The Christ Our Savior parish community is served pastorally and professionally by 3 ordained ministers, a Director of Religious Education,and a School Principal together with enthusiastic school and CCD teachers, and quality office staff persons fully committed to serving the parishioners.
FR. BOB (Bernard R.) BONNOT, Pastor, is a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, ordained in 1967. He was pastor of St. Nicholas Parish since September, 2007, became Administrator of Holy Trinity Parish in 2010 and has effected a merge of the two parishes into Christ Our Savior effective July 1, 2011. He is delighted to be serving the people and community of Struthers. Fr. Bob came to St. Nicholas from Mother of Sorrows Parish in Ashtabula which he served for one year following 19 years of work outside the diocese in faith-related television projects ending with several years at the Hallmark Channel. Fr. Bob's prior experiences and assignments in the Diocese of Youngstown include service as Pastor of St. Stephen of Hungary Parish (1981-87); Diocesan Director of Adult Spiritual Growth (1976-80), Communication (1980-87), and Planning (1985-87); and Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Secondary Education (1971-73). Fr. Bonnot is a native of North Canton where he attended St. Paul's School and then Central Catholic High School, St. Gregory Seminary in Cincinnati, the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., the Gregorian University in Rome and the University of Chicago. He holds degrees in philosophy, theology, religious studies and administration, and has served as an adjunct professor of religious studies at Youngstown State University. Fr. Bob is currently Chair of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Youngstown, a Consultor of the Diocese, a member of Covenant Commission of the Diocese with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's Northeast Ohio Synod, and a member of the Priests Retirement Board. He belongs to the Midlothan Area Ministeral Association (MAMA), Struthers Rotary, the Board of the First Friday Club of Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches of Christ, the Mahoning South Catholic Schools Leadership Team, the Mahoning South Evangelization Commission and serves as a consultant to CTNY, the Catholic Television Network of Youngstown. He is also a member of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Canon Law Society of America. Fr. Bob enjoys reading and writing (not arithmetic), walking, golfing, and desserts!
FR. BERNARD N. GAETA, Senior Associate Pastor, was born in San Bernardino, CA and is a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was educated for the priesthood by the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance. Fr. Bernie was ordained a priest in 1973, was a member of the Franciscan Community for ten years before becoming a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio in 1984. He served as pastor of Mother of Sorrows Parish in Ashtabule before becoming pastor of St. Aloysius Church, East Liverpool, Ohio and Immaculate Conception Church, Wellsville, Ohio. Recent health issues required him to leave those pastorates. He has served as a high school teacher and Chaplain in the United States Army. He is an advocate and indulted judge for the Tribunal of the Diocese of Youngstown. Fr. Bernie is a good cook.
DEACON JOHN TERRANOVA, Pastoral Associate, was born and raised in the Cleveland Diocese in St. Michael Parish, Independence. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 1997 and has been honored to serve the St. Nicholas Parish community ever since. John served in the U.S. Army (1965-68) and is a Vietnam Veteran. Deacon John is a graduate of Youngstown State University ('92 BS Allied Health) and Loyola University of New Orleans (2003 MS in Theology and Pastoral Administration). In addition to his Diaconal Ministry, John has served as a Registered Respiratory Therapist since 1985 at St. Elizabeth and St. Joseph Health Center (HMHP). He enjoys Bowling, Golf and Music. He and his wife Shirley have been married for 28 years and make their home in Struthers, where they enjoy their children and grandchildren.
ALVERA BELL, Director of Religious Education. Long a teacher in St. Nicholas School, Alvera became Director of Religious Education for Christ Our Savior Parish in September of 2011. She writes this about herself:
I began my own education at St. Nicholas School, then went to Holy Famiy, Cardinal Mooney, and Nazareth College in Kalamazoo MI. I started teaching in 1974 and all my teaching years, I am proud to say, have been in Catholic schools -- St. Nicholas, St. Paul in Salem, Blessed Sacrament in Warren, St. John Eudes in Chatsworth CA. Between CCD and full-time teaching, I have taught every grade from K-9. My spirit is in Catholic education.
One of my greatest thrills as a teacher is that of touching the lives of students and families. Wherever I go I run into former students. I am especially blessed to be involved in more than the academics. I can share Jesus and His love with my students. I can permeate all subjects with Gospel values so much needed in today's world. I can remind students that God loves them and always will, unconditionally. With my husband, who is a teacher at Cardinal Mooney, I believe that our true value lies in being able to share Jesus with those we teach.
Fifth grade has been my class for many years, a time when students are begining to find out who they really are. They are full of questions and wonderings. I seek to guide them to see the ability they have in themselves to learn. I challenge thm to try to be their best and do their best. I help each student discover how they learn through projects, research, study groups, peer tutoring, one-on-one help, creative activites, song, mnemonics, posters, art and many other types of learning.
I have received recognition as an Ohio nominee for the Disney Teacher of the Year, a Class Act Teacher. I have received the Making the Grade Award, Teacher of the Week, the Environment Award from the Mayor of Struthers and commendations from Governor Voinovich and Vice President Al Gore for environmental studies.
Teaching at St. Nicholas has been an important part of my career and life. I have also been a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, CCD teacher, Folk Group member, Altar Server chairperson, and Bingo caller here. I have organized the Pet Fair, Camp field trips, Career Fair, Retreat Days, service projects and Christmas caroling among other things. The St. Nicholas School community has become my family. The families of this school and parish make me want to be involved. Teaching here is a ministry of which I am both proud and humbled to have lived.
BETTY (Elizabeth) McCULLOUGH, School Principal, I have been fortunate with both my education and career choices. I attended Catholic schools, sent my two children to Catholic schools, and have worked at St. Nicholas School for twenty two years. It is a way of life for me.
Working in the office at St. Nick's for twenty years guided me from being the secretary/office manager to a teacher and now to principal. The lessons came from observation. I learned from administration, faculty, parents, and students. Each aspect provided me with invaluable knowledge.
My experiences also provided me with insight on how to collaborate positively with parents to challenge their children to set goals, persevere and strive for success. I realize that the ability to inspire and motivate others is critical to my success. Having received my teaching degree after raising my family, I fully understand how important it is to set goals and persist in reaching them.
St. Nicholas School has a reputation of the highest standards. Having served on the Accreditation Team twice, I take great pride in saying that I am a part of St. Nicholas School. We will continue our endeavors to provide a quality education while incorporating our Catholic tradition.
It is my sincere hope that each child entrusted to St. Nicholas School will receive the foundation to be productive citizens and to live as followers of Jesus.
COLLEEN RUOZZO, Office Manager, oversees the day-to-day activities of our parish office.
LISA HILL, Receptionist/Secretary, is a native of Struthers and has been a parishioner of St. Nicholas Church for the past 20 years. Lisa is a graduate of Struthers High School and Youngstown State University. She has been married to Mike Hill for 19 years and they are blessed with 3 children: Stefanie, Sarah & Michael. Her daughters attend St. Nicholas School and her son is a student at North Elementary in Poland. If Lisa has any spare time, she loves to bake and read.
PATRICIA A. PAYNE, Receptionist/Secretary, is a native of Struthers and has been a lifetime member of St. Nicholas Church. She resides in Youngstown with her husband of 23 years, John Payne and their three boys of whom they are very proud -- Billy attending Mount Union College, Robby attending Cardinal Mooney High schooI, and Jake attending St. Nicholas school. Patty is a graduate of YSU with a degree in Dietetics. The family enjoys boating and swimming. Patty enjoys cooking, baking, reading and attending her boys' sporting events.
Laurie Sanders, Religious Education Seceretary and CCD Principal