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Sauerman Receives Alumna Award

February 21, 2018
By Deb Daley

Pat O’Neill Sauerman of Scottsdale, AZ has been named the Distinguished Woman of Mercy Alumna, an award given by the Mercy High School Alumnae Association.  Sauerman, a 1965 graduate, has spent her adult life dedicated to Catholic endeavors including parish work and a long-term commitment to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS).  CGS is a Montessori-based approach to children’s formation and the adults who work with them.  The announcement was made at the school’s annual FIESTA on February 17, but she will receive the award at the school’s 2018 All-School Reunion on Sunday, June 3 at Mercy.

The award recognizes an alumna for her outstanding achievements, service, and contributions, which promote the growth of faith, knowledge, and service in her career, community and/or society.  As the recipient of this award, the honoree is someone who is respected by peers, outstanding in her field, and promotes society in a way that benefits many people.

Undergraduate studies in Elementary Education and Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Masters in Science Organization Development from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University have afforded Pat with great opportunities from corporate to classroom settings in education, consulting for change, and creative design.

She has served as a board member for CGSUSA (National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for the United States of America) and for Mount Claret Retreat and Conference Center.  Her almost 30 years of work with CGS involved building many atrium environments for children, developing the CGSUSA Online Materials Manuals, serving children ages 3-12 who come to the atrium for religious formation, and with her husband, creating the Shepherd’s Closet in their home, raising over $100,000 in proceeds to support the vision and mission of CGSUSA.  For CGS, the atrium is a joy-filled environment where Scripture and Liturgical materials, presentations, contemplation, and prayer encourage children (and adults) to grow in their faith and relationship with God. 

In 2001, Pat directed the building of the CGS Atrium for St. Timothy Catholic Academy and served its children for many years. She also assisted with the development of atria in the Diocese of Phoenix, throughout the USA and beyond.  Pat was elected to serve three CGSUSA National Board terms, was certified as a Formation Leader for all three CGS levels, coordinated several CGSUSA National Courses, and made several study trips to the original Rome Atrium (researching the work of Dr. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi, CGS co-founders), and worked as Materials and Resources Coordinator on the CGSUSA National Staff.  Since retiring from CGSUSA, Pat has continued CGS volunteering in the USA and abroad.

A detail-oriented, hands-on consultant, Pat currently works with her husband, daughter and son-in-law in residential property renovation and management for VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) properties, bringing skills to help transform houses into family vacation homes through staging, design consultation, and organizational advice.

In nominating Sauerman for the award, the nominator said, “Pat is a shining example of spending her life sharing her faith and knowledge through her service to several Catholic causes.  She is truly worthy of this recognition.”