"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Deacon Frank Zolvinski
Deacon, Sacred Heart Church
Frank was born and raised in Michigan City, Indiana. He attended St. Mary Grade School and completed high school at Salvatorian Seminary in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. He earned a B. A. degree from St. Meinrad College in Psychology and Philosophy.
He settled in La Porte in 1972 as a lay worker for the Diocese of Gary in the Migrant Ministry program. In 1976 Fr. Eugene Hoffman hired him as the third Director of Religious Education for St. Peter’s Parish. Frank coordinated a program with 300 students and 30 catechists from Pre-school through adult. He offered catechist formation workshops, sacramental preparation and adult formation classes with Cal College and the Diocese of Gary. He also developed an active youth ministry program with included, weekly meetings, 2 yearly weekend retreats, service projects, catechetical sessions, and the Living Stations of the Cross.
He was responsible for the St. Peter Parish Religious Education Commission which met monthly to provide oversite of the faith formation programs. During this time he was an active member of the St. Peter Folk Choir and play guitar for Sunday liturgies. In 1983 he earned a Master Degree in Religious Studies from Loyola University, Chicago.
Bishop Norbert Gaughan hired Frank in 1987 to establish an Office for Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Gary. In 1988 he earned a Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies from Loyola University and the Center for Ministry Development. His work in youth ministry included the development of the TAPT (Teens are People Too) retreat, a diocesan youth council, leadership training, and World Youth Day Rally, attendance at the National Catholic Youth Conference, and the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry. He was an active member of the Region VII Youth Ministry Coalition.
Fr. Bill Creed S.J. invited Frank to enroll in a Spiritual Companion program in 1993. In 1996 he earned a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Spiritual Life Center in Hammond under the direction of Fr. Creed. Frank has been an active spiritual director since that time in the Diocese of Gary.
Bishop Dale Melzcek hired Frank in 1999 to administer the Office of Religious Education. His responsibilities included parish consultations, DRE leadership training, catechist formation, a diocesan Catechetical Conference, an Indiana Province Conference and National Catechetical Leadership events. Frank developed a diocesan Sacramental Guideline publication and assisted with a diocesan curriculum guide which provided standards and directions for Catholic School and Parish Rel. Ed. Programs. In 2015 Frank received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership for his service to the field of Catechetics.
Frank was ordained a permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Gary on June 1, 2013 by Bishop Dale Melczek. He was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in La Porte to assist with pastoral and liturgical duties. He coordinates the La Porte Catholic Peace and Justice Commission, the St. Francis Food Pantry Committee, Catholic Book Study program, and the Nourish for Caregiver support group. He is also a member of the St. Joseph St. Vincent de Paul and the Diocese of Gary Peace and Justice Commission.
Frank and his wife Sue have been married for 44 years and reside in LaPorte. They have two daughters Katie, and Martha (Matt) Van Haren and 2 grandaughters, Nora and Ruth.