Life of faith energizes new stewardship director

Categories: Around the Diocese

Q & A with Curt Hanson

July 19, 2013, edition
By Nikki Rajala

Meet Curt Hanson, the new executive director of the Catholic Foundation and Director of Stewardship and Development. Hanson began July 1.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. My wife Mary Beth and I live near Little Falls. We’re happy to belong to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish there. Prior to moving to this area we lived in Duluth, and Pine River before that.

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We are blessed with four sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandkids: Eric and Jenny are parents of Hunter, Mariela, Soroya and Thomas; Kyle is married to Christina; and Daniel and Brady are single.

Q. What parish activities are you most involved in?

A. My wife and I try to be active in our faith. We’ve taught religious education at different grade levels and served on parish councils over the years. I’ve been a liturgical musician for many years, which includes doing music at TEC retreats (Together Encountering Christ), and REC retreats (Residents Encountering Christ, which is a jail ministry), as well as providing music at the annual Diocesan Men’s Conference a time or two. Mary Beth and I are involved in Bible studies and faith-sharing groups, understanding that “church” means a great deal more than one hour of worship on Sunday mornings.

Q. What wisdom has your previous work experience brought you?

A. I have worked in very disparate job settings. As a young man I climbed poles and towers and handled high voltage power lines as an electrical lineman. From there I moved on to participate in a significant organizational development effort, followed by supervising nearly 30 technicians across territorial boundaries. I was a member of the company’s Corporate Contributions Committee for about 10 years.

Corporate Contributions led me to a non-profit foundation, where I was hired to lead their development team. My focus was building and nurturing relationships and serving a number of great people who wanted to make a positive difference through philanthropy.

I spent about two years working with adults who have developmental disabilities, nurturing their skills and capabilities to achieve the highest level of independence possible. There I was fed generous portions of humility, and greatly improved my patience.

In each setting I tried to remain mindful of Jesus Christ and our great Catholic faith, exercising it most fully in interpersonal relationships. Those experiences culminated into this position — I believe it’s exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Q. What do you most look forward to in your new position?

A. I am eager to meet people across the diocese — to get to know our priests, to experience others’ churches and home towns. I want to introduce those who are not familiar with The Catholic Foundation to this wonderful asset to our parish life, our Catholic education, and our faith formation. Relationships are most important to me. I also have a great deal to learn, of course, and I look forward to that as well.

Q. What do you want people to know about you?

A. I want to be of service while I’m here; and I acknowledge that this really isn’t about me at all.

A few years back I formed a music group for Sunday worship at Our Lady of Lourdes. We call ourselves “Water Into Wine” after Jesus’ first recorded miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. There, Jesus took something very ordinary and made it extraordinary. When our music group forgets our collective selves and allows the Holy Spirit to enter each of us through prayer, we are at our best.

To paraphrase Blessed Mother Theresa, “It is not me doing these things, but Christ doing them within and through me.”