Interview with Mike Zunica

Anne Russell: Hi Michael.

Mike Zunica: Hi Anne, how are you?

Russell: I'm fine. Now I'll get professional. I'm Anne Russell from the Augustinian Province office. I thank you for taking a few minutes to answer some of these questions for me.

Zunica: Okay.

Russell: Can you share with us how you first became to know the Augustinians?

Zunica: My first encounter with the Augustinians was at an interview for the head baseball job in 1996.

Russell: How long have you been with the Augustinians now?

Zunica: Nineteen years.

Russell: Okay. Are there any particular Augustinians that impacted your life?

Zunica: Mostly Father Tom McCarthy and Father Bernie Scianna, but many others.

Russell: How did they specifically impact your life and in which way?

Zunica: Their love for Saint Rita High School and their love for the Augustinians and their love for Catholic education.

Russell: Okay. My next question is: What would you say the role is of the Augustinian Order today, and how are the Augustinians still relevant in today's society?

Zunica: I would say that their role is to keep the Order alive and try to turn around the declining enrollment in the priesthood and the brotherhood. I think they still have a phenomenal role in building schools to educate today's youth and also to help in the running of parishes in areas of need.

Russell: How are they relevant in today's society?

Zunica: In today's society, I think every student or every person that they have an influence on or somebody that they can mentor or develop goes on to possibly be a better father, a better friend, a better son, a better co-worker. I think what they do has a lot of legs to it.

Russell: Okay. Next question is: Why are you helping the special Continuing Our [Journey of Faith] campaign for the Augustinians? I know you're on the board and why are you helping?

Zunica: Because I believe in their mission. I think they're great educators. I think that they, like I said, if I didn't think they should be trying to sustain the Augustinian Order, I wouldn't be working for them, I wouldn't be on the committee. I think they have great value to society.

Russell: Okay. My next question is: Why should others go the extra mile to make a special gift to this campaign?

Zunica: Because if they donate money that allows the Augustinians to recruit one more priest, that priest when you look at the pay it forward concept, can influence so many individuals and families. I just think every donation goes a lot deeper than just helping the Augustinians pay for retirement funds and sustaining their Order. I think it's a pretty far reaching gift.

Russell: Well, Michael, I thank you for spending your time with us this afternoon. I know you're very busy so have a great day, and thank you again.

Zunica: Thanks, Anne.

Russell: Bye-bye, Michael.

Posted on November 24, 2014 and filed under Mike Zunica.