Ethel Gintoft †

“I wanted to be a journalist and serve the Church."


2005 Woman of Faith felt drawn to ministry as a journalist

The Sisters of the Divine Savior have named Ethel M. Gintoft as the 2005 Woman of Faith Award recipient. The award ceremony and reception for Ms. Gintoft will be held on Thursday, September 29, at 7 p.m. at the Sisters’ Community House Chapel, 4311 North 100th Street, Milwaukee, Wis.

“Ethel is being honored as a respected journalist and leader, and for her contribution to the Catholic Press. She is also an advocate for justice and peace,” says Sister Marion Etzel, SDS, Provincial Leader of the Sisters of the Divine Savior.

Ethel was a national leader in the Catholic Press. She was the first woman president of the Catholic Press Association and was awarded its highest honor, the St. Francis de Sales Award. As a young widow with two sons, she completed a Master’s program at Marquette University.

For thirty-five years, Ethel was a writer, editor and associate publisher for the Catholic Herald, a newspaper of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. She entered the profession during Vatican II, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. “I wanted to be a journalist and serve the Church. The Catholic press apostolate was filled with great minds and people dedicated to the Church. I felt drawn to this ministry and was given opportunities to contribute and to serve in leadership.”

Ethel is also a member of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Milwaukee. She has served on the parish council, communications and long-range planning committees. Her sons, daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren live in the Milwaukee area. “A great day is being with my children and grandchildren. I cannot imagine anything more joyful than feeling the love and loving these people. For me, being together with my family is a glimpse into heaven,” says Ethel.

Maryangela Layman Roman, a colleague at the Catholic Herald says, “As an editor, Ethel set high standards for herself and for those around her. The walls in the Catholic Herald are covered with awards from the Catholic Press Association. She played a key role behind many of these awards. Her work was more than a job—it was her true vocation and mission in life.”