Knights’ Catechist of the Year loves serving parish that ‘celebrates faith in God’

The State Knights of Columbus awarded its Catechist of the Year recently to Laura Oliynik, a catechist of St. Therese Parish in the Succasunna neighborhood of Roxbury Township. This is the second consecutive year a catechist of St. Therese’s religious education program received the Knights’ award.

Oliynik has been a parish catechist since 2014, first for a fifth grade before moving to second grade. She has grown as a catechist, incorporating her faith and crafts into her lessons. By doing this, she opens the hearts and minds of her students and shows them how to appreciate all that God has given them, while preparing them to receive their sacraments.

In addition to being a catechist, Oliynik helped create a parish play group for families with young children, incorporating prayer into fun time activities, when her children were little. For the last two years, she has belonged to St. Therese’s fundraising Committee. She led events to raise funds to enhance the parish’s religious education program.

Oliynik taught fourth grade in local public schools before starting her family. She has returned to teaching in the public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and a master’s degree from Centenary College. Oliynik is married to her husband, Matthew, and has three daughters. They have been parishioners at St. Therese since 2011. 

The award recipient said she became a catechist to be “part of a community that celebrates faith in God by doing good things for others.”

Oliynik is pictured with State Secretary James Sweeney, who presented her with the award, and Michael Spiecker, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 6320.

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