Father Stephen “Steve” Stephens has served as Epiphany’s vicar since the beginning of 2020 in a shared vicarship with St. Philip’s church in Rio Communities, Belen. A native of Carmarthen in South Wales and a Welsh Catholic, he told his mother when 5 that he felt God’s call to the priesthood. At 16 he gave up the idea when a chaplain told him he wasn’t suited intellectually for the calling. Shortly after he finished high school in Carmarthen, an aunt’s reminder that he once thought about the priesthood led to his undergraduate studies in philosophy and theology at Ushaw College in Durham, England, and the Dominican University of St. Thomas in Rome, from which he graduated magna cum laude. He then underwent intensive cognitive and behavioral training with the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M., and on intervention at the Johnson Institute in Minneapolis. Following his ordination in Wales in 1982, he completed post-graduate studies at the Jesuit’s Saint Louis (Mo.) University, specializing in spiritual direction and counseling. Back in England, he served as the spiritual director of a residential therapeutic community for priests and next came to Albuquerque to run a similar community. His life took a dramatic turn when he fell in love with Albuquerque native Anita Baker, who worked with children having special needs. They were married in 1988 in the capital of Wales, Cardiff. After working briefly with homeless people in Manchester, for 17 years he was with Priory Healthcare, the largest independent provider of behavioral health addiction treatment services in Europe. Ultimately, he was its national director for 20 facilities around the U.K. After leaving Priory, he was managing director of a Welsh healthcare company, Alkare. He and Anita returned to New Mexico in 2007 and settled in Los Lunas. One of his jobs then was with a mental-health clinic. Through one of its clients, he was introduced to the Episcopal Church. The outcome was that he went through the discernment process for the Episcopal priesthood, being received in 2018 and then asked to serve St. Philip’s. Father Steve and Anita have two surviving sons, a son who died in a drowning accident and eight grandchildren.
Annie Danielsen handles the job of parish administrator plus serves the church in a number of other capacities. They include being on the bishop’s committee and its scribe as well as on the altar guild that readies the altar for the Sunday services. She leads the Pastoral Care Team tasked with the responsibility of reaching out to each family in the parish to check on their well-being and needs. She assists with the production of the digital newsletter Epiphany E-Notes. For one of the groups that meets at Epiphany, the Fiber Arts Guild, she is on its board and the secretary. In the town of Magdalena, where she and her husband Michael live, she helps with him at the Samaritan Center Thrift Store and Food Pantry. Annie is a native of Burbank, Calif., who as a young adult relocated with her father to Phoenix. For many years she worked in the business office of Mountain Bell telephone company. After retiring, she was the part-time office manager of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chandler, Ariz., to which she and Michael belonged. After he retired, they ended up buying 30 acres in Magdalena on which they put two manufactured homes. One was for her late mother. Michael’s preference for liturgical services brought them to Epiphany and a full and meaningful affiliation