Steve Weinert Named Blessed Catherine Kasper Award Recipient

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Jennifer Weinert is great at keeping secrets. Her husband Steve, the 2018 Blessed Catherine Kasper award recipient, had no idea he was the winner, even though she knew a week before the announcement. “The only thing she did (that day) was make sure I was wearing a clean shirt and jeans,” Steve laughed. 

Steve joined The Center at Donaldson fifteen years ago as a member of the Facilities and Ground Services team. “Overwhelmed,” is how he described his reaction to hearing his name called. “When I looked over at Ed, (Maria Center resident Ed Kirchhoff) his face just lit up,” he said. “I’m very grateful for it. It’s especially an honor now that she’s going to be a Saint.” 

There’s another secret that was hidden in the Weinert family, one which Steve and Jennifer, the 2014 Blessed Catherine Kasper Award recipient, recently discovered. His connection to the Poor Handmaids goes back two generations. Steve’s grandfather and great-uncle were raised by the Sisters at Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago. He made the discovery while going through family records not long ago. “Their parents passed away, and the Sisters raised them together,” Steve said. 

Co-workers who nominated Steve found him to be “a gentle, peaceful, welcoming presence to everyone – guests, co-workers, residents, all of creation which he treats with reverence.” That’s evident in the colorful gardens Steve plants on the grounds, something important to the Sisters; and in his love of art, which he and Jennifer share though activities with the Sisters and Maria Center residents. Others cited Steve’s “willingness to help all residents with whatever they need.” Another co-worker said he’s “a great guy who walks in the shoes of Catherine and embodies the Spirit of Poor Handmaids.” Perhaps the ultimate tribute to his sense of community came from a co-worker who noted, “he shares his tools!” 

In reminiscing about the awards luncheon several days later, Steve said of the honor, “It’s all about family: the residents, Sisters, and co-workers. It’s all special to me, and they’re part of my family and my history. It’s also an honor to my grandfather. He’d have been so happy.” 

Congratulations, Steve!