Four women to receive council awards

| May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

Four women will receive Laywoman Volunteer Awards for involvement in their respective Council of Catholic Women groups, parishes and communities. The Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women will recognize the winners at its May 3-4 convention at St. John Neumann in Eagan.

Barb ErnsterSt. Charles Borromeo, St. Anthony

Barb ErnsterBarb Ernster, 57, volunteers at St. Charles, in the archdiocese and in the broader community, helping plan events and facilitate programs that evangelize and build the Church. An extraordinary minister of holy Communion, she has served as president of St. Charles CCW, president of the parish preschool religion program, co-chaired the parish festival and assisted with several parish capital campaigns. Ernster volunteers with the World Apostolate of Fatima and is president of the board of trustees for its archdiocesan division. In 1996, Ernster helped launch Minneapolis-based The Catholic Servant newspaper. She assisted with communication efforts at the Curatio Apostolate of Catholic Health Care Professionals in St. Anthony, which provides spiritual and educational support. She helps coordinate events for the independent Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office in Minneapolis. She and her husband have three children.

Bonnie PolichSt. Ignatius, Annandale

Bonnie PolichThe parish secretary at St. Ignatius for over 27 years, Bonnie Polich has been volunteering at her parish since 1973. She first volunteered with youth faith formation and trained altar servers. Noting a need in the parish, she and her family created a pulley system for raising altar banners in the sanctuary. Polich has served as chairwoman of various parish committees and as president of St. Ignatius CCW and the northwest deanery. She helped increase St. Ignatius’ participation in the ACCW Appalachia Papal Footprints Shoe Box Mission, which sends shoe boxes full of gifts to the poor in Kentucky. She volunteers with the Christ Child Luncheon, which raises funds for pro-life organizations. She and her husband have three children.

Jean ShieldsSt. Raphael, Crystal

Jean ShieldsJean Shields, 88, has volunteered in the pro-life movement since 1970. She started Pennies for Life donation baskets at St. Raphael, and she arranged busing for parishioners to participate in the annual March for Life at the State Capitol in St. Paul. She helped establish Northside Life Care Center, a women’s pregnancy center in north Minneapolis that has since merged with Abria. She participates in activities with the St. Raphael Respect Life Committee and Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary. She also staffs pro-life booths at county fairs and the Minnesota State Fair. Shields served as president of a local chapter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, continues to serve on the board and is a member of the executive board. She is widowed and has two sons, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.

Nancy JohnsonSt. John the Evangelist, Little Canada

Nancy JohnsonNancy Johnson, 64, has been president, vice president and communications liaison with St. John the Evangelist CCW. She organized her parish’s role in a Rosary Coast to Coast effort in October 2018. She volunteers in adult faith formation and Family of Faith programs at St. John, leads a monthly rosary at a senior living apartment complex, attends monthly prayer vigils outside Planned Parenthood and serves as a prayer companion for Rachel’s Vineyard, a post-abortion recovery ministry. She volunteers with Second Stork, which works with over 70 Minnesota hospitals that request material assistance for mothers in crisis. She is a graduate of the Archbishop Flynn Catechetical Institute at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. She and her husband have two sons and daughters-in-law and seven living grandchildren.

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