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It's All In the Family: Following God's Call

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Read the full transcript of this episode

In our last episode of the "Echoes from the Bell Tower" podcast, we introduced you to Br. John Mark Falkenhain and his parents. This week, we continue the family theme with a conversation that Br. Kolbe recorded with his parents and two of his siblings.

Br. Kolbe Wolniakowski, along with Br. Joel Blaize, hosts the "Echoes" podcast. Last spring when his family members were visiting him at the monastery, we asked him to "mic up" the family and talk to them about the impact that choosing a religious life can have on a family.

Br. Kolbe came to Saint Meinrad in 2015. After his year as a novice, he professed his temporary vows as a Benedictine monk. Next summer, God willing, he will make his solemn profession of vows.

But Br. Kolbe isn't the only member of his family who has a religious vocation. His sister, Sr. Marie Faustina, joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 2012. In fact, as you'll hear in this episode, she was only too happy to be the one who "nudged" her brother toward religious life.

The photos in this blog post are of Br. Kolbe's family. We say thanks to his parents Sandy and Steve Wolniakowski, brother Ross and sister Shelby for joining Br. Kolbe on the podcast. In addition to Sr. Marie Faustina, Br. Kolbe has another sister, Stephanie Schneider.

As always, you can listen to this episode at the top of this page or go to iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts and download "Echoes from the Bell Tower." Thanks for listening!


The Wolniakowski family poses for a portrait in 2016. Pictured are, first row, from left; Adam Schneider, Lincoln Schneider and Stephanie Schneider. Second row, from left: Shelby Wolniakowski, Sr. Marie Faustina Wolniakowski, Steve Wolniakowski, Sandy Wolniakowski, Br. Kolbe Wolniakowski, Andrea Spitzley and Ross Wolniakowski

Br. Kolbe's sister, Sr. Marie Faustina, joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, in 2012, and later suggested to Br. Kolbe that he might have a Benedictine vocation.

Br. Kolbe talks with his family every Sunday over Skype, including his nephew, Lincoln, and niece, Eleanor.