Grace Episcopal Church header image

Meet the Clergy & Staff


The Rev. Andrew W. Walter

The Rev. Andrew W. Walter is the 21st Rector of Grace Church in Silver Spring, MD. He began his ministry in the spring of 2011. As Rector, Andrew works with the clergy, staff and Vestry in leading the church as it pursues its vision to be a bustling community with vibrant worship and opportunities for everyone to learn, grow and serve. Andrew loves to preach, teach and be with people of all ages. 

 Prior to his ministry at Grace Church, Andrew served for four years as Associate Rector at Saint Luke’s Parish in Darien, CT where his ministry focused on families, youth and children; and included oversight of the Saint Luke’s Parish School. Under his guidance, the parish’sCome As You Are contemporary worship service became very popular and saw significant growth.

 Prior to his ordination, Andrew spent ten years working in investment banking as a derivatives trader before serving on the faculty of the Upper School Mathematics Department at the Rye Country Day School. Andrew is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Virginia Theological Seminary.  He earned his Masters of Divinity at the General Theological Seminary in 2007 and is a graduate of Bucknell University and the Groton School. He has also studied at the University of Chicago and Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Andrew is married to Susan, a civil engineer who manages major transportation infrastructure projects in NYC, and together they have three sons.

Lael SorensenThe Rev. Lael Sorensen

Assistant Rector

Lael was called to Grace in August 2010, the beginning of her ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church. Lael shares in pastoral care, preaching and worship leadership, and has focused her programmatic responsibilities in Christian Formation: Sunday School, Youth Group and the Adult Forum. She loves working with children and youth (and the adults who support them), planning and leading worship, and especially loves making connections between worship, growing in faith, and the many ministries we share. Lael was born in northern California, raised in New Jersey, educated in Michigan, taught medieval and early modern European history in southern California and, most recently, worked as a pastry chef in Maine. She earned her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and Diploma in Anglican Studies from The Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. She lives in Silver Spring.

Michelle HagansThe Rev. Canon Michele V. Hagans
Associate Rector, Canon for Ministry Initiatives for the Diocese of Washington






Ministry Staff

Minister of Music:
Danny Catalanotto

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mr. Catalanotto has been on the staff of Grace Episcopal since November of 2006. A career accompanist and performer he has performed and recorded with many outstanding ensembles, including the Tulane University Choir, the New Orleans Opera Chorus, the New Orleans Gay Men’s Chorus, the Florida Boychoir, and the New Orleans Children’s Choir, and has performed in many pit orchestras playing operas and musical productions at the Le Petite Theatre in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and through the Jefferson Performing Arts Society in Jefferson, Louisiana. He has also served on the accompanying staff of the St. Petersburg Junior College, the University of New Orleans, and at Loyola University in New Orleans, performing many choral and vocal recitals with both faculty and students. Mr. Catalanotto has served as opera and musicals chorus director in many productions including Puccini’s La Boehme. He began playing organ for churches at the age of 13, and is now in his 33rd year as a church organist and choir director. Mr. Catalanotto studied piano at Indiana University with Karen Shaw, he earned the Master of Sacred Music degree from Emory University in Atlanta, where he studied with Timothy Albrecht, and holds a BA in organ from the University of New Orleans.  He is married to Tina Catalanotto, a musician with the Washington Navy Band, and have one  daughter, Mackenzie.

Sunday School Coordinator: Becky Breeden

Pastoral Care Coordinator: Theresa Wheeler

Administrative Staff:

Fiscal Officer: George “Gib” Baily, Jr.

Parish Administrator: Beth Boyd

Welcome & Communications Coordinator: Marnie Brown

Grace Episcopal Day School:  Malcolm Lester, Head

Pennyworth Shop: Marilyn Seitz, Manager and Volunteer Coordinator





close window


Grace Episcopal Church
Grace Church Road, located off of Georgia Ave. in downtown Silver Spring, near the intersection of Georgia Ave. and 16th Street.

The church office will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After hours you may leave a message on the answering machine, which will direct you to individual voice mail boxes for members of the church staff.

Telephone: Parish Office: 301.585.3515; Parish Fax: 301.585.4309

View Larger Map
1607 Grace Church Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 585-3515