Our Lady, Queen of Hope Award Honors Michelle Cavarnos for Vision and Leadership

Posted on May 03, 2023 in: News, Norwich Diocesan Council of Catholic Women

Our Lady, Queen of Hope Award Honors Michelle Cavarnos for Vision and Leadership

Each year, the Norwich Diocesan Women’s Conference presents the Our Lady, Queen of Hope Award to a woman in the diocese for her vision and leadership in the Catholic Church. The award is named after Mary, our mother, who is our role model and in whom we place our trust. This year’s recipient is Michelle Cavarnos, a member of the Divine Mercy Community consisting of Our Lady of the Lakes, Oakdale; St. John the Evangelist, Uncasville; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Quaker Hill.

Michelle (Shelley to her friends) has been an integral part of Our Lady of the Lakes Church for most of her life. As well as attending daily Mass, serving as reader and counting the collections, Shelley has spent more than 20 years on the three-church choir. She also serves her community as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

Shelley is treasurer of our Legion of Mary and also the treasurer for our Norwich Diocese's curia. With the Knights of Columbus, Shelley and her legion group say the rosary before the 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Masses each weekend at Our Lady of the Lakes. Shelley has also been instrumental in organizing her legion group’s monthly communication with seminarians. 

Shelley has years of experience volunteering and serving others, whether bringing homemade baked goods and blessed Afghans to the homebound, organizing rosary events or acting as secretary/treasurer of Our Lady of the Lakes Ladies’ Guild.

These are only a few of the areas where Shelley’s strong faith is on display. Her commitment in living out Catholic/Christian values and spiritual leadership is an asset to both her parish community and the Diocese.

Shelley is described by her friends as compassionate, trustworthy, conscientious, creative, willing and dependable. All who know her feel blessed to have her in their lives.

By Marianne Nicholas


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