Catholic Woman’s Club presents Christian Achievement Award to Madison nurse Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, May. 31, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- The Madison Catholic Woman's Club held its 104th annual Spring Celebration recently at the Blackhawk County Club.

The club honored a Madison nurse who has established support groups for cancer patients and watched a performance bringing Mary Todd Lincoln to life.

The luncheon began with an invocation by Msgr. O. Charles Schluter, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Madison and the club's spiritual director. The club's Co-Presidents, Susanna Herro and Carol Strmiska, made introductions, including many of the club's 22 new members.

Christian Achievement Award

Each year the club recognizes an individual or group of individuals who perform charitable works in the community with its Christian Achievement Award.

This year, the award went to Carol Viviani, a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison.

Peggy Weber, the club's Spiritual Committee chairperson, called Viviani a "remarkable woman with a servant heart" who is "deeply rooted in her Catholic faith."

The award plaque honors Viviani "for her outstanding example of living a caring, loving, and generous Christian life."

In accepting the award, Viviani said her journey with her faith began with her parents and her Catholic education.

"My life was threatened at age 11 with a severe illness," she recalled. "I had a near death experience. I was influenced by the love and compassion of the nurses who cared for me, and I chose nursing as a profession."

Viviani attended St. Mary's School of Nursing in Madison, where she said the Sisters "mentored us in the healing presence of God."

After graduating from the school, she began nursing in pediatrics. She then married and adopted two sets of twins through Catholic Charities. She later return to St. Mary's Hospital as a nurse.

She established support groups for cancer patients called I Can Cope and later Kids Can Cope, which was taken to schools.

After retiring in 1997, she embarked on a "second career" as a minister of Communion at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Mary's Hospital. She has

also started other ministries at her parish and keeps vigil with dying patients through the No One Dies Alone program.

After lunch, Jessica Michna of First Impressions performed "The Widow Reflects," bringing Mary Todd Lincoln to life.

Catholic Woman's Club

The club reported on its activities for the past year. The club provided a total of cash and in-kind donations of $21,160 to Pregnancy Helpline, Women's Care Center, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and many other educational and charitable organizations.

The club especially thanked Caryl Bremer for her volunteer work for over 40 years in preparing the club's membership book and mailings.

For more information on the club, go to

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