Get to Know Dan McCallister

Name: Dan McCallister

Title: Pastoral Associate for RCIA & Adult Catechesis and Evangelization

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Columbus, Ohio, born & raised. I am one of nine children and I love my big family! Especially now that all the nieces and nephews are coming along. There are nine of them currently, and I have reason to believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am 25 years old and I love my Ohio State Buckeyes! Prior to accepting this position, I worked as a youth minister in the diocese. I also just got engaged and will be married in 2020, so I can’t wait to start a family of my own!

 

  1. Tell us about your role here.

My role encompasses all adult ministries here at St. Brendan. I am here as a resource and guide for all our amazing adult ministry teams. I am responsible for coordinating RCIA, ChristLife, the parish mission, Adult Faith Bible studies, community events (Living Nativity, Trunk or Treat), among other things.

I work closely with the Youth Evangelization & Catechesis department, especially with our Youth Minister, David Mesina. Together, David and I serve our young adult community & plan ChristLife events.

 

  1. How did you come to work at St Brendan’s?

I started working here at the beginning of May 2019, so I am a newbie! While I was a youth minister, I came to know some of the staff here through shared ministry events with my parish. I always admired the work environment at St. Brendan. I noticed that there was a strong team dynamic wherein everyone was supported and encouraged to do the best job possible. A friend of mine let me know that there were a couple of ministry positions opened, so I jumped on the opportunity and applied. And I’m so glad I did!

 

  1. What is the best part of your job here?

The best part of my job is that every day, I get to witness God’s active pursuit of human hearts. God is relentlessly seeking each person’s heart, mind, soul & love. It’s extremely beautiful to behold as adults surrender to Him.

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

I always try to find a game of pickup basketball on the weekends. On Saturdays in football season, I see everything in Ohio State scarlet & grey. Go Bucks!

 

  1. Favorite book:

Life of Christ – Fulton J. Sheen

 

  1. Favorite movie:

The Lord of the Rings – the whole trilogy

 

  1. Favorite Saint(s):

Pope St. John Paul II, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Vianney, St. Bernadette

 

  1. Go-to snack:

Chips & Guac

 

  1. Tell us what you’re proud of.

Not to sound cheesy, but I am incredibly proud of my fiancée, Hannah. I am proud of who she is, but also, I am proud of how I treat her. I’m proud that she said, “yes!” to marrying me!

 

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I usually sit on the edge of my bed and check my phone until my brain starts working properly.

 

  1. What is your favorite form of exercise?

I love the step-counting app on my phone. It’s kind of addicting.

 

  1. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Night Owl!

 

  1. If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be? If that animal went extinct, what would you be? If both of those animals went extinct, what would you be?

I would be a snow leopard à Bald Eagle à dolphin (landàairàwater)

 

  1. Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.

I spent 3 years discerning a vocation with a Franciscan religious community in Indiana!

 

Get to Know Susan Nussman

Name: Susan Nussman

Title: Pastoral Minister, Middle School Catechesis and Youth Ministry

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I love my hometown including the Skyline Chili, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and the Cincinnati Reds. I graduated in May of 2018 from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Theology and Catechetics. For the past year I lived outside of Cincinnati and worked as a missionary youth minister for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I moved to Columbus this June to work here at St Brendan’s. It has been a wonderful and smooth transition.

 

  1. Tell us about your role here.

Basically, my position exists to serve and work with Middle Schoolers and their families! I am responsible for the Middle School Youth Ministry program called, The Roots. This September we are launching two regular Youth Nights a month. Running these Youth Night includes planning the event, recruiting a Core Team, and getting parents involved in ministry. I also will be teaching at Sunday and Monday Faith Formation.

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

I have really enjoyed working towards different prizes on the “Columbus Ale Trail.” It has been a great way to see different parts of Columbus and learn more about the city. I’ve already traveled to 4 breweries and earned my free Pint Glass and I am working towards the engraved bottle opener!

 

  1. Favorite book:
    “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder and “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” by John Paul II.
  2. Favorite movie:
    I love either laid back feel-good movies like Disney’s Tangled or intense dramas like Hacksaw Ridge or Remember the Titans.
  3. Favorite Saint(s):
    Pope Saint John Paul II
  4. Go-to snack:
    SkinnyPop Pepper Jack Popcorn, or Mocha Chip ice cream from Graeter’s
  5. What is your favorite form of exercise?

I really enjoy walking trails, so I am very grateful to live near Darby Park

 

Get to Know Jennifer Rice

Name: Jennifer Rice
Title: pastoral associate, care and consolation

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up the oldest of 2 in Toledo and remain loyal to my Detroit Tigers. I’ve been married to Grant for 16 years, a parishioner for 14 years, and mom to triplet boys who will soon be 13 and attend our school. I love to read, cook, garden, and craft (scrapbook, sewing, Cricut!). I have worked in social work from seriously mentally ill in prison to high school to counseling trauma survivors, hospice, and bereaved.

Tell us about your role here.
I lead the pastoral care ministry. I support the 80 volunteers who minister to homebound and the nursing facilities, visiting as well; provide counseling; consult and support staff and school care needs; coordinate and support outreach programs; coordinate all funerals and related ministries, and provide grief counseling and support. Plus, leadership team and “duties as assigned” depending on the needs of the parish.

How did you come to work at St Brendan’s?
I was a clinical social worker for hospice and wanted to know more to provide spiritual support to my patients and families, so I completed a master’s in theology. I felt called to work in a parish with a vision for what that role could be. It took 4 years of waiting, praying, then everything happened fast. I have known Father Bob 20 years now and he became pastor, Sister Pat (who brought me on to run grief support groups) was leaving, and it all just came together. I have been here over 5 years and love that I can drop my kids at school, walk across the parking lot to my office, and work in my own parish.

What is the best part of your job here?
Being present in the tough messy times. Yes, it is hard, but it’s important that the church is really there for her people, walking alongside them in good and in suffering. People do come to cry on my couch, but I pray they leave with more peace and to know they are cared for.

What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?
Hang with the family at home with a game or a movie, work outside, and make pancakes for breakfast.

Favorite book:
Anything feel-good set in a small town with quirky characters – the Mitford series by Jan Karon.

Favorite movie:
Mary Poppins

Favorite Saints:
St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. Damien of Molokai

Go-to snack:
lately I’m loving mini turkey sticks

Tell us what you’re proud of.
Of course, I’m really proud of my once micro-preemies who are now huge and taking on their worlds. Here I am most proud of bringing Walking with Purpose to our parish and watching it grow and thrive with a team of amazing women.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make coffee (always flavored) and sit with the daily scriptures, reflection and prayer. In good weather it’s outside where I can greet the morning and listen to the birds.

Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.
I double-majored in psychology and theatre, studying drama therapy extensively, but also acting – including a professional stint. Someday I’ll get back to it!

Get to Know Bonnie Creeger

Name: Bonnie Creeger

Title:  Assistant to the Director of Evangelization & Catechesis

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Bonnie Creeger.  I am the oldest of 5 girls & grew up in Galloway (southwest of Columbus).  I attended St. Cecilia Elementary, Bishop Ready High School, and Ohio Dominican where I began a major in Chemistry with a minor in Biology.  After 2 years, I felt God calling me in a different direction and switched my major to Theology with a minor in Music.  While attending college and pursuing my masters in Theology at ODU, I worked as a Youth Minister at St. Agatha Church.  After a couple of years, I wanted to go full-time in ministry and through the help of a close friend, took a position as Coordinator of Religious Education at a small parish in Canton, Ohio.  I switched to the University of Dayton to complete my master’s degree because they offered an on-line program.  After working in Canton for almost 10 years under 3 different priests, I felt burned out and I was really missing my family as we are very close!  Prayer led me to St. Brendan Church – I was hired and met my husband Lloyd several months after (who at the time had 2 nieces enrolled in St. Brendan School – what a God connection).  My husband Lloyd and I are happily married and just celebrated our 3-year wedding Anniversary on 12/19/18.

 

  1. Tell us about your role here. What are you in charge of? Who do you work with a lot? What other departments do you coordinate with? What all does your job entail?

My main role is to assist the Director of Evangelization & Catechesis with our program for children in Kindergarten up through 8th grade.  I handle day to day e-mails, phone calls, tasks etc. that relate to our Faith Formation Class and Home Faith Programs.  I also help with preparations for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation for the children in our Faith Formation and School.  I am responsible for program/Sacrament registrations and fees as well as ordering all materials needed.  I create and manage the calendar and budget for our entire department.  I also work closely with the part-time Early Childhood Coordinator and Monday night Facilitator.  My minor role is to assist the other staff members in our Department of Evangelization & Catechesis including the Pastoral Associate for RCIA & Adult Catechesis as well as the Director of High School Youth & Young Adult Ministries. I also coordinate with the Administrative Secretary for matters regarding the Calendar as well as the Finance Office for anything related to budget/purchasing.

 

  1. How did you come to work at St Brendan’s? When did you start working here? What made you want to apply here?

My previous job in Church Ministry became very challenging and I realized I needed a change of pace to take time to focus on my personal life, health, and family.  At that time, I was also discerning a call to Religious Life and was looking for a job in ministry that would still allow me freedom to make weekend visits to different Religious orders.  I prayed and searched for over a year for available jobs and finally came upon St. Brendan.  I loved the mission of the Church and I felt peaceful about the decision so it seemed to be where God was calling me.  I was hired on December 10, 2012 and started my 6th year here this past December!

 

  1. What is the best part of your job here?

I love being part of a team working together with a common vision to minister & bring the love of God to our faith community.  I also love the uplifting e-mails from volunteers and families about the different ways God is touching their hearts and lives through things they are learning or conversations they are having at St. Brendan. I love the prayer/support time with staff as well as the care we are given.

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Relax and spend time with my husband and family.  A PJ day is also nice to have every once in a while. 😊 My husband and I also love to travel, so road trips are always a fun way to spend our time off!

 

  1. Favorite book:

I love to read!  When I was a little girl it was “Keep the Lights Burning Abbie” which I still own.  As an adult I like the contemplative book called “Mary’s Song:  Living Her Timeless Prayer” as well as any Christian mystery books by Dee Henderson.

 

  1. Favorite movie:

Romantic Comedy: “While you were Sleeping” or “You’ve Got Mail.”  Action/Drama: “The Net.”  Mystery:  Alfred Hitchcock or Agatha Christie (“And Then There Were None” is my favorite).  I also love to watch the Hallmark Channel (especially at Christmastime)

 

  1. Favorite Saint:

Therese of Lisieux, aka the Little Flower.  She is the saint I honored when I chose my Confirmation name.  I love her simplicity, purity & great love for God.  All the women in my dad’s family also have this name, so she is very special to me!

 

  1. Go-to snack: Salty:

Doritos or Nachos with Queso dip.  Sweet:  Ice Cream and anything Chocolate

 

  1. Tell us what you’re proud of:

A ministry to the homeless called “Mathew 8:20” that I helped get off the ground at the previous parish where I worked.  During my time there, we obtained a large trailer with shelving which we used to transport a selection of clothing/shoes/personal care items etc.…to an area with a higher population of homeless people.  We also provided them a hot meal prepared by our ministry volunteers.  We refurbished the youth house basement into a place for collecting and sorting donated items.  The Ministry is still very much alive and continuing to serve those in need and my family is still involved in helping sometimes.

 

Matthew 8:20 – And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”

 

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Say the morning offering prayer my parents taught me and my sisters when we were little. We prayed it together every morning while waiting for the bus before school.  “Good morning Dear Jesus!  Bless our day today.  Everything that we do and all that we say.  Be with us in our good times and our not so good times.  Help us to be Christian, kind, loving examples of you” followed by an Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be.  I usually follow this by intentions for the day and any other prayers.

 

  1. Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.
  • My favorite Holiday is Christmas and I have a pretty large Christmas Village I enjoy setting up every year!
  • I love to sing & have been part of many choirs. I took piano lessons up through 6th grade & even though I own a piano, I haven’t played in a while.  I used to play the clarinet & I am currently teaching myself how to play the guitar.
  • I had the amazing opportunity to go to New York City with my College Campus Ministry 6 months after 9/11 happened. Our group teamed up with the Salvation Army to volunteer at Food Canteen Tent helping to feed and offer materials to the workers that were cleaning up the World Trade Center site.  We also had the opportunity to visit and talk to students in the local grade school, many of whom lost loved ones that day!  It was unforgettable.
  • I attended to the last World Youth Day with Pope (now Saint) John Paull II in Canada & the first World Youth Day with Pope Benedict in Germany.

 

 

Get to Know Deacon Jim

Name: Deacon Jim Morris

Title: Deacon

  1. Tell us a little about yourself

Married in 1975 in Wellnitz Hall to my wife Jean. St Brendan parishioner since 1992. We have 6 children and 3 (almost 4) grandchildren. I am a retired civil engineer. I worked mainly for government agencies (Ohio DNR, AZ Water Resources, United States Geological Survey) in the area of water resources. BS and MS in Civil Engineering from OSU. I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2005.

 

  1. Tell us about your role here.

I am currently assigned to St Brendan by the Bishop and primarily work in the diaconate roles of Word, Altar, and Charity. I assist at Mass, proclaim and preach the Gospel, perform Baptisms, Marriages, and Funeral liturgies.

I teach Baptism preparation classes, prepare couples for marriage, help out RCIA and other St Brendan ministries as requested. I oversee the Inviting Catholics Home program also.

And, of course, any other duties as assigned.

 

  1. How did you come to work at St Brendan’s?

Jean and I have always performed whatever roles we could here since we joined the parish in 1992. Many of our children went to school here. Jean is a Master Catechist and is still teaching on Monday nights. Jean and I helped start both the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop in the 1990s. I didn’t really apply for the job as Deacon (not really a job now is it?) but the St Brendan community certainly has been very supportive, as have the Pastor(s), other priests, and Deacons over the years. I just celebrated the 14th anniversary of my ordination at the end of January.

 

  1. What is the best part of your job here?

I always tell folks that Baptisms are the very best, on top of being the initial Sacrament of our faith, there are babies and everyone is happy. Great fun. Really I enjoy all the things I do because the community—and our Catholic Faith—are awesome.

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Well, since I retired all days are weekends really. I like to read and I greatly enjoy the time I now have to study more. Obviously, family and especially grandkids are great fun. I have a few more renovation projects to complete at the house and I enjoy that work too.

 

  1. Favorite book:

Almost any military science fiction

 

  1. Favorite movie:

Last Starfighter

 

  1. Favorite Saint(s):

St. Stephen and St. Lawrence of course

 

  1. Go-to snack:

chips mostly

 

  1. Tell us what you’re proud of.

My family, all great people

 

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Grumble, then take a shower

 

  1. Tell us anything else you think we should know! Or any fun facts you have about yourself.

Nothing that exciting