Fr. Ken Cienik, SA, knows how to help men find spiritual peace in desperate situations. His experience serving as a Navy Chaplain on the battleship USS Wisconsin throughout the Gulf War in Desert Storm will prove invaluable in his new role as Spiritual Counselor at St. Christopher’s Inn, the Friars ministry to addicted men who are fighting for their lives in a war against opioids.
Fr. Ken served in the Navy and Marine Corps for 24 years, retiring in 2010 with the rank of Captain. He is a Veteran of Desert Storm and of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in addition to serving as a first responder at the Pentagon. His personal decorations are numerous, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon, among others.
While Fr. Ken has been aptly recognized and celebrated for his years of service to his country, his most recent celebration was perhaps the most notable. On June 4th, 2017, Fr. Ken celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination as a priest in Rome, and had the privilege of con-celebrating that Mass with Pope Francis on Pentecost Sunday!
Working and ministering at St. Christopher’s Inn is a big change from Fr. Ken’s most recent assignment as the Novitiate Director in Assisi, Italy, but it is an assignment that he happily accepts. Fr. Ken recently shared, “I requested to work with the men at the Inn, and I am happy to be a part of this ministry. I spent the summer of my junior year of college at the Inn working in the clothing shop with Brother Rocco. There were fewer men then, and their primary challenge was alcoholism. With the increased use of opioids and the crisis of overdoses in our country, I am grateful to have a role in helping these men find their way out of addiction, and towards a life in recovery.”