Confirmation name: My confirmation name is Michael. I chose it because it was already my middle name and I was pretty sure at the time that Michael was the name of a saint. Not a particularly inspiring confirmation name story, but I believe St. Michael has been a good patron and is perhaps defending me more than I know.
What I do at St. Monica: As a Pastor, my primary role is attending to the pastoral needs of the people in our parish. With the cooperation of Fr. Dustin, our lay staff and volunteers this care is offered in three ways: through teaching the faith, offering the sacraments and pastoral care to those in need, and in the management of the time, talent, and treasure of the people of God. This is articulated often times as the role of “teaching, sanctifying, and governing”. I spend a good deal of time praying for guidance and for the needs of our people here in St. Monica.
My background: I joined the Archdiocese in 1997 a few days after my 27th birthday, as a seminarian. I attended seminary at St. Meinrad School of Theology from 1997-2002 and I was ordained a priest in June of 2002. I was assigned to St. Bartholomew in Columbus as an associate Pastor under Fr. Clem Davis (a former Pastor of St. Monica). After two and a half years there was an opening at a little parish in southern Indiana called St. Maurice in Napoleon, IN. I was an administrator there for eleven months and I also provided sacramental assistance to the nearby parishes of Immaculate Conception in Milhousen and St. Denis in Jennings County. After eleven wonderful months there I was assigned to St. Ambrose and Our Lady of Providence both located on route 50 in Jackson County, in fact they are the only two Catholic churches in Jackson County. I spent four years there ministering to the community in English and in Spanish. This was my first experience pastoring a parish that also had a school. I spent for great years there before being asked to move to our parish here in 2009.
Why I work at St. Monica: Priests are typically assigned to parishes by the bishop, or in our case the Archbishop. This is a little different than how some Protestant Churches operate. While we can have some input into assignments it is ultimately the decision of the Bishop. In early 2009 I was asked to come to St. Monica by Archbishop Buechlein and have been happy to be here ever since!
Where I usually sit in church: I would like to personally invite you to come to Mass at St. Monica and find out. I am very easy to find.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: St. Monica is an extremely active, dynamic and diverse parish located on the NW side of Indianapolis. I will sometimes tell people that I know about 20 percent of what happens at St. Monica and the other 80 percent I trust to the Holy Spirit. As pastor, I strive to ensure that we are rooted in being disciples of Jesus Christ and making sure that he is the center of who we are, what we do, and where we are going.
Home, family, pets: I grew up in Bloomington and my parents still live in the area. I live at St. Monica in the rectory and currently there are no pets. I think it might be cool to have some chickens…
Favorite Scripture Passage: Genesis 1:1 – Revelation 22:21
One memory about church growing up: I received my first communion in 1978 and there is a picture of it somewhere. I was presented to receive the Lord in a sky blue suit and with a very nice bowl haircut. I think we were the first communion class taught to receive the Eucharist in the hand.
Favorite Quote: “The most basic principle of the Christian moral life is the awareness that every person bears the dignity of being made in the image of God (US Catholic Catechism for Adults, 310).”
Confirmation Name: Patrick. It was my grandfather's name.
What I do at St. Monica: I am the Associate Pastor.
Background: Before seminary, I majored in Religious Studies with minors in Sociology and Philosophy.
Why I work at St. Monica: For love of God and His Church.
Where I sit at church: The sanctuary.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: Compassionate. Supportive. Devout.
Home, family, pets: I live in the rectory with Fr. Todd. We have no pets of which I am aware.
Scripture passage: John 6:22-71
Memory of church: I remember, when I was very little, learning how to make the sign of the cross with holy water. I thought it was so cool. I would go to the holy water by the door of the church and sign myself over and over again.
Favorite Quote: "Our hearts are restless till they find rest in thee." - St. Augustine.
Confirmation name: Elizabeth
What I do at St. Monica: I assist the Pastor with the administration of the financial, physical and personnel resources of the parish.
My background: I was born in Milwaukee, WI, and am the youngest of four children. I attended St Eugene grade school and Dominican High School. I went to the University of Notre Dame and graduated with a degree in accounting. I moved to Washington, D.C. following graduation to work for a public accounting firm. I was eventually hired by a client – the Society for Human Resource Management – and worked for them until I move to Indiana. I met my husband, Steve, while living in D.C. Steve was recruited to Indianapolis in 1990 and we dated long distance before getting married in 1992. I have worked for Day Dream Publishing/At-A-Glance/Mead, Shamrock Investments/Roly Poly Restaurants and St. Monica since moving to Indianapolis.
Why I work at St. Monica: Love the people!
Where I usually sit in church: left side
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: Busy! Vibrant! There is always something going on at St. Monica!
Home, family, pets: Husband-Steve. Children-Kevin (17, Cardinal Ritter Senior); Sarah (16, Cardinal Ritter Sophomore); Brian (14, St Monica 8th grade); Brad (13, St Monica 7th grade). Pet-Sadie (2 yr old wire haired fox terrier).
Favorite Scripture Passage: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
One memory about church growing up: My first (and only) time attending the Easter Vigil was when my husband Steve joined the church. St Monica, 1996. Absolutely beautiful!
Favorite Quote: No gift is ever too small if it is given in good faith.
Confirmation name: I am named after St. Theodora – whose birth name was Anne Therese Guerrin.
What I do at St. Monica: I am Pastoral Associate and work with Social Justice, Evangelization, Small Church Communities, Christ Renews His Parish, and RCIA primarily.
My background: Church and family have always been my passion, and I like to study. I grew up as the second of ten children, to George & Kathleen Zink in Anderson, Indiana. I received my undergraduate degree in English & Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota.
Why I work at St. Monica: I applied to St. Monica because I heard, by chance, about the opportunity to work in Adult Faith Formation. What I wanted to be part of more than anything was the Small Church Communities –at the time I didn’t know just how rich the history of SCC was: that continues to be a blessing to me. I have a passion, as well, for helping a Parish Community welcome newcomers to faith through the RCIA – and for helping Parishioners organize and plan so that as a People we can be an instrument of Christ in our neighborhood and world. Working here continues to inspire and inform me beyond my expectations as I watch and participate in the ministry of St. Monica Parish.
Where I usually sit in church: I actually move around; but I will often be found sitting in the far left section near the front chairs.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: I always have to mention the richness of the many cultures, the depth of faith, and the talents of Parishioners when I speak of St. Monica. I think of St. Monica as a Parish with a mature faith, poised to make the faith a vibrant reality in our neighborhood.
Home, family, pets: My husband Jerry and our five children fill a home with love, laughter and a fair amount of activity. Our three oldest children, Thaddeus, Maggie and Lizzie, are all currently at college. Our son Andrew is a junior at Roncalli. Our youngest son, Kieran, was born in Ireland and is currently in seventh grade at St. Mark School. We greatly enjoy our 8 year old, lab-mix dog, Maeva, and our 13 year old cat, Mittens.
Favorite Scripture Passage: I can never pinpoint just one favorite Scripture – I am so happy that the Church gives us the lectionary so that I know what Scripture to treasure each day, since I can’t decide myself. I always have a line or two I carry around from the daily readings: almost always there is a line or two in the daily readings/Psalter that is important to me, and I carry it in my heart for the day or for weeks, months, or even longer.
One memory about church growing up: The stained glass windows in our Church in Anderson fascinated me as a pre-schooler – and they were low enough that I could touch the glass. I was also fascinated by everyone going to communion. The Church building filled me with awe. When I was in Jr. High I loved having breakfast at the “Toast” (and I ordered toast!) with my mom and some of the 80 year old ladies who celebrated the daily Mass. I have always loved the Church as the People of God. I continue to want, more than anything, to build up the People of God – helping us as a People to really come to know the work of God in our midst and in our world, drawing all people to himself in the Church.
Confirmation name: I chose Mary for my confirmation name because we often gathered for the family rosary, thus, making Mary special to me.
What I do at St. Monica: As Pastoral Associate, I manage and facilitate Pastoral Care and the Outreach Center, which includes home visits, taking communion to the sick, assisting those in need through St. Vincent de Paul and working with other resources and agencies that provide human, financial and spiritual assistance to those in need.
I co-facilitate a series of “Embracing Catholics Home” gatherings, which welcome returning Catholics back to the church and provide spiritual direction. I attend Sunday’s Spanish Mass and other Parish functions.
My background: I attended high school at the Immaculate Conception Academy in Ferdinand, Indiana. Two years after high school I entered the convent at Our Lady of Grace in Beech Grove. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Indianapolis; taught grade school in the Archdioceses 10 years while completing my Master’s degree in Education. I then served as a missionary for 10 years in Cali, Colombia, and 2 years in Peru, South America. On my return from the Missions I assisted administration at Our Lady of Grace Monastery until I was hired at St. Monica’s Parish to coordinate the Hispanic Community. All my years have been a great blessing to me. Many wonderful people have touched my life.
Why I work at St. Monica: Because of my missionary background with the Spanish speaking countries, I was encouraged to apply for a ministry serving the Hispanics community. I enjoy working with the Spanish speaking community from various countries. The beauty of their culture has enriched and enhanced my life.
Where I usually sit in Church: At the Sunday Spanish Mass I always sit up front in the second row on the side of the choir.
How I would describe St. Monica Parish to someone who has never been here: St. Monica is a warm, welcoming, vibrant, and very alive parish serving many different nationalities. A variety of ministries are offered for all ages, including the young, teenagers, adults and “young at heart” adults.
Home, family, pets: I grew up on a farm near North Vernon, Indiana. I was blessed with wonderful parents, 4 sisters and 2 brothers. The only pets we have at the convent are the geese that arrive each spring, hatch their little goslings and take off till the following spring.
Favorite Scripture Passage: “To act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
One memory about church growing up: A treasured the family spirit at St. Joseph, a small rural church, where everyone knew everyone.
My philosophy: “Do your best and let God do the rest.”
Confirmation name: George. For several years I was good friends with my uncle. He taught me how to play chess. While in the care of the sisters at St. Augustine nursing home, he went to church every day and prayed for a cure to my Perthes Disease. In a short time, I no longer needed a brace. When it came time for confirming my faith, George was the only option.
What I do at St. Monica: I lead the daily operations of the school while encouraging all to a strong faith life filled with service to all.
My background: I have worked in a wide range of schools including an all-grade residential locked facility, a public high school, and St. Monica. My bachelor’s degree is from IU in Special Education, my first master’s degree is in instructional delivery and education law from Olivet Nazarene, and my second master’s is from University of Indianapolis in Education Administration.
Why I work at St. Monica: The growth, diversity, community, and Catholic values are the factors that motivated me to start teaching at St. Monica. My children, Jacob and Emily, attended St. Monica from Kindergarten through 8th grade and I see the positive effects that a Catholic education has on the whole child.
Where I usually sit in church: Lately, center left of altar. But we are community movers so we may sit next to someone we do not know to get to know them.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: St. Monica parish is a community of several rich cultures that form a unique community of old and young, rich and poor, healthy and infirmed people that support personal as well as communal growth. Everyone can find a place to sit, stand, walk, and run at St. Monica.
Home, family, pets: I live in a single family dwelling within 8 minutes of St. Monica near Marian University. I married my wife, Gara, in 1994, have a 16 year old son, Jacob, and 18 year old daughter, Emily. We have a dog, cat, and had several chickens.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Mark 15:37 – 39 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” Very emotional passage for me.
One memory about church growing up: I always remembered the funerals. No matter where they were and who they were for, they brought everyone together to celebrate life.
Favorite Quote: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” –Desmond Tutu
What I do at St. Monica:
Why I work at St. Monica:
Where I usually sit in church: On the piano/organ bench!
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here:
Home, family, pets:
Favorite Scripture Passage:
One memory about church growing up:
Confirmation name: My baptismal name is Mary and I believe I was named after my mother, Mary. My mother also had great devotion to Mary, Jesus’ mother, and I think that is also why she named me Mary.
What I do at St. Monica: I am responsible for a variety children’s religious education program and bible study. I coordinate the Sunday school faith formation program for children 3 years old through 8th grade, the SPRED (Special Religious Education Program) for youth, liturgy of the word, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Vacation Bible School. I coordinate the sacrament program for Baptism, (birth thru 1st grade), Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation for youth 2nd through 8th grades which consist of parent information session, preparation of youth, retreat and service. In the adult area I coordinate the SPRED program for adults and the entire bible study program.
My background: I was a teacher for 14 years and have been a DRE for 35 years. I have my Bachelor’s degree in education from St. Mary of the Woods, a Master degree in Education from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral theology from St. Mary of the Wood College
Why I work at St. Monica: I was hired 35 years ago as the Director of Religious Education at the advice of the Diocesan Director of Faith Formation. It was a cultural diverse parish that had a social justice vision and a desire to live the Gospel message and grow in spirituality. That vision is still alive today and I love the people. They challenge me to be a better person by their lives. They have always been very good to me and my family, and I consider them my ‘extended’ family.
Where I usually sit in church: On Saturday I attend mass at St. Mary Parish. When I do attend mass during the week I sit in the center section.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: It is a very welcoming parish, consist of diversity culturally, spiritually and financially, it is willing to try new ministries, has many people who volunteer their time and talent and has helped other parishes start new ministries.
Home, family, pets: I live in an historic area on the east side of town, and belong to Holy Cross Parish. My husband John is a retired State Representative of 36 years and teacher at Marian University. We have four daughters and one granddaughter.
Favorite Scripture Passage: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:33-34
One memory about church growing up: Attending mass on Saturday morning with my family in the dark basement of our church also going to confession down there with my class for the First Fridays.
Confirmation name: I chose Benedict to honor my father who died on the feast day of St. Benedict. The priest who said his funeral mass said my dad exemplified “Benedict’s Rule” of prayer, work, and hospitality.” He would know...my father lived directly across from the rectory in Franklin and would bring him lunch a couple of times a week.
What I do at St. Monica: I try to get the word out about all the great things going on at St. Monica and how to get involved.
My background: I have a Bachelor's degree in Business/Journalism and an MBA. I spent most of my career in advertising and publishing before coming to St. Monica.
Why I work at St. Monica: I’ve been Catholic my whole life, but I didn’t really develop a personal relationship with Christ until I came to St. Monica. Both CRHP and RCIA helped me learn more about my faith, scripture, and how to apply them to my daily life. I wanted to help others make that personal connection by helping them get involved at St. Monica and become more aware of our many opportunities for spiritual development.
Where I usually sit in church: Main aisle, 7-8 rows back on the left (if I’m on time). If I am late, I try to slip into the back row unnoticed; however, Fr. Todd assures me it is noticed. I must be the only person in church who works down the hall but still can’t get there on time.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: Vibrant, friendly, and diverse; there is a real joy in celebrating our faith together here
Home, family, pets: I am blessed with two wonderful sons, Doug and Sam, and a ferocious dog named Fluffy.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Matthew 7:7-11. If I ever drift or feel myself separated from God, this passage brings me comfort and always brings me right back in. It is such a powerful feeling knowing God never holds back, and that there is simply no limit to God’s love for us. How can we refuse such boundless, outrageous love?
One memory about church growing up: We always sat in the second row growing up, so we had a pretty good view of things. One Sunday a missionary came to speak, and he had a large silver crucifix on his cincture. You couldn’t see it at first, because he was a pretty big guy and his alb was draped over it, but when he came forward to read the gospel, he raised his arms up and to the sides; when my little brother saw the top of the silver cross, he yelled, “Everybody down…he’s gotta gun!”
Favorite Quote: “Even if you never know it, each and every kind act affects someone. Your small gesture of kindness might be the one small thing that keeps another holding on. Always be kind…in words and in deeds.”
Confirmation Name (tell why you chose it): I don't have one. I was 1 month and 15 day old when I was confirmed.
What I do at St. Monica: A little bit of everything! I welcome visitors into our office and help them with whatever is needed. I also frequently perform translation from English to Spanish, and much secretarial work.
My background: Im from Mexico, married with Normando Gonzalez and three children. Noelia, Normando and Josu
Why I work at St. Monica: Its a blessing that the Lord gave me. And I love it.
Where I usually sit in church: The 12:30 is too crowded, so wherever we find space
How I would describe St. Monica Parish to someone who has never been here: You will love St Monica, it makes you feel loved.
Favorite Scripture Passage: John 3:16
One memory about church growing up: My First Communion. It was such a special day that I had long anticipated. I can still recall my dress, shoes, cakeeverything about it.
Confirmation name: An interesting story about my baptismal name is that although my mother might have had an inclination that I would be doing a lot of work in my lifetime taking care of men, preparing dinners, running off papers, etc., the real reason I was named Martha was that my sister Mary died 3 weeks prior to my birth, and my mother wanted to make that connection for me of having a sister Mary, as in the Bible, and to know that I would always have my own sister-saint.
What I do at St. Monica: I answer phones, meet and greet visitors, schedule meetings, and general secretarial work.
My background: BS degree from Loyola University, Chicago. Prior to coming to St. Monica, I taught French, Religion and Speech at Scecina Memorial High School for 16 yrs. Before that, I was at home with children and taught enrichment classes to grade school children.
Why I work at St. Monica: They were crazy enough to hire me! Bet they are regretting THAT decision! But I love this job and the staff.
Where I usually sit in church: All over the place! At our parish of IHM we were lucky enough to live close to the church and we always walk there, so we sat in the same spot, 10 rows back from the altar, on the right hand side.
How I would describe St. Monica parish to someone who has never been here: SM is an eclectic mix of people of all nationalities and income levels coming together to worship.
Home, family, pets: Husband, Marc, 5 grown children and expecting my 11th grandchild soon.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Luke 10: 41, “Martha, Martha, etc.”. I feel like Jesus is personally reminding me to stop fretting over the small things and put my trust in him.
One memory about church growing up: Run down the stairs as dad was shouting it was time to go, shuffle through the hats and white gloves on the top shelf of the coat closet, grab and go. I was happy when hats and gloves went out and mantillas came in. Then came the Kleenex era on top the head—that was really stupid! Glad to be hatless and Kleenex-less, now!
My respect for the priests and the job they do has increased 1000 fold since coming here to work as I do not know how they are able to keep from crying, laughing, forgetting names, or pulling out their hair (oh wait, maybe that IS what happened to Fr. Todd.) I feel so grateful and blessed to have found this job and work with this staff. Monday morning is not a hardship! Thank you sweet Jesus.