Pat Huber remembers the exact moment when her outlook on giving shifted.
She was sitting among strong, philanthropic-minded Catholic women like Rose Totino, Elizabeth Hidding, Barbara Koch, and Helen Healy, learning about ways to support NET Ministries. It was also the first time that she met then-Bishop Harry Flynn.
“He said that we’re called to be disciples, and we’re called to proclaim the name of Jesus,” Huber remembers. “When I heard that in June of 1994, I listened and I took that message to heart.”
She joined the board of NET Ministries later that year, propelling her already generous life into a new chapter of service and legacy building.
Huber, 69, grew up in St. Paul, attending St. Joseph’s Academy and later the College of St. Catherine. She saw strong leadership traits in her mother, who had a successful finance career, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet served as mentors throughout her education.
Huber married her first husband, Bruce Huber, in 1970, and they settled outside Hudson, Wisconsin, where they attended St. Patrick Parish. As they raised their three children, they were active in their community, with Pat teaching at the Catholic school and chairing the school board while also volunteering with a crisis pregnancy center. Bruce participated in the finance council and served on the board of trustees at his alma mater, Hill Murray School, as he built his business career in Minneapolis.
As a family, they journeyed to Africa in 1997 to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; and one year later, Bruce was diagnosed with a lung disease that would take his life in 2000.
“As a young widow, I saw that I had an opportunity to honor Bruce’s memory by continuing the commitment to Catholic education, the Catholic Church, NET Ministries, Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO), and the seminary,” Huber says.
She learned about the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF) through NET Ministries and joined the board in 2005. Huber then established a donor advised fund with a focus on passing on her faith. As chair of CCF’s Development and Marketing Committee, she was instrumental in the organization’s strategic growth plan and used her network to increase further support for CCF.
“Pat talks the talk and walks the walk,” CCF President Anne Cullen Miller says. “She’s been on the front line as a woman of her generation to get involved so personally.”
Huber believes that women have a unique role to play in serving on boards and making philanthropic decisions. “I think that women tend to integrate many wide-ranging views in making those decisions,” she explained.
Her board term ended in 2009, but Huber remains active with CCF, NET Ministries, and SPO. Now married to Jerry Cawley with seven total grown children and 12 grandchildren, they want to set a lasting example of giving that will also live on through a newly established endowment fund.
“We are called to be good stewards of our talents and treasures,” she says. “I consider CCF the best way to be a steward of the gifts that I’ve been given.”