Shannon CernekaOddwalk Ministries
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Shannon Cerneka is originally from Belleville, IL., and although has lived in a number of cities during his lifetime, claims Belleville as his hometown. Although his family did not have much material wealth as Shannon was growing up, there was always lots of love and humor, and support from a large and loving extended family. The Church, through Boy Scouts, TEC, CYO, his home parish, and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows also played a big part in Shannon's formation.
Ever the extrovert, Shannnon loved singing and performing and acting silly for people. Shannon taught himself to play guitar and began writing songs in high school. He'd play for CYO events, began offering his gifts to the local TEC center as weekend music directors and playing for parish liturgies.
When he graduated from high school, Shannon joined the Illinois Air National Guard and served for four years. He stayed involved with these groups and continued to grow in his love of the Lord and realization of His good gifts. Soon after being discharged from the Guard, Shannon felt the call to ministry and enrolled in the Youth Ministry Certificate program offered by the Center for Ministry Development. Upon completion of the program in 1999, the Lord called Shannon to move to Jefferson City, Mo. and serve his Church as the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Peter Parish, where he continues to enjoy working today.
Shannon met Erin Ramsay in August of 2000 at a TEC function and they became friends immediately. After several months of friendship, they began a dating relationship in spring of the next year. Shannon proposed on Easter Sunday, 2002 in the presence of the people most important to both of them - their families. They were married in May of 2003, in Erin's hometown of Fulton, Mo. They have since moved to Fulton where they celebrated the birth of daughter Madeleine in October 2004, and son Noah in August, 2006. Together, they continue to live their faith and share their gifts with the people of their community.