People At St. Lukes: Meet the Zerlentes Family
Tom and Barb Zerlentes are a part of St. Luke because they feel at home
here. They both like to sing along with the choir, something they could not readily do
before they came to St. Luke.
Tom and Barb were married 27 years ago at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox
Church, a very large parish in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It was from this parish that many St.
Luke founders came seeking to worship God solely in English. Although Tom's extended family
still belongs to St. Nicholas Church, he and Barb have been attending St. Luke for
13 years. They came when their children were young and ready for Church School. Their
oldest daughter, Nicole, is now in college, and Lisa is a 17-year-old high school
Tom, who is Greek, has always been Orthodox. Barb was brought up as a
Roman Catholic. Yet when she came to the Orthodox Church, she felt very comfortable. "The
Liturgy," she said, "followed the steps of the Mass." Barb's mother had been Orthodox but
became Catholic when she married Barb's father. So coming to Orthodoxy was not strange for
Barb, who is Polish and Russian.
All the Zerlentes participate in activities at St. Luke. They
especially like the Restaurant Rovers and other activities that encourage a family
atmosphere at St. Luke Church. Right now Barb is the Financial Secretary for the parish.
Tom, who is in real estate, provides his expertise when needed. For example, his knowledge
helped St. Luke obtain a bond program to finance our new building. Lisa, who takes singing
lessons, loves to sing in the choir.
The Zerlentes family attends services at St. Luke every Sunday and at
other times. Barb, Tom, and Lisa all say they have "grown and are growing spiritually."
They all feel the parish is maturing. Lisa, especially, sees the parish "coming more
together" in that "more people are participating." Lisa liked the Church School program
when she was younger. She now enjoys the Young Orthodox (YO) group, especially its
socializing and community outreach activities. Lisa will be going to a nearby college
soon, so she will still be a part of St. Luke parish.
The Zerlentes are pleasant people who add to the friendly atmosphere at
St. Luke. We are all glad that they are here.