Rev. Jonah Pollock, O.P., appointed Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at Youngstown State University

Father Jonah succeeds Father Norbert Keliher, O.P., as Dominican Friars continue their ministry with the “Catholic Penguins”


August 25, 2023

CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications

(330) 744-8451, ext. 320;


The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, is pleased to appoint Rev. Jonah Pollock, O.P., as Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at Youngstown State University (YSU). Bishop Bonnar expresses his gratitude to Rev. Allan Moran, O.P., Provincial Prior of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, for presenting Father Jonah for this ministry, and to the Dominican Friars for their ongoing ministry in the Diocese of Youngstown. The Dominicans, or Order of Preachers, are a worldwide religious order of friars dedicated to preaching Jesus Christ. The Province of St. Joseph, or Eastern Province, is one of four Dominican provinces in the United States. In addition to campus ministry at Youngstown State University, the Dominicans have been entrusted with the parishes of St. Dominic (Youngstown) and St. Rose (Girard) and also serve in parish and Hispanic ministry at St. Paul (Salem) and St. Patrick (Leetonia), as well as in campus ministry at Walsh University.

Father Jonah Pollock was raised in central New York State and completed a B.A. at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. He professed simple vows as a Dominican friar in 2004 and, after completing his M.Div. and S.T.B. at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., was ordained to the priesthood in 2009. Father Jonah completed an S.T.L. in theology in 2010. Among his pastoral assignments, Father Jonah has served as a parochial vicar at the Church of St. Mary in New Haven, Connecticut and at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena in New York, N.Y., as a hospital chaplain for the Dominican Healthcare Ministry in New York City and then as director of that ministry.

Father Jonah succeeds Rev. Norbert Keliher, O.P., who has served as Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at YSU since 2021, and who has accepted a new assignment by his Dominican community. During his time as director, Father Keliher has successfully led a rebranding of the “Catholic Penguins” campus ministry at YSU, which is housed at the St. John Henry Newman Center and serves all Catholic students at Youngstown State. In the last two years the ministry has grown tremendously under the leadership of Father Norbert and the Dominican Friars, including five Bible studies held each year, students participating in individual discipleship formation, Mass at the Newman Center six days a week, a weekly night of catechetical teaching and Eucharistic Adoration and weekly service projects in the community. In the last two years, thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of alumni and donors, the staff has grown from one full-time person to four in order to keep pace with the number of students. The Newman Center has also undergone extensive renovations to make it a welcoming place for all students.

Reflecting on his time at YSU, Father Nobert Keliher notes that, “Through events held both on-campus and at the Newman Center, students come together in a community centered on knowing Christ and loving their neighbors.”

Bishop Bonnar comments, “I am deeply grateful to Father Norbert and the Dominican Friars for the extraordinary development of campus ministry at YSU. The Catholic Penguins are a source of joy and inspiration for me and for Youngstown, and I am looking forward to what happens next under Father Jonah’s leadership.” Father Jonah Pollock comments, “I am excited to  be assigned here in Youngstown and excited to undertake the ministry of Jesus Christ at Youngstown State University.”

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