On June 20 the Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) presented the fourth annual Our Lady of Good Counsel Women of Distinction Award to 67 women. More than 500 people attended the 10 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, which was followed by a luncheon at Northfield Inn and Conference Center.
Msgr. John Ossola, spiritual advisor of the council, was the concelebrant and was joined by several other priests from parishes in the diocese. Father Steven Arisman was the master of ceremonies. Music was provided by organist Fred Guzasky and Lou Ann Mack was the cantor.
In his homily, Bishop Paprocki shared the story of the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Italy which became a symbol of lay involvement and responsibility in the church. "The widow Petruccia, a laywoman, responded to the need that she saw in her local church. She did not wait for the religious or members of the clergy to take action in ensuring that the situation was not ignored."
Bishop Paprocki added, "As a result of her response, many women's groups throughout the church have adopted the patronage of Our Lady of Good Counsel for their groups, that they too might imitate the awareness and generosity demonstrated by Petruccia. Those of you who are being recognized today have followed the example of the widow Petruccia in your own local parishes and communities. Your eyes have seen the needs of the church and others around you and you have responded with the gifts that the Lord has entrusted to you."
This year's honorees from the deaneries are:
From the Alton deanery:
Nancy Godar, St. Ambrose, Godfrey; Elizabeth "Betty" Graham, Holy Angels, Wood River; Diane Hartman, Mother of Perpetual Help, Maryville; Loretta Frey, Immaculate Conception, Pierron; Marge Iberg, St. Elizabeth, Marine; Loretta Krotz, St. James, St. Jacob; Barb Leardi, St. Boniface, Edwardsville; Edna Jo Long, St. Nicholas, Pocahontas; Mary Jane Malone, Ss. Peter and Paul, Alton; Mary Lou Meridith, St. Paul, Highland; Carol A. Moore, Ss. Peter and Paul, Collinsville; Dee Oller, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bethalto; Wilma Veizer, St. Mary and St. Mark, Madison; Gladys Weider, St. Jerome, Troy.
From the Decatur deanery:
Niki Alley, Our Lady of Lourdes, Decatur; Donna Dausman, Ss. James and Patrick, Decatur; Barbara Hertel, St. Thomas the Apostle, Decatur; Virginia Holley, St. Mary, Paris; Mary K. Kalmar, Forty Martyrs, Tuscola; Gail Loveall, St. Columcille, Sullivan; Marjorie Nolan, St. John the Baptist, Arcola; Jerri Rickets, St. Aloysius, North Arm; Barb Waymire, St. Michael, Hume.
From the Effingham deanery:
Kathryn "Katie" Armstrong, St. Charles Borromeo, Charleston; Sandy Bloemer, St. Mary Help of Christians, Effingham; Maureen Broeker, St. Anthony of Padua, Effingham; Geri Ezell, St. Elizabeth, Robinson; Donna Davis, Annunciation, Shumway; Caroline Gibson, Sacred Heart, Effingham; Rita Habing, St. Francis of Assisi, Teutopolis; Sarah Ping, Our Lady of Lourdes, Oblong; Susan I. Thoele, St. Isidore, Dieterich; Barb Walk, St. Michael the Archangel, Sigel; Linda Wente, Immaculate Conception, Mattoon; Pam Will, St. Rose of Lima, Montrose.
From the Jacksonville deanery:
Ginger Gast, Holy Ghost, Jerseyville; Patty Fitzpatrick, Our Saviour Church, Jacksonville; Eleanor Heitzig, St. Mary, Fieldon; Sarah Kinder, Blessed Trinity/St. Mary, Brussels; Delores Molloy, St. Francis Xavier, Jerseyville; Janet Paslay, St. Mark, Winchester; Margaret Ann Ringhausen, St. Francis of Assisi, Hardin.
From the Litchfield deanery:
Gwen Berutti, Ss. Simon and Jude, Gillespie; Doris B. Boente, Ss. Mary and Joseph, Carlinville; Meta Brookshire, St. Louis, Nokomis; Melissa Cappellin, St. Rita, Kincaid; Teresa Chandler, St. Joseph, Ramsey; Christine Costello, St. John Paul II, Mt. Olive; Rose Gowin, St. Maurice, Morrisonville; Elsie Guarienti, St. Michael, Staunton; Jeannette Huber, St. Agnes, Hillsboro; Mary Jo Kennedy, Sacred Heart, Virden; Marvella Mierkowski, Holy Family, Litchfield; Rita Moomey, St. Mary, Taylorville; Milly Polovich, St. Joseph, Benld; Mariann Timmermann, Mother of Dolors, Vandalia.
From the Quincy deanery:
Marjorie Benz, St. Anthony, Quincy; Alice Dempsey, St. Joseph, Quincy; Donna Freiburg, St. Edward, Mendon; Helen Mary Frese, St. Brigid, Liberty; Brenda Rennecker, St. Mary, Pittsfield; Sharolyn Rice, Blessed Sacrament, Quincy.
From the Springfield deanery:
Mary Bonner, St. Joseph, Springfield; Ruth Helling, St. Jude, Rochester; Mary C. Mulcahy, Resurrection, Illiopolis; Rosemary Oldridge, St. Katharine Drexel, Springfield; Joan Middaugh, St. John Vianney, Sherman; Kathleen O'Bryen, Church of the Little Flower, Springfield; Mary Priester, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield; Constance "Connie" Rybak, Christ the King, Springfield.
Those recognized but unable to attend included Geri Ezell, Rose Gowin, Mary Kalmar, Loretta Krotz, Edna Long and Sarah Ping.