New Hires Bring Expanded Skills to Two N.J. Parishes

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK — Two parishes in the Province have announced the addition of new staff members.

Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis Parish and Community Center in Long Beach Township, N.J., has hired Joseph Eidel as public relations coordinator. Prior to this position, the New Jersey native was the marketing manager at Benchmark Media LLC and Idol Media Solutions, Inc., for nine years, where he did Internet marketing, sales, negotiating, and website design.

At St. Francis, he will oversee the daily communications of the large parish center. In addition to using traditional tools, Eidel will utilize the Internet and social media to increase St. Francis’ online presence.

“Joe’s role is to communicate the vision of the friars of Holy Name Province as practiced by St. Francis Parish,” according to Steve. “He is involved in putting together the weekly parish bulletin, advertising our fundraisers, being our liaison with the press, and being a public face and voice for the parish and the St. Francis Center,” Steve added.

Eidel, who grew up in nearby Brick Township, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. His academic interests include philosophy, psychology, history and linguistics.

Eidel enjoys reading, traveling, golfing, boating, attending Villanova basketball games, and playing with his golden retriever.

jobs-rJud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., has added a position and hired Kristen Zielinski-Nalen, a Franciscan Mission Service returned missioner, as bilingual pastoral associate and JPIC coordinator. After three years working in a Bolivian girls orphanage, she wanted a career that would match her passions and talents for mission. During missioner re-entry at FMS, she learned of the job at St. Anthony.

“After being a missioner you need a mission to feel complete,” said Zielinski-Nalen.

Through her work at St. Anthony of Padua, she continues to live out the Franciscan charism in mission to the poor, the marginalized and the immigrant, according to Jud. Her job responsibilities include planting a garden with the local children, coordinating Spanish Bible studies, working with Hispanic youth, and organizing other community events around the Camden area. “It fits my eclectic bag of interests perfectly. How lucky can I get?” she said.

Already, Zielinski-Nalen has completed some of the church’s long-awaited goals. She has sold fair-trade coffee after Sunday Mass, worked with the Hispanic young adult group, and organized the laypeople in diocesan formation, giving them parish responsibilities that match their gifts.

“Kristen’s service at St. Anthony of Padua embodies the lifelong call to mission in North America,” said Kim Smolik, FMS executive director. “Kristen is using skills that her mission experience sharpened, including language, pastoral outreach, and a Franciscan approach to ministry,” she said.

“I feel blessed,” said Kristen, “to continue working with the Franciscans here in the U.S., and truly feel connected to my brothers and sisters en la llajeta de Bolivia. Gracias, Senor.”

Jud said he added the new position to allow Zielinski-Nalen to do the things he wished he had more time for, including integrating JPIC activities into the parish more deeply, and coordinating the different aspects of Hispanic ministry.

“She has already started doing that, bringing with her the experience of three years in Bolivia and a Franciscan background,” said Jud. “She’s been influenced by friars such as Joseph Nangle, OFM, and Ignatius Harding, OFM, so that gives her a great perspective.”

The above photo shows Eidel with Steve. The read photo shows Zielinski-Nalen on her first day of work at St. Anthony of Padua.

— Wendy Healy is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to HNP Today.

Editor’s note: The HNP Communications Office welcomes news about job openings at Provincial ministries