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'Awesome woman' honored for service to archdiocsese

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss congratulates Mullen Award recipient Colleen Minturn during the OACCW's 80th convention. Photo by Brian Fuchser
By Brian Fuchser
The Catholic Voice

An Omaha woman was honored for her service to her family and the church by the Omaha Archdiocesan Conference of Catholic Women at the Conference's annual banquet September 27 in Norfolk.

Colleen Minturn of St. Philip Neri Parish in Omaha was named this year's recipient of the OACCW's highest honor, the Mullen Award.

"I never expected this in a hundred years," Minturn said. "It's so hard to put it into words. I never expected this beautiful honor. I'm sure that everybody who gets it feels the same way I do, but they all deserve it. They are servants of the Lord and me no more than anybody else."

The award, presented by Deanna Reardon, Mullen Award chair, is given annually to a council member who best exemplifies the life and service of Mary Mullen, founder and first president of the OACCW. It was established in 1962 in her memory.

"I am honored and appreciate it so very much" Minturn said. "I will treasure it forever."

Minturn, whom Reardon called "an awesome woman," has served as OACCW Church Commission chair for four years and prepares prayer services for OACCW meetings.

Her service to the church included jobs as secretary for Father Pat McCaslin at St Therese Parish in east Omaha and also as secretary for the urban diaconate program.

From 1982 through 1994, she was the executive secretary for the Family Life Office, working in marriage preparation and marriage ministry.

Minturn also helped with the development of lay ministry formation training and personally completed the 18-month program.

In her parish, Minturn serves as back-up parish secretary, plays organ for liturgies and church events and serves on various committees.

She is also involved in Florence community groups and activities. She started the ongoing Widows Support Group and goes weekly to local nursing homes to lead rosary and prayer services.

Reardon said Minturn is the "strong center of her family." She is a mother of 16 and grandmother of 49 with a growing number of great grandchildren.

Widowed in 1972 when she was pregnant with her youngest child, Minturn and her family often have taken in and cared for other children and adults as they became aware of the need.

Being named the Mullen award winner was a surprise but the biggest surprise, Minturn said, was when some of her family members arrived during the award presentation.

"I'm so grateful that some of them are able to come," she said.

The Catholic Voice

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