Legacy award recipient setting example for others

| Julie Pfitzinger for The Catholic Spirit | October 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Catholic Community Foundation to honor longtime volunteer, Susan Morrison

Longtime community philanthropist and volunteer Susan Morrison will receive the 2011 Legacy of Faith Award from the Catholic Community Foundation at the organization’s annual banquet Oct. 26.

Morrison has served on the Catholic Community Foundation board of directors since 2002 and has been the chair of the grant committee since 2006. She has also been a volunteer for a variety of organizations including the United Way, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Minnesota Orchestra and League of Catholic Women.



Susan and her husband, John, parishioners at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, have helped support several Catholic schools in the Twin Cities, including St. Catherine University (Susan is a graduate of the Class of 1960), the University of St. Thomas and Cretin-Derham Hall High School, as well as many other local organizations. In 2006, the National Catholic Educational Association presented the couple with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award.

The Catholic Spirit asked Susan Morrison about her role as a philanthropist and volunteer and what she hopes her legacy is for both her family and the community.

Q. Why is Catholic education such an important cause for you?

I think the first reason is because I was a product of it. I attended Nativity, Derham Hall and St. Kate’s. The Sisters of St. Joseph were formative in my education.  I’m so grateful for what they have done and what they continue to do. They are committed to making a difference and I believe my part is to give back.

Q. What role does your Catholic faith play in choosing the organizations you support with your time and your financial resources?

One of the tenets of the Catholic Christian faith is charity, so if we can all find a way to do our part, we should do so. I think it’s all about planting the seeds of human kindness. You may never know the reward or the way things will eventually turn out, but you have done your part.

Q. What has been your most gratifying volunteer or service experience?

There are two that come to mind right away. My involvement with the Catholic Community Foundation, especially chairing the grant committee, has meant a lot. I have seen firsthand how creative people are in the work they do and the different ways they are trying to contribute.

I had the opportunity to go to Lourdes where I volunteered as a nurse (Morrison has a nursing degree) but really just helped wherever I was needed. It was such an amazing, faith-filled and healing place. There is so much spiritual and emotional energy all around you.

Q. You and your husband have four children and 14 grandchildren. What values regarding service and charitable giving do you hope to have modeled for them?

I’ve already seen them do their own good work. Some of my grandchildren have helped at a homeless shelter and a few went on a church mission trip to Chicago to work in a shelter there. I’ve heard them talk incessantly about how meaningful those experiences were for them. I don’t lecture them about anything, but they are all such good kids and I see that they understand what it means to give back.

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