50 women are recognized for service to parishes, communities
Photo Caption: Rachel Adell, the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Silvis, receives her certificate from Msgr. Dale Wellman, DCCW spiritual director.
By: By Jennifer Willems
At the end of each season, sports teams honor their MVP — Most Valuable Player. Last week the Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women followed suit by honoring their MVVs — Most Valuable Volunteers.
Fifty women from throughout central Illinois were recognized for outstanding service to their parishes and communities at the DCCW’s annual Appreciation Luncheon, which was held at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. After each had been called forward to receive a certificate from Msgr. Dale Wellman, the group’s spiritual moderator, just a few of the countless ways these women support the church and their fellow parishioners were read by Nympha White of Grand Ridge, DCCW president.
“Ladies, I don’t know what the church can do if you are not there,” she said, drawing a round of applause from the husbands, family members, friends and pastors who accompanied their honorees.
In addition to the outstanding parish volunteers, the DCCW recognized Joan Weber and Agnes Christman with special awards of merit and presented Imperative Awards to Andrew Hagemann and Julie Small.
A former president of the DCCW, Weber currently serves as director of the Chicago Province of the National Council of Catholic Women, which encompasses the six dioceses of Illinois. She writes the Council Comments column for The Catholic Post and is an active member of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois and the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Jude’s Parish in Peoria. In addition, she is past president of the Bishop’s Commission on Women in the Church and in Society.
A member of the DCCW board for three years, Christman is the current vice president and serves as chair of the legislation commission. She is also a member of the Bishop’s Commission on Women in the Church and in Society and active at St. Paul’s Parish in Danville.
Hagemann, director of property for the Diocese of Peoria, and Small, assistant in the property department, were recognized for the many ways they have helped the DCCW to facilitate events, meetings and mailings over the years.
PEOPLE WHO LOVE
Before the luncheon, the women and their guests gathered for Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. Msgr. Wellman, who is also pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Moline, was the presider and homilist.
Concelebrating with him were Father Anthony Lee, pastor of St. Anthony’s in Atkinson; Father Timothy Sauppe, pastor of St. Mary’s in Westville; Father John Burns, pastor of St. John the Apostle in Woodhull, St. John the Evangelist in Galva and St. John Vianney in Cambridge; and Father Jerry M. Logan, parochial vicar at St. Pius X in Rock Island.
In his homily, Msgr. Wellman said there are times when people will cover their ears because they don’t want to hear what is going on or be challenged by what is taking place around them. The other extreme is to listen to anything new and enticing.
“It’s only afterward when things happen that we say, ‘Maybe we should have listened more clearly or taken some time to reflect on it,'” he said.
“We have to, at times, look at ourselves and see where we stand, what’s going on in our life. What do we believe and what do we oppose and how do we live out church in the world in which we live today? It’s not always easy,” Msgr. Wellman acknowledged.
He asked them to lean on the Scriptures and the message of the Gospel and to continue to bring that message to a world that needs to hear it, “so we can create a just society where we can live lives of peace and be people who love and are compassionate and understanding, people who strive to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.”
Following is a list of the women who have tried to be people of love and compassion for others and a brief summary of their past and present areas of service:
— Norma Gilbraith, St. Anthony’s, Atkinson: Choir member, past officer of the Altar and Rosary Society, served on committee for Recollection Cook Book, former catechist, volunteers and brings a dish for all funeral dinners.
— Susan Mochel, St. Anthony’s, Atkinson: Organist and co-director of the choir, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, catechist, member of the parish council, does prison ministry once a month in Galesburg.
— Joan Williams, St. Patrick’s, Bloomington: Lifelong member of the parish, works in the parish office and has chaired many different committees, helps with Annual Diocesan Appeal, substitute CCD teacher, member of the Altar and Rosary Society for 15 years.
— Dorlene Williamson, St. Patrick’s Bloomington: Former president of the Altar and Rosary Society, has helped with the organization’s ice cream social and St. Patrick’s Day celebration, former chair of the annual bake sale, serves on the church cleaning committee.
— Sherri Code, St. John the Baptist, Bradford: Married and the mother of four, she has been director of the religious education program for several years.
— Marian Purtscher, St. John the Baptist, Bradford: Former president of the Altar and Rosary Society, has taught CCD for a number of years, conducts the parish adult Bible study, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, takes Communion to the ill.
— Linda Baylor, St. John Vianney, Cambridge: Secretary of the Altar and Rosary Society, assists with the ice cream social, helps on monthly committee.
— Deborah A. Dobbels, St. John Vianney, Cambridge: Former treasurer of the Altar and Rosary Society, taught pre-kindergarten religious education, monthly chairman for church cleaning, has sewn preemie kimonos, vests and flannel receiving blankets, helps with monthly coffees after Mass.
— Carolyn Bogner, St. Patrick’s, Camp Grove: Serving as co-president of the Altar and Rosary Society for the fourth time, helps with funeral dinners, delivers flowers to shut-ins, visits the sick, volunteers for “anything that needs doing.”
— Vicki Waldschmidt, St. Patrick’s, Camp Grove: Serving as co-president of the Altar and Rosary Society for the third time, member of the parish festival committee, works with the Family Resources Center in Peoria and the Diocesan Respect Life Board.
— Charmaine DeCrane, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley: Arranges semi-annual bingo for nursing home residents and shut-ins, longtime coordinator of funeral lunches and meals for special events, in charge of purchasing supplies for the church kitchen.
— Barbara Herbert, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley: Works with Charmaine DeCrane to arrange bingo for nursing home residents and shut-ins, and coordinate funeral lunches and meals for special events. In addition, she has helped with Vacation Bible School by assisting in the kitchen for many summers.
— Dorothy Moross, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley: For many years she was in charge of the parish kitchen and tended a garden on the parish grounds, sharing the fruits of her labor with everyone. Until recently she lived next door to the church and was the “keeper of the key,” unlocking the building when anyone needed to be there.
— Wanda Aberle, Sacre Coeur, Creve Coeur: Has served on the parish council, works on the rug project, bingo and the fall festival, a core team member for the GIFT process at Sacre Coeur.
— Darleen Starr, Sacre Coeur, Creve Coeur: Former officer of the Altar and Rosary Society, has served on the parish council and the building and finance committee, assists with bingo and the fall festival, works on the rug project, cleans the church.
— Lori Mason, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Galesburg: Treasurer of Knox County Right to Life, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, has helped with the annual spaghetti dinner for five years.
— Roxanne Ronk, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Galesburg: Chair of pecan sales for two years and co-chair of spaghetti dinners for four years, provides food for funeral lunches, assists with cake project and meals held in the activity center, Christ Renews His Parish participant and facilitator.
— Virginia (Ginny) Pettit, St. Malachy’s, Geneseo: Past president of the Altar and Rosary Society, involved in Cursillo and TEC, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, member of Abilities Plus board, pastoral care, First Communion catechist and confirmation retreat, past secretary for school and CCD.
— Dorothy Remme, St. Malachy’s, Geneseo: Lector and greeter, cleans church, baptism preparation, leads rosary at nursing homes and hospital, Cub Scout leader, former catechist, assists with confirmation reception and funeral luncheons.
— Doreen Heilstedt, St. Joseph’s, Henry: Former president of St. Joseph’s Altar and Rosary Society and always willing to chair committees, member of parish choir, leads funeral luncheon program, manages one of the parish’s two cemeteries, helps to decorate the church — especially at Christmas and Easter.
— Eleanor Sears, St. Joseph’s, Henry: Vice president and active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, choir member, helps with funeral lunches.
— Betty Shearer, St. Joseph’s, Henry: Active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, parish trustee, parish auditor for the Annual Diocesan Appeal, lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion, assists with funeral lunches, leads Daughters of Isabella in Henry.
— Laurie Streicher, St. Francis of Assisi, Kewanee: Secretary of the Altar and Rosary Society, lector, willing volunteer for church projects.
— Barbara Zalewski, St. Francis of Assisi, Kewanee: Member and former officer of the Altar and Rosary Society, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, assists with funeral dinners, willing volunteer for church projects.
— Sharon Perkins, St. Mary’s, Kewanee: Secretary of the Altar and Rosary Society, former member and secretary of the parish council, high school catechist, former teacher’s aide and school nurse, extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
— Agnes Judd, St. John the Baptist, Lostant: Sacristan, rosary leader, assists with funeral dinners, has cleaned the church, crocheted prayer shawls, sewed baptismal robes, crocheted afghans for fundraisers.
— Jeane Evanoff, Sacred Heart, Moline: Former vice president and president of the Altar and Rosary Society and assisted with bake sales, takes Communion to shut-ins and the sick, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, planned and cooked parish dinners, worked at bake sales and card parties for the National Catholic Society of Foresters and remains a member.
— Denise Ronk, Sacred Heart, Moline: Member of New Spirit Singers Choir and cantor, parish nurse, wedding coordinator, has served as an RCIA sponsor, was on the liturgy planning team for Sacred Heart’s centennial, chaired the health and wellness ministry.
— Nellie Maere, St. Mary’s, Moline: Altar and Rosary Society officer, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, National Catholic Society of Foresters member, RCIA committee, church cleaning, church laundry, member of Churches United.
— Jane Vershaw, St. Mary’s, Moline: Member of the Altar and Rosary Society, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, sacristan, pastoral care, respect life committee, “Heavenly Duster,” served as president of the Alleman Home and School Association, was on St. Mary’s School Board, RCIA committee, former catechist.
— Jan Leslie, St. Joseph’s, Pekin: RCIA, member of the Resurrection Choir and adult choir, cantor, prison ministry, St. Joseph Mission Society, assists at Sunday Mass, helps with Council of Catholic Women’s cookie sale.
— Joan Wood, St. Joseph’s, Pekin: Helps with funeral luncheons, assists at daily and Sunday Masses, St. Vincent de Paul Society, helps with Council of Catholic Women’s cookie sale.
— Jean Shadid, St. Jude’s, Peoria: Member of the Women of St. Jude, vice president of the Catholic Women’s Apostolate, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, suggested annual spaghetti dinners and cookie sales as fundraisers and has chaired them, served on the building committee fundraiser that led to construction of St. Jude’s Church, has cleaned the church, helped the Missionaries of Charity and made rosaries for the Rosary Guild.
— Dianne Hanley, St. Mary’s, Pontiac: Co-president of the St. Mary’s Women’s Guild, participates in adoration program, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, kitchen manager for St. Mary’s Hall, instrumental in funeral dinners, serves as cook/hostess for the priests, volunteers at St. Mary’s School and OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center gift shop.
— Connie Kostelc, St. Mary’s, Pontiac: Member of St. Mary’s Women’s Guild, participates in adoration program, lector and greeter, assists with nursing home programs, has been involved in newcomers’ program and Vacation Bible School, community volunteer.
— Loretta Jo Volker, St. Louis, Princeton: Parish nurse, lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion, catechist, served on the board of St. Bede Academy, former member of the Bishop’s Commission on Women in the Church and in Society, active in Via de Cristo and Illinois Valley Cursillo, community volunteer.
— Toni Bateman, St. Mary of the Woods, Princeville: Former officer of the Altar and Rosary Society, provides food and helps to serve and clean up at parish functions, participates in Project Linus, has been on the funeral committee, was involved in “Heavenly Quilters.”
— Joann Cunningham, St. Mary of the Woods, Princeville: Former president of the Altar and Rosary Society, taught religious education, lector, choir member, part of “Heavenly Quilters,” makes baptismal remembrance gowns, assists with parish’s GIFT process, helps with funeral dinners.
— Rachel Adell, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Silvis: One of the founders of the parish’s perpetual adoration chapel and tireless in her work to have someone in the chapel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as spending many hours there herself. Member of the Legion of Mary.
— Lucy Fonteyne, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Silvis: Awarded posthumously. Mrs. Fonteyne was a member of the parish women’s group and the prayer chain at Our Lady of Guadalupe, provided and served food at funeral luncheons, and chaired the Lenten soup suppers.
— Kathy Burash, St. Michael the Archangel, Streator: President of the Altar and Rosary Society, co-chairs such parish functions as fish fry dinners, the mother-daughter banquet, First Communion reception, and Christmas dinner and bazaar, helps with parish bakers, choir member, money counter, parish volunteer.
— Donna Sabol, St. Michael the Archangel, Streator: Vice president of the Altar and Rosary Society, co-chairs a variety of parish functions with Kathy Burash, helps with parish bakers, cleans church, coordinates funeral dinners, hospital volunteer.
— Cecilia Fuertges, St. John the Evangelist, Walnut: Catechist, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, sacristan, former chair of the fall bazaar and luncheon, assists with other parish events, including Knights of Columbus dinners.
— Mary Anne Olson, St. John the Evangelist, Walnut: Former officer of the Altar and Rosary Society, high school catechist, has provided material for parish quilters, helped with bake sales, the annual bazaar and many other events.
— Robin Phillips, St. Mary’s, Wenona: Extraordinary minister of holy Communion, secretary for St. Mary’s in Wenona, St. Patrick’s in Minonk and St. John the Baptist in Lostant, volunteers for many Altar and Rosary Society events, helps to coordinate the ecumenical Vacation Bible School in Wenona.
— Julie Piasse, St. Mary’s, Wenona: Treasurer for the Altar and Rosary Society, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, counts weekend collections, helps to coordinate the Children’s Nativity presentation on Christmas Eve, assists with preparations for First Communion Mass.
— Sonna Hall, St. Mary’s, Westville: Active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, co-chairs Christmas bazaar, one of the coordinators of funeral dinners, Corpus Christi procession and church picnic, helps with church cleaning, holiday decorating and cleaning cemetery and church grounds, has served as church organist and has co-chaired parish’s Annual Diocesan Appeal process for four years.
— Juna Milholland, St. Mary’s, Westville: Active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, co-chairs Christmas bazaar, money counter, helps to keep food pantry organized, one of the coordinators of funeral dinners, Corpus Christi procession and church picnic, assists with church cleaning and holiday decorating.
— Toni Beck, St. John the Apostle, Woodhull: Confirmation teacher, lector, assists with chicken dinners and Lenten soup suppers, helps with costumes for Christmas pageant, cantor for First Communion and special events, volunteer for AlWood High School and a variety of Scouting functions.
— Jean Briggs, St. John the Apostle, Woodhull: Member and former officer
of the Altar and Rosary Society, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, money counter, assists with funeral dinners, annual chicken dinner and Lenten soup suppers, leads the rosary before Mass, prayer partner for children preparing for First Communion, active in Cursillo.