Board of Directors

Jessica Balzarini, Current- President (2017)

Jessica has been in church ministry for 14 years, working at St. Mary’s in Waverly, St. Paul’s in Ham Lake and in the New Ulm Diocese. She currently works at St. John the Baptist Church in New Brighton as Director of Discipleship and Mission.  She was introduced to the charismatic renewal at Franciscan University, where she obtained a degree in Theology and Religious Education.  Her and her husband Mark are members of the Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake.

Deacon Mike Thoennes, Past- President (2016)

Ordained in 2001, serves in Confirmation & adult education programs in multiple dioceses in MN. He also serves as the liaison for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office in the Diocese of New Ulm as well as helps with diaconate formation for the Diocese of New Ulm. He has presented talks at various conferences and is a co-presenter with Mary Hagar at Renewal Ministries’ Schools of Evangelization. He serves on the national Alpha USA Catholic Team. Mary Hagar and Deacon Mike formed CORE Ministries in 2004 for evangelization resources and adult education.


Mary Kohlhaas, President-Elect (2018)

Mary Kohlhaas has been a board member since 2010.  She has been active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since her college days at both the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota and Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.   As a Youth Minister for over 30 years, Mary has been involved in all aspects of youth ministry from evangelization and discipleship to sacramental prep and summer missions. She is a strong advocate of relational ministry, believing it to be foundational for all other ministries. As for the power of the Holy Spirit, as found in the Charismatic Renewal, Mary believes it is necessary for one standing firm against the obstacles and attacks on one’s Faith these days. Mary is presently working as the Coordinator of Family Ministries at Saint John the Baptist Parish in New Brighton, Minnesota.

Peter Yurek  

Past Chairman of the Board, 2010-2011 and in 2015-2016. An active member of St. Peter’s Church in North St. Paul. He has held a leadership role in St. Peter’s prayer community for the past 10 years. His deep faith and commitment to Christ is a foundation in his life. Peter’s life was changed in 1985 when he attended a retreat at what was known as the CYC in St. Paul. That encounter with Christ changed his focus and put things into a new perspective.  His love of the Lord continues to grow, as he constantly seeks to come closer to Jesus. It is most important to him that his faith be reflected in his life, and his greatest joy is sharing Christ with others.

Mary Nawrocki

Served on the Board of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office for over 18 years. She experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1973 and has been active in charismatic renewal ever since. Mary is a member of the Immaculate Conception Prayer Group, where she serves on its core group, in the music ministry, and as occasional teacher. She is the Faith Formation Director at her Immaculate.  Mary is originally from Puerto Rico. It was there that she met her husband Larry Nawrocki. Mary and Larry have four adult children and five grandchildren.


Sylvia Hoff

Sylvia has been a member of the board for many years.  She was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1978 and is active in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Sylvia is a  member of St Raphael Church in Crystal, MN. Sh serves as Eucharistic Minister and Prayer Group Leader.  She also helps to lead the CCRO Intercessory Prayer.

Mary Hagar

Mary is Director of multiple religious education and Family Formation programs, and teaches in adult ministry, faith formation, & evangelization programs locally as well as nationally.  She is a long-time Charismatic Renewal leader, a member of the national Alpha USA Catholic Team and consults with Alpha International. She is a frequent conference speaker and presenter at national evangelization schools in cooperation with Renewal Ministries.  Mary and a colleague, Deacon Mike Thoennes founded CORE Ministries in 2004.

Mark Balzarini

Mark Balzarini and his wife Jessica are members of the Church of Saint Paul, in Ham Lake, Minnesota. They have been board members of the CCRO since January of 2015. Mark is an estates and trusts attorney.  Mark likes being outdoors and enjoys running, hunting, hiking, and generally anything that gets him outside.  He was baptized in the Holy Spirit in November of 1996.  He says attending that baptism in the Holy Spirit retreat weekend as a college freshman was the most important decision he has made for his faith.  The revelation of God’s love for him at this retreat changed him and continues to work in him. This encounter with God has been a vital part of every aspect of his life since. Mark enjoys the opportunity to help people encounter God’s love through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the work done by the CCRO.

 Sister Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND    

Sister Mary Anne has experienced the Charismatic Renewal since 1968. She served on the steering committee of the Association of Diocesan Liaisons from 1987 to 1993. She served on the NSC Advisory Committee and later on the NSC Council from 1992 to 2002. Sr. Mary Anne was elected to the National Service Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States in 2002. She currently serves as Pastoral Care Director at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Anoka. Previously, she served as Pastoral Associate at the Church of the Holy Rosary in North Mankato, Minnesota. Her past experience includes teaching, full time work in Charismatic Renewal, hospital/hospice chaplaincy, pastoral care to the Sisters in her own SSND community healthcare in Mankato, Minnesota and parish ministry including R.C.I.A. coordination and adult faith formation.

Pete Fastner – recently resigned.  We thank Pete for his countless years of service.  I’m sure you will see him as a dedicated volunteer!

 Sara Dahlerup, Administrator
Sara took over this position in late October 2015.  Sara was baptized in the Holy Spirit in August of 2013 and has been following the renewal by attending the CCRO conferences and other retreats and  Archdiocesan events.  Sara volunteers as the speaker coordinator for Circle of Women at St John the Baptist Catholic Church and also is a Faith Formation teacher at the Church of St Williams.  Sara is married and has four beautiful children.  She is blessed to serve the CCRO community and to help it grow.  Come, Holy Spirit!