Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Recently we have conducted two search processes in the area of Pastoral Ministries and one in the area of Lifelong Faith Formation.  Kathleen Owen began serving as Coordinator of Care and Wellness on October 10, Jennifer Fiduccia will serve as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry beginning today, October 16 and Frank Lesko will serve as Coordinator of Justice and Peace starting on October 31.

Coordinator of Youth Ministry

With our strategic initiative on youth, the past  several years we have been redeveloping this area of faith formation.  Leo Moredea began this transition for us and Dave Vogelpohl has continued it, providing the leadership to create systems to better invite and involve parents and adults as ministers to our youth.

Jenn Fiduccia is a graduate of New York University and comes to us most recently from New  Jersey.  She has previously worked as a Pastoral Associate for Youth Ministry at St. Aloysius Parish and as Coordinator of Youth    Ministry and Confirmation Coordinator at Corpus Christi Parish, both in New Jersey. Jenn has also been a presenter for a variety of events including RCIA, marriage prep, and at parish Confirmation retreats.  Since coming to St. Francis of Assisi earlier this year, she has immersed herself in Youth Ministry as a volunteer.  I am looking forward to having Jenn continue to grow, develop, and re-energize our faith formation program for youth and their families.

I am especially grateful to Dave Vogelpohl who has been serving as the Interim Coordinator of Youth Ministry since March.  Dave has worked diligently to fulfill the parish strategic initiative on youth and has cultivated many volunteers to this important priority of the parish.  His personal  commitment to the faith development of our young people is extraordinary and I am thankful for his witness and service.  Dave will continue to work  in this area of the parish to help Jenn transition over the next month.

I’m appreciative of the work of the search committee including youth: Brittany Miles, Daniel White and adults: Rich Derrenbacher, Mike Watson, Mimi Suddath, Kathleen Kozak, and Karen Farrell.

Coordinator of Care and Wellness

This position reflects an expanded vision of the area we formally called “Pastoral Care.”  When the previous Coordinator, Julian Jagudilla, O.F.M., transferred from St. Francis in April, Trevor Thompson, Director of Pastoral Ministries with a group of parishioners looked to how we might better and more proactively promote the health and wellness of parishioners, in addition  to pastoral care.  Key to this new vision is the integration of the work of our parish Wellness Committee and the six dimensions of Wellness (intellectual, social, emotional, physical, occupational, and spiritual) which help us to find balance between the various aspects of our lives.  Care and Wellness includes our current clusters of ministries that reach out and provide care and support, prayer, and Eucharistic presence to  parishioners experiencing life’s struggles. Kathleen will also work in tandem with the many health professionals in our community to promote the health and wellness of all parishioners. 

Kathleen has been serving as Administrative Specialist for the Franciscan Coalition for Justice and Peace.  Prior to offering her gifts on the parish staff, Kathleen worked professionally for nearly thirty years in the health care industry, finishing her career as Director of Business Office at Holly Hill Hospital.  Kathleen has also been involved in a number of ministries of the parish, including Stephen Ministry, St. Francis Feeds, Prayer Shawl, and Eucharistic Ministry. With a wealth of experience in senior management positions in Health Care, an understanding of the many ministries of care and compassion of our parish, and a love for helping people find balance and healing on this journey of life, we are very blessed to have Kathleen in this position. Kathleen and her husband Steve have been parishioners for the past six years. 

Coordinator of Peace and Justice

Formerly called the Franciscan Coalition for Peace and Justice, Frank Lesko will oversee and coordinate the many ministries of outreach, advocacy, and education in the area of social ministry, justice, peace, and care of creation.

Frank is a graduate of Hiram College and Ohio Dominican University and holds a Masters degree in Catholic Theology.  Frank comes to us with many years as a community organizer, lay minister, and leader within the Catholic Worker Movement, a lay Catholic movement inspired by the spirituality and mission of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.  More recently, Frank was a founding member and Director of the Columbus Catholic Workers House in Columbus, Ohio where he developed and oversaw numerous ministries (including a community garden, a free clothing store, an ESL (English as a Second Language)  program, and Fair Trade coffee distribution program) that met the expressed needs of the neighborhood, city and world by encouraging community participation and collaborative partnerships. 

Through his work as Music Director at Sts. Augustine & Gabriel Church in Columbus and his study and travels in Spain and Honduras, Frank also comes to us with gifts in music and Spanish. 

The US Catholic Bishops, document Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish, wrote, “The pursuit of justice and peace is an essential part of what makes a parish Catholic.”  We have a rich legacy of reaching out to those who hunger and thirst for human dignity.  With Frank’s partnership, I look forward to our continued efforts in promoting and living justice and peace and the integrity of creation as a “community of salt and light.”

I’m grateful to Trevor Thompson for his leadership chairing these committees and to those who served on the search committees including:

Care and Wellness: Cynthia Winslow, George Corvin, Vince Papi, Gino Pazzaglini, and Sue Mathys.

Peace and Justice: Cheryl Stevens, Pat McIlmoyle, Pat Kowite, Glenn Kort, Richard Derrenbacher, and Jackie Bonk.

I’m also appreciative of the work of the search committee including youth: Brittany Miles, Daniel White and adults: Rich Derrenbacher, Mike

Watson, Mimi Suddath, Kathleen Kozak, and Karen Farrell.

Welcome to Jennifer, Kathleen and Frank as they share their gifts and talents with us as Coordinators of Ministries within our community.

In the peace of Christ,

 Fr. Mark