Kathleen Molaro, OFS, lives in the foothills of Northern California with her husband of 44 years, where they raised their six children and now enjoy five grandchildren. Kathleen professed in 1993. Her leadership in the Secular Franciscan Order has included several positions on the local fraternity level, six years as St. Junipero Serra’s Regional Secretary, and is now in her sixth year as Regional Minister.
Kathleen has worked with youth of all ages in many capacities, as a parent, teacher, and catechist, including fifteen years volunteering as a youth director. She has never lost her deep interest in supporting young people on their faith journey, and now serves as the National Franciscan Youth and Young Adult (FY/YA) Commission Chair.
Kathy Taormina, OFS, is married, has four children, two grandchildren, and has been professed since 1994. She has experience working with parish youth for over 32 years and Franciscan Youth for over 12 years. She is currently the Regional Spiritual Assistant for Queen of Peace, and lives in Minnesota.
In 1996 Kathy joined the National FY/YA as a commission member, was appointed its chairperson in 2002, and eventually served as Fraternal Animator. She attended five Franciscan World Youth Day Delegate Celebrations, representing the OFS-USA at the international level. She is now the Spiritual Assistant for the National FY/YA Commission.
Br. Scott Slattum, OFM, is a Franciscan Friar of the Province of Saint Barbara. He currently serves as the Director of Faith Development at St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix, Ariz. He has served in the field of youth and young adult ministry at the parish and diocesan levels for over 25 years. Br. Scott also has a strong background in positive youth development, parenting education, and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention. In 2007, he was named Outstanding Faith Based Leader for the state of Oregon.
Scott has taken a group of young adults through the process of making the Promise and starting a YouFra, where he serves as Spiritual Assistant, and is anxious to share what he’s learned.
He is hoping to inspire a stronger connection between the OFM Friars and the Secular Franciscans in our common goal of adopting ways to help young people grow in their faith and Franciscan life.
Heather Cherniack, OFS professed in January 10, 2015 in Derry, New Hampshire with the Greccio Fraternity. She is a convert to Catholicism and now shares her Father’s childhood faith with him. She is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2013 Heather also graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a Masters in Pastoral Studies with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Heather has worked with youth in many different capacities, most recently as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Regional Youth Commission Chair. She feels called to share the joy of Christ with youth and young adults, and has a particular interest in providing young people with opportunities to engage in justice, peace, and care of creation issues.
Dr. Janice Mary Novello, OFS A previous member of the NASA Teacher in Space Program and a current NOAA Climate Steward, Janice channels her skills into being the co developer of the STREAM (Science Technology Religion Engineering Arts Mathematics) program and the annual Care for God’s Creation Contest in her Diocese. As Regional Youth Animator for Five Franciscan Martyrs, she is active in facilitating many one-day Youth events and has visited Young Adult groups to share the Franciscan Charism. A Spiritual Assistant and Liturgist, she is working on developing retreats that can be utilized both in parishes and independently. Her current focus is to build a Franciscan Regional Y/YA committee that includes all the areas of the Region and work one-on-one with fraternities to develop ideas and possibilities.
Jean D’Onofrio, OFS, is married with 2 children and 4 grandchildren and has lived in Mt. Sinai, NY since 1975. She had been involved in her parish’s catechetical program for over 25 years and is currently serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and a Volunteer Spiritual Care Companion as St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson.
You may have met Jeane’s alter-ego, Daisy the Clown, at the New Orleans Quinquennial in 2002. Daisy has been clownin’ around in the style of St. Francis since 1990, preaching the good news with catechetical skits and joyful visits to places of healing and love.
Professed in 1997 she has served several positions on her local council; on the regional level as Regional Chairperson for YYA since 2014; and on the national level as a member of the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Committee. She was a founding member of the Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity with the committee’s seminal work published in The Cord Vol.56 No.1 (“Elements of Franciscan Unity: An Ecumenical Perspective”).