Fr. Patrick Sloneker
Let me relate a few of the highlights of my history. Over time I’ll tell lots more of my history in the bulletin and in homilies.
Hamilton is from where I harken, born in 1966 and raised there, receiving all my sacraments at St. Ann. My father, Richard, died in 1992 and mom, Carol, resides in Hamilton age 88, still living on her own. I have a sister ten years older, Sharon, and a brother eight years older, Tim, who both live in Hamilton. My younger brother is two years younger than me and lives in Baton Rouge. They all have families. We practiced the faith well, but were not overly religious, though I remember dad kneeling down with us to pray every night, especially for our deceased loved ones…after a great story he would make up or read!
My childhood was blessed and wonderful though unremarkable. I played most sports, had all sorts of hobbies, cut grass and delivered papers. I loved fishing and gardening, both taught to me by dad. At age eight I wanted to be married as a teacher or motorcycle policeman or I wanted to be a priest. After grade school at St. Ann, I went to Badin Catholic High School in Hamilton. I was in the band, Key Club and worked at McDonalds when I turned sixteen.
I applied and was accepted to XU, UD and the Josephinum, the college seminary used by the archdiocese. Mom and sis didn’t want me to go to college seminary, since they were afraid I wouldn’t have anything to fall back on if I didn’t go on to ordination. Despite their concerns, I did feel called to discern priesthood, so I went to college seminary. It was a great experience in so many ways. At the same time, come fourth year I wasn’t sure enough about the priesthood.
Therefore, after college I landed a job teaching junior high at John XXIII Catholic Elementary in Middletown for four years. That was a great experience too, though the first year was difficult. I scheduled and trained servers at St. Ann and was an RCIA catechist. I became a hospice volunteer and in the leadership of a singles group at a local United Methodist Church. I was a Big Brother with two matches for a total of twenty years. I dated, but didn’t meet anyone I felt called to marry. The priesthood remained in my mind and heart. That fourth year teaching I decided I would go back to seminary at which time dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and mom and I took care of him as he died.
The five years of major seminary were also wonderful and it wasn’t until the last two years that I became confident that I should be a priest. Honestly, I don’t think it mattered to Jesus whether I became a priest or married, but that I love and serve him joyfully in whatever I chose. I was able to discern that I loved to preach, pray and worship and I had gifts to lead and serve.
My priesthood assignments in twenty-five years of ordination are below.