Alumna Christine Ostroski receives 2023 St. Maria De Mattias award

Jun 06, 2023
Christine Ostroski

Christine Ostroski ‘86 was recognized at Newman University’s recent Alumni Award reception as the 2023 St. Maria De Mattias award recipient. This award, named for the foundress of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, honors alumni who display a deep loyalty to Newman and its mission while providing continuous support and stewardship to Catholic life.

“It’s pretty embarrassing, but I started crying while listening to the voicemail, and my husband witnessed this,” Ostroski, an art and English graduate, said of being notified of the award. “When I looked at the long list of prior recipients, I know or know of almost all of them. I’m really awed to be included in this august group of people.” 

Ostroski refers to herself as a professional volunteer, which one of her nominees seconded. She is heavily involved in the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, specifically within the special needs community, and is truly making a difference in society.

Christine Ostroski and family
Christine Ostroski and family

Ostroski’s Catholic faith has always been important to her, and it was the main reason she attended Newman.

While a student, Ostroski kept busy. She was even named Homecoming Queen her senior year. 

“I was on student government, served as the cartoonist for the Vantage newspaper, had a Scholastikon Grant from Newman to put on a seminar for high school students interested in art careers, and served as a student rep on faculty committees,” she said. 

After graduation, a short stint in the advertising world helped Ostroski realize that a different career path was in her future. She learned of a job opening at Newman in the admissions department and was hired. 

“I started as an admissions counselor, and then I worked my way up to director,” she explained. “I have to say I loved my years as a Newman student, but I enjoyed my time as a Newman employee even more.”

Video: 2023 Newman University St. Maria De Mattias Alumni Awards – Christine Ostroski

Some years later, God led her to the Diocese of Wichita, where she became director of youth and young adult ministry.

She would eventually leave that role to start a family. But life circumstances would bring her back to the Diocese — and her pursuits as a professional volunteer would begin.

“The two most life-changing experiences happened simultaneously when I was still a bit of a newlywed,” she said. “My husband and I experienced infant loss with the full-term stillbirth of our son. A few days prior to our son’s funeral, we received the news that our 1-year-old son had been diagnosed with severe developmental delays. These crosses were painful to carry, but they strengthened our marriage and galvanized me to help others in similar situations.”

God loves us, and his grace is poured forth even in tragedy or tough circumstances.

Christine Ostroski ’86

She added, “Although this happened many years after my graduation from Newman, I can see that my time there solidified my Catholic faith so as to be able to endure future trials.”

Today, Ostroski feels fortunate to give her time to various church ministries. 

“Most of my time has been given to working with special needs students, but I have also given a significant amount of time to helping parents who have experienced infant loss, as my husband and I have,” she said. “I think these efforts have favorably impacted the community by showing parents they are not alone in their struggles. I hope it also reminds them that God loves us, and his grace is poured forth even in tragedy or tough circumstances; that joy and healing can be found even in the midst of suffering.”

Video: Christine Ostroski – 2023 St. Maria De Mattias Award

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