Sister Helen Renzelmann, CSA, was recently honored with the inaugural Spirituality & Healing Award by the Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing for her unfailing service and commitment to the mission of the Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing.
Sister Helen was one of the first volunteers at the Center when it initially opened its doors in September of 2000 and maintained her role as receptionist until 2014. “She was the ‘face of the Center’ for all those years,” says Michael Ketterhagen, Spiritual Director for the Center and an Associate of the Sisters of St. Agnes. “People coming in would be greeted by her smile and her trademark ‘double-sided’ hug.”
Her involvement did not stop at the desk, though. Sister Helen initially came to the Center with health concerns, and even experienced a fall during her time there, but through her work with the various healing methods offered at the Center, her spirituality, and her purpose-filled retired life, she is still healthy and mobile at age 98.
“Sister Helen received this award because of her work, but also because she modelled holistic healing her life,” said Ketterhagen. “She is the first-ever recipient of this award, and we look forward to giving it annually to others of her caliber.” The Center serves people of diverse faiths and backgrounds by offering programs and services that support the continuous discovery/awareness of our oneness in the Source of Life, and that nurture wholeness of body, mind and spirit.
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina established the Hunt-Morgridge Service Award in 2010, coinciding with the Food Bank’s 30th Anniversary. This award recognizes extraordinary leadership and dedication to hunger relief efforts. With heartfelt gratitude and deep admiration for deeds sung and unsung in distinguished years of service to their fellow citizens, the Food Bank instituted the award in name of The Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr., former Governor of the State of North Carolina, and John P. Morgridge, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco.
Former recipients include Ron E. and Jeanette Doggert in 2011, Barbara Oates in 2012, the Reverend Haywood Holderness in 2013, Ashmead P. Pipkin in 2014, Jack and Mary Hofler in 2015, Ed and Ingrid Carney in 2016, and Earline Middleton in 2017.
The Hunt-Morgridge Service Award is given annually to the person or organization that exemplifies the values of those whose names it bears.
Born to an American Polish family of three boys and six girls, Mary Ann was the third of nine children raised in a Midwest country town in Wisconsin. The parents of the “nine” established a mom-and-pop meat market business in the 1940s. Each sibling was meticulously trained in serving customers and cleaning.
Mary Ann was a typical tomboy. Maturing between boys in the family and playing with mostly boys in the neighborhood led to the development of a strong, determined gal. These two characteristics remain notable, even today.
College days were inside convent walls by choice. She earned a teaching degree and became qualified to teach grades one to eight. Thirteen years of hands-on teaching created memorable moments to cherish! Home visits to student’s families bonded her with both the child and the entire core family, especially during a seven-year commitment in Harlem, New York.
Earning a master’s degree in social work led Sister to her next career. Trekking the soil of North Carolina, she coordinated parish efforts to address needs of the poor in nine counties. By 1983, Tarboro, North Carolina became home. Working for Catholic Charities allowed time to view the vast needs of rural eastern North Carolina. A spirited interdenominational group of women began to meet, pray, and discern the apparent societal aspects which were lacking in Tarboro. The year 1986 marked the beginning of sharing a pot of soup from someone’s kitchen and sandwiches being put together in the annex hall of the fire department. The hungry and homeless now had a place to gather, create community, and return home knowing they had made a difference in their own hometown. It only took a few months to realize how many men were homeless. This awareness led to the development of a Board of Directors and the creation of Tarboro Community Outreach, Inc. A new self-standing building for shelter and food programs was dedicated in 1989, three blocks from Main Street. Sister Mary Ann accepted the challenge of Executive Director and still today, she uses her energies serving those in need and running this wonderful organization. Reprinted with permission from Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
GARY - The staff and clients of Sojourner Truth House have known for 21 years that Sister Peg Spindler, CSA, executive director, makes a difference in her community. Last month, the Teachers’ Insurance and Annuity Association made it official. Sister Peg, of the Congregation of St. Agnes, was named a “Difference Maker 100” honoree by the TIAA, one of 100 individuals working in the nonprofit sector throughout the U.S. who have made significant contributions in their communities. Read more. (Story and photos Courtesy of Northwest Indiana Catholic )
Since 2002, CORE El Centro has provided a community that has few primary care providers with holistic health services for all ages, including stress management, acupuncture, reiki training, and yoga and meditation classes. Nearly 6,000 clients of all income levels are served annually, 79 percent of them Latinx. Read more.
CORE El Centro recently received the Nonprofit of the Year Excellence Award from the Biz Times Milwaukee. This award is given to a nonprofit organization in recognition for creativity and innovation in building a sustainable organization, excellence in teamwork and an outstanding dedication to the organization’s mission in the community. Here is a video of the announcement and Madeline Gianforte’s acceptance speech.