Fr. Charles Shonk, O.P.
Fr. Charles is originally from Lancaster and has many fond memories of growing up in the rolling hills of Fairfield County. Proud to be a Cardinal (St. Charles Prep, Class of '99), he studied Philosophy and Classics at Denison University, then worked as a schoolteacher in New York City for four years. He entered the Dominican Order in 2007, left briefly to look into Benedictine life, returned to the Dominicans in 2009, and was ordained a priest in 2015. He sometimes needs people to bring him down to earth, so it's a good thing he lives in community, works in a parish, and runs youth ministry!
As the Director and Co-founder of Dead Theologians Society (DTS), Eddie brings over twenty years of youth ministry experience to St. Patrick's, where his family has roots going back 125 years. The DTS apostolate often takes him to Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the missionary work he does there is very near and dear to his heart. Prior to his career in youth ministry, Eddie was a Social Worker with Catholic Social Services, Director of the Juvenile Court of Hardin County, and (in the "Big 80s") drummer for the popular rock band, The Bellows. An old hand at the bodhrán, he also plays internationally with the traditional Irish band, The Kells. He and his wife Katie have been married for 30 years, and they have two adult children, Rory and Maeve.
Sister Leonarda Zielinska, O.P.
Sister Leonarda, originally from Poland, has served in the United States for the last sixteen years. If you ask her what congregation of Dominican Sisters she belongs to, she will ask whether you want the long answer or the short answer. The long one is "Immaculate Conception Province of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dominic." Which is why we recommend the short one: "Polish Dominican Sisters." She currently serves as the Director of Religious Education at St. Patrick's, overseeing a CCD program that serves hundreds of children from pre-schoolers through seniors in high school. One of her favorite saints is St. Michael the Archangel (Sister definitely has friends in high places), and her favorite image of our Lady is Our Lady of Ostra Brama (the Narrow Gate) in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Nick, always a learner and lover of the Mass, wombats, and all things Catholic and beautiful, graduated from The Ohio State University in 2017 after living for three years with the Saint Paul's Outreach Household program. On an average day, Nick can be found taking Philosophy classes on Ohio Dominican University's campus (in preparation for a higher degree in Theology), reading in his study, or animatedly discussing the Church, Star Wars, the newest Marvel movie, or wombats. (Did we mention he likes wombats?)
Kristina never gives up and, seemingly, never stops giving. She and her husband Angelo recently moved to the Columbus area from Athens, Ohio, where she served as a Catechist at Christ the King Parish. Her two-year-old daughter, Cecilia—who now and then makes an appearance at youth nights—is definitely the most popular person in the entire youth group. We'll see if that changes when Cecilia's little brother, Isaac, starts making the rounds!
Kathleen came to St. Patrick through her son's involvement in the high school youth group over a year ago. A lifelong music teacher, she is involved in parish life through teaching CCD, serving on Pastoral Council, and now as a member of the Youth Ministry Core Team. She is the mother of three sons, two of whom have taken after their mother in becoming teachers. The desire to serve seems to run in the family!
Patrick, who shares the great name of the parish he grew up in, is a big fan of anything fitness or outdoor-related. He currently works for his dad's plumbing business, and his hobbies include knitting, musicals, baking, and reading. He has a special devotion to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and he wants to learn from the Blessed Mother how "to love without limits."
Caitlin is a Columbus native and daughter of the parish. She works as an RN at St. Ann's Hospital, and in her free time she loves running, singing in the choir, and visiting local parks. St. Padre Pio is one of her favorite saints, and she finds great encouragement in Philippians 4:4–7. Then there's this quotation from Pope Benedict: "Dear young people, do not be afraid of Christ. He takes away nothing, and He gives you everything. Yes, open wide the doors to Christ—and you will find true life!"
A recent high school graduate, Lucy dances full time as a trainee with BalletMet Columbus, right across the street from St. Patrick’s! She loves to encounter Christ through literature (Shakespeare, anyone?), spending time in nature, and in her family. If you hang out with Lucy, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a cup of tea and a random fact about St. Thérèse.