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Meet the Clergy & Staff


The Rev. Andrew W. Walter

The Rev. Andrew W. Walter began his ministry as Rector of Grace Church in early 2011. As Rector, Andrew works with the clergy, staff and Vestry in leading the church to pursue its Vision for the Future. Andrew loves to preach, teach and be with people of all ages.

In addition to his work at Grace, Andrew is active in the wider church. Currently serving in the Diocese of Washington as Chair of Diocesan Council, he has also served on the Commission on Ministry, the Finance Committee, and the Cathedral Task Force, which was charged with examining the role of Washington National Cathedral in the life of the diocese, the Episcopal Church, and the nation. Andrew is a member of Executive Council’s Investment Committee, which oversees the Episcopal Church’s endowment portfolio, and the Economic Justice Loan Committee.

Prior to arriving at Grace Church, Andrew was 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’s Come As You Are contemporary worship service became very popular and saw significant growth.

Before ordination, Andrew worked in the finance industry and taught high school mathematics.

Andrew 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 studied at the University of Chicago and Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Andrew and his wife, Susan, have been married for over thirty years.  Susan is a civil engineer and manages major transportation infrastructure projects throughout the United States. She also serves on the Episcopal Church committee working to rebuild the cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Andrew and Susan have three sons: Thomas, James and Timothy.

The Rev. Amanda A. Akes-Cardwell
Associate Rector for Community, Formation and Outreach

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell began her ministry with Grace in August 2013. As Associate Rector, Amanda primarily engages with children, youth, and their families. She is passionate about young people, collaborative ministry, and creative ways to participate in God’s mission.

Before her ministry at Grace, Amanda was Assistant Rector for two years at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Glastonbury, CT, where she focused on youth and adult formation. Prior to her ordination, Amanda engaged in mission work through her involvement in the Office of Women’s Ministries at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City and as a Young Adult Service Corps missionary in Cape Town, South Africa. She earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and her M Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Amanda loves music, reading, and exploring the greater Washington area with her wife, Sarah.

Kevin Antonio Smallwood
Associate Rector for Families and Youth

Kevin Antonio Smallwood began his ministry with Grace in July 2019. As Associate Rector for Families and Youth, Kevin Antonio brings together his passion for cultivating fruitful relationships with God, each other, and self, that embodies the love of God in Christ Jesus. His devotion to serving children, youth, and family is rooted in his own journey in faith that began in the Diocese of Washington as a youth leader and continues in formation within the Diocese of Western Massachusetts as a postulant for Holy Orders.

Prior to his ministry at Grace, Kevin Antonio was a seminarian at the School of Theology at The University of the South: Sewanee, where he received his M Div. for study, training, and discipline in the Episcopal tradition. While at Sewanee, Kevin Antonio, along with three of his colleagues, began an annual Women’s Lecture that aims to empower the voices of women in ministry. His interest in the communal good of sharing stories was also made known during his time as a seminarian-intern at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee. Before his journey to seminary, Kevin Antonio served as an Episcopal Service Corps member by interning at Lawrence House Service Corps program in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Kevin Antonio enjoys time outside, hiking, dancing, reading and writing poetry, attending cultural festivities, and spending a lot of time with his family and friends. As a native to the D.C./Maryland/Virginia metropolitan area, Kevin Antonio currently resides in Bowie, Maryland with Tamiko, his mom, Mahndel, his dad, and Espeana, his sister, who will be attending Boston University in the coming Fall semester. There is also Montana, their husky, Pebbles, their mix breed, and Legend, their Sphynx cat.

Ms. Jean Cotting

Jean Cotting is a seminarian at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and a postulant for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Southern Ohio, where for many years she has been involved as a lay volunteer in adult faith formation, street ministry, various liturgical ministries, and interfaith dialogue. She also loves to sing and for several years was a chorister and cantor. Since starting seminary she has developed strong interests in biblical Hebrew, missiology, and women’s prison ministry.

Prior to discerning a call to ordained ministry she worked in the financial services industry and continues to hold a CPA license with the State of Ohio. Her undergraduate degree in Accounting is from Northeastern University in Boston which is where she is originally from, although she has lived most of her adult life in Columbus, Ohio.

She now lives in Alexandria on the VTS campus with her son Jack who is a college student. When Jean is not studying, she enjoys music, reading, spending time with her classmates exploring the DC area.

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, they have a daughter, Mackenzie, and a son Sebastian.

HowardCoordinator of Children’s Ministries:
Howard M. Fickling-Finley

Howard attended St. Mark the Evangelist, St. Thomas the Apostle, and Rice High School in New York City.  Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years.  His naval experience was rewarding.  Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the service, Howard attended both New York and Howard University, where he worked with adjudicated youth in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Since then his work with young people has widened to include various positions in youth-related non-profits, faith-based institutions, and schools.  While a large part of his life’s work has been to cultivate and develop the best in young people, a deep call to serve God began to develop that required a deeper commitment.  After much prayer and consultation, in 2004 he enrolled in the Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union in Richmond where he graduated from in 2008 with a M.Div.  He was ordained in 2010 at the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC.  Howard has served in a number of youth related leadership positions at:  Florida Ave. Baptist Church, Asbury United Methodist Church, and Metropolitan United Methodist Church.

He is a proud father of two young adult males who he dearly loves and respects.  The knowledge, skills, and experience from his secular and non-secular experience solidifies his commitment to the spiritual development of young people in the 21st Century to know “…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and self-discipline” 2 Tim. 1:7.

Howard is currently in the discernment process for being received as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Washington.

Administrative Staff

Fiscal Officer: George “Gib” Baily, Jr.

Parish Administrator: Sunny Simmons

Grace Episcopal Day School: Jennifer Danish, Head of School

Pennyworth Shop: Jewell Little, President

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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

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