Team

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Fr. Charles Shonk, O.P. – Director

 

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!

Eddie Cotter – Assistant Director

 

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.

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Sister Leonarda Zielinska, O.P.

Senior Girls – Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

 

Sister Leonarda, originally from Poland, has served in the United States for the last fourteen 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 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.

Brother Paul Kennedy, O.P.

Senior Boys – St. Joseph

 

Brother Paul, who hails from the Queen City (Cincinnati), entered the Order of Preachers in 2007. He has been assigned to St. Patrick's since 2013 and during his time here he has been involved in all of the parish youth programs. His main apostolate is the administration of the Holy Family Soup Kitchen in the Bottoms area of West Columbus. At four feet and some inches, he is a force to be reckoned with. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, one of his favorite parts of Scripture is the beginning of the Nineteenth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke: "And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him . . ."

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Catherine Suprenant

Junior Girls – Blessed Margaret of Castello

 

It's hard to catch Catherine without a smile on her face and laughter coming right behind. Running on her morning prayer and strong-as-gasoline coffee, she loves reading, soccer, and cooking for people. She has worked in parish life and women's ministry since graduating from college and discerning with a community of Dominican Sisters, and she is now working with the Diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life as Marriage Prep Coordinator. She is known to do cool extra stuff with her small group of junior girls—for example, leading a workshop on how to bake pretzels, complete with a few words on their (i.e., the pretzels') spiritual significance.

Nick Heinlen

Junior Boys – Our Savior

 

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?)

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Kristina Bautista

Sophomore Girls – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

 

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!

Robert McGonigle

Sophomore Boys – Our Lady of Grace

 

Robert is just as cool as he looks in this photo, but much more friendly. You will often find him helping out in the parish, in a variety of different ministries, most notably perhaps as the head of our Knights of Columbus Council. He has a clear love for the Lord and a generous desire to share that love with everyone he meets, young and old. As a former teacher, however, he has a special passion for serving the young, and he has been involved with the youth ministry program at St. Patrick's for years. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from The Ohio State University.

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Ciara Gerrity

Freshmen Girls – Sacred Heart

 

If you expect someone named Ciara Gerrity to come from a vibrant Irish family, well, you have no idea . . . This Ciara may be on the quieter side (for a Gerrity), but she also loves skydiving and is currently studying to be an ER/Trauma nurse. She has two younger sisters, named in equally Gaelic fashion, and her older brother Shane recently made her proud by entering seminary at the Josephinum. The feast day of her patroness, St. Ciara, happens to be just two days before St. Patrick's Day, on the 15th of March. Maybe, on one of those holy days, we can persuade her to display some of her Irish step-dancing skills.

John Haemmerle

Freshmen Boys – Saint Patrick

 

John, who brings a friendly sense of humor and a generous sense of responsibility wherever he goes, is currently studying Philosophy at Ohio Dominican University. As a "summa cum laude" graduate of the St. Patrick's altar serving program, he is indisputably the resident liturgical expert on the core team. (Sometimes he even gives Fr. Charles a pointer or two.) He also plays a mean game of Euchre, and rumor has it that he has recently taken up the harmonica. His older brother, Michael, is currently studying for the priesthood at the Josephinum, but John seems to handle the pressure remarkably well! 

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