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Sister Marianne Kempa and the Archbiship of Milwaukee are posed with the Vatican II Award Sister Marianne recived in the Service to the Church category.

Throughout 53 years of service, Sister Marianne Kempa has worked extensively in both the field of Catholic education and in ministry. In her early years as a School Sister of Notre Dame (SSND), she taught primary grades in and around Milwaukee, and founded and taught a Kindergarten program in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Sister Marianne later became a pastoral associate and began a local career in parish ministry, directing many programs and ministries in several parishes.

Sister Marianne has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in pastoral studies. She is also a certified spiritual director and actively ministers at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin. “I have been part of directing retreats at the Siena Center, but my main ministry is serving in pastoral support, which I do at Notre Dame School in Milwaukee. I appreciate and enjoy the energy, enthusiasm and vision of the administration and the young teachers. They have a lot of energy, and are dedicated and committed to their students,” Sister Marianne said.

Sister Marianne Kempa and the Archbiship of Milwaukee are posed with the Vatican II Award Sister Marianne recived in the Service to the Church category.

She was also called upon to be part of a new mentor program for priests run by a team of archdiocesan ministerial leaders. “I am honored at the invitation to be part of the coach -mentoring group of people on the archdiocesan team. I said yes because I feel it is important for priests to have somebody who could be objective.”

Last year, Sister Marianne received the award for Service to the Church, which is the first time a SSND has received an award in this category. To be nominated for this award, an individual must, “be a Catholic who witnesses as a Christian rooted in biblical renewal; have worked toward engagement with the world; have promoted community with mutual respect for the full spiritual dignity of people as persons; and have advanced the mission of Christ and the growth and renewal of the Church,” according to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Sister Marianne Kempa and the Archbiship of Milwaukee are posed with the Vatican II Award Sister Marianne recived in the Service to the Church category.

In 1991, the Vatican II Awards were established by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to honor men, women and young adults who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council. There are 13 categories for the awards, and individuals are nominated by archdiocesan ministry leaders, staff, or priests. Following nominations, the Archbishop of Milwaukee hand-selects the winners each year, and a prayer service is held in the recipients’ honor.

When asked about receiving the award, Sister Marianne shared, “Receiving the Archbishop's Vatican II Award for Service to the Church was an overwhelming surprise to me. It was also an incredibly humbling experience! I received the award with a grateful heart for the wonderful opportunities I have had to serve God's people in the Church as a School Sister of Notre Dame! Although my name was the one called and the award given to me, I received it in the name of all SSND, parish and school colleagues and God's people whom I have had the privilege of working with and serving! It is an award for all of them! I have been very blessed, and I am grateful!”

 

Find out more about the Vatican II Awards and view past recipients:

 
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School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100

info@ssndcp.org

 

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