. John's and enjoys her church and "work" family, whom she sees as gifts directly from God! 

952.474.8868, ext. 200 


Sarah Reid,  Communications Coordinator

952.474.8868 ext. 208

Sarah joined the St. John’s team in January 2018. Her role in communications includes the bulletin, parish eNewsellter, social media and events. She is originally from the neighboring state of South Dakota but her husband is a native of Minnesota, growing up in St. James. Her family moved to Plymouth in 2016 and their daughter attends Children’s House at SJB Catholic Montessori School.


Parish Leadership

Parish Trustees: Barb Thomas, Mark Spaniol

Finance Council Chair: Pat Johnson

Parish Council Chair: Charlie Kanan