I am Sr. Leonarda Zielinska, OP. I belong to the Immaculate Conception Province of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dominic. Usually we are called the Dominican Sisters. Our Congregation was founded in Poland but Sisters are present in the States for almost ninety years.

I entered the community over twenty years ago, in Poland, and fifteen years ago, I came to the States.

I enjoy reading good books, poetry, and doing crafts. One of my jobs at this moment is making floral arrangements for our parish church, and I am glad that I can make our church even more beautiful.

In Poland, I worked mainly as a religion teacher for various grades, while completing my studies. After coming to the States, I worked for some years in the nursing home run by our Sisters at our Provincial House in Justice, IL. At the same time, I attended a local college for English classes, and later I obtained the AAS in Business Administration and Human Resources Management.

Since 2013, I live in Columbus, OH. At the beginning, I worked in the Soup Kitchen. Now, I work as a DRE at the parish served by Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. I am responsible for over 40 catechists and over 330 students attending our program. It is very interesting and amazing to see how those children grow in faith over the years and discover their vocation, the plan God has for each of them.

Personally, I did not think about entering religious life until I started my high school, simply because I never had any contact with religious sisters when I was a child. I first started to think about it when a girl from our neighborhood, a few years older than me, shocked everyone by entering a religious community. The thought about religious life was present in the back of my mind through my high school years, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying time with my friends, having fun, attending parties, etc. My family was not overly devout, but rather average, traditional, Catholic Polish family and I didn’t belong to any youth group. However, by my senior year, I could not imagine myself being anything else but a sister, even though I had very little understanding of religious life. I decided to look for some information, and I found a directory of religious communities in Poland. After reading the descriptions, I most liked the Dominicans for combining the active and contemplative life. Once I visited Sisters, I knew that was the right place, and I joined them a few months later.

I hope this program will help many young people to discern their vocations, to recognize the community to which God calls them. I also hope it will encourage those discerning to be not afraid to answer ‘Yes, I will do whatever you tell me, Lord.”

Learn more about Sr. Leonarda and her community here: