On Monday, May 9, 2011, The Saint Paul Seminary honored two individuals who have loved the Church through the poor and vulnerable. Throughout this academic year, the entire seminary community spent time reflecting on the theme "Loving the Church". As we seek to love with the heart of the Shepherd, it is fitting that the Distinguished Alumni Award 2011 was presented to those who have lived this calling.
First, we honored a woman whose life and work have spoken loudly and clearly of the sacredness and dignity of human life. Wife, mother, grandmother, author, speaker, activist – Mary Ann Kuharski does it all. For nine years Mary Ann sat on our seminary Board of Trustees, serving on the Formation and Program Committee and reminding us time and again of the importance of our focus on proclaiming the Gospel of Life amid a culture of death. As Director and Founder of PROLIFE Across AMERICA, Mary Ann has championed the cause of life since that organization’s founding in 1989, sponsoring thousands of billboards throughout the country and encouraging many to consider alternatives to abortion.
For loving the Church in her most vulnerable members, The Saint Paul Seminary was pleased to present the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award to honorary alumnus Mary Ann Kuharski.
Our second recipient is a priest who, for the last 26 years, has wholeheartedly served the poor and now works tirelessly to give at-risk youth a bright future. After graduating from The Saint Paul Seminary in 1985, Fr. Steven Boes was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha. For eight years he served at St. Augustine's Indian Mission in Winnebago, Nebraska, caring for poor and disadvantaged children. In 2005, Fr. Boes was named Executive Director of Boys Town, one of the largest direct-care children's organizations in the country. Of his work, Fr. Boes has said that he "enjoys striving to reveal the beauty inside children with tough backgrounds." Each year Boys Town services and programs touch the lives of 1.6 million people. That includes direct care to nearly 121,000 children and families.
For recognizing the dignity and potential in those whom society casts aside, the seminary was deeply honored to present the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award to Fr. Steven Boes.