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Mary Jo Husten recognized for leadership

By Lisa Schulte
The Catholic Voice


Mary Jo Husten receives the Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan Award from Archbishop Curtiss at the 2005 Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Assembly April 8. Husten was recognized for her service, dedication and leadership to the APC.
Photo by Lisa Schulte
The Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan Award was presented this year to Mary Jo Husten for her outstanding dedication, service and leadership to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

A member of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue, Husten has been involved in the APC for 19 years. She began working in the Omaha Archdiocese's Pastoral Planning Office in 1986 and became its director in 1997. She retired in November.

"Mary Jo has a gift of putting people at ease with her down-to-earth personality and kindness," said Vern Ohlinger, a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha and APC representative for the Urban West Deanery. "She listens to people and recognizes their gifts and unites people so their combined gifts can better serve the people of God."

As director of the Pastoral Planning Office, Husten handled administrative tasks and research responsibilities for the archdiocese, and provided assistance and consultation to parishes. For three years she served on the international conference for pastoral planning and council development.

Husten said she enjoyed helping parishes develop pastoral councils.

APC delegate Ed Svaigl saluted Husten at the APC Assembly for "leading a lot of people to God and helping them with their faith, and progressing our archdiocese to new levels."

Among Husten's biggest jobs as director of the Pastoral Planning Office was preparing for the 2003 Eucharistic Congress and the 2004 Archdiocesan Synod.

A native of Salina, Kan., Huston thanked the APC delegates and Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss for their support over the years, as well as her husband, Walt, and married daughters, Teresa Morse and Kathy Sullivan. Her son, Paul, died in December at the age of 39.

"This is indeed an honor," she told the crowd. "You all really share this award. You have been a tremendous inspiration to me through all these years."

Husten told the delegates that they are "really trying to seek the most effective way the council can come alive" in their parishes and faith communities.

"It has truly been a distinct privilege and honor to have served with so many faith-filled, dedicated, committed people throughout the archdiocese."

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