It is my pleasure to announce that Frank Lesko is our new Coordinator of Justice and Peace. Many thanks to those who served on this search committee: Cheryl Stevens, Pat McIlmoyle, Pat Kowite, Glenn Kort, Richard Derrenbacher, and Jackie Bonk. As part of the Pastoral Ministries team, Frank will oversee and coordinate the many parish 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. Most recently, Frank was a founding member and Director of the Columbus Catholic Worker house in Columbus, Ohio where he developed and oversaw numerous ministries that included a community garden, a free clothing store, an ESL program, and Fair Trade coffee distribution program. Frank comes to us with a background in educational programming around Catholic Social Teaching and a history of building collaborative partnerships and community participation to meet the needs of those hungering for human dignity. Through his work as Music Director at Sts. Augustine & Gabriel Church in Columbus, Ohio and his study and travels in Spain and Honduras, Frank also comes to us with gifts in music and Spanish.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in an important pastoral document called 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.” The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi, through the leadership of the Franciscan friars and the many volunteers and parish staff, has a rich legacy of reaching out to those who hunger and thirst for human dignity. With Frank’s leadership, we 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.”