Springfield Dominican Sister Maria Eck, OP, died July 2 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield. She was born in Springfield in 1933 to Karl and Ruth Dirksen Eck and baptized Barbara Ruth at Blessed Sacrament. In 1955, she made her profession of vows at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield.
Sister Maria was a gentle, guiding presence for students, faculty, and families alike at three Springfield Dominican high schools. At Sacred Heart Academy (now Sacred Heart-Griffin High School), she taught English and theology, 1960 to 1967, and was in charge of the girls who were boarders at Siena Hall, 1963 to 1967. Sister Maria was also an assistant principal and principal, taught English, and served as guidance counselor, 1975 to 1986. She was a principal at Rosary High School, Aurora, 1969 to 1975, and dean of students, 1989 to 1991. At Marian Catholic, Chicago Heights, she was college registrar, 1993 to 2004.
QUINCY — Quincy University announced last month that local high school graduate, Landon Obert, is the first recipient of the newly established Bishop’s Scholarship. Obert recently graduated from Liberty High School with honors and will begin at QU this coming fall.
The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is pleased to announce the following who have been recognized by their parish as the “Our Lady of Good Counsel 2020 Woman of Distinction”:
Carolyn Adams, St. John Vianney, Sherman; Linda Andruska, St. Elizabeth, Marine; Michelle Shafer Bertolino, St. James, Riverton; Linda Best, St. Michael the Archangel, Staunton; Pam Blackorby, Sacred Heart, Franklin; Norma Brust, St. Isidore, Bethany; Barb Butler, Christ the King, Springfield; Mary Jo Cerny, St. Agnes, Hillsboro; Judy Colburn, Sacred Heart, Effingham; Kay Conder, Annunciation, Shumway; Penny Cooper, St. Joseph, Springfield; Karen Costello, Holy Family, Granite City; Rita Devore, St. Anthony of Padua, Effingham; Paulette Doellman, Holy Family, Athens; Marilyn Dragovich, St. John Paul II, Mount Olive; Jean Ann Fitzpatrick, St. Sebastian, Waverly; Martha Fluckey, Holy Family, Mt. Sterling; Esther Foiles, St. Francis, Jerseyville; Sister Christina Frick, St. Francis of Assisi, Teutopolis; Amy Frisch, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bethalto; Delores Fuhler, Blessed Trinity, Brussels; Elizabeth (Betty) Goeckner, St. Isidore the Farmer, Dieterich; Mary Goetten, St. Mary, Fieldon; Jacqueline Goetter, Holy Family, Decatur; Mary Lou Goggin, St. Lawrence, Greenville; Helen Guernsey, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Springfield; Robin Hake, St. Boniface, Edwardsville; Rosemary Hughes, Holy Family, Litchfield; Mary Jo Keenan, St. Mary (Immaculate Conception), Alton; Eloise Kennedy, Forty Martyrs, Tuscola; Barbara Key, St. Rose of Lima, Montrose; Holly Kinkelaar, St. Mary Help of Christians, Green Creek; Valerie Knight, Ss. Mary and Joseph, Carlinville; Teresa Lyons, Ss. Peter and Paul, Alton; Connie McAdams, St. Mary, Pittsfield; Nancy Meyer, St. Louis, Nokomis; Marlyn “Marty” Micheletto, St. Cecilia, Glen Carbon; Becky Miller, Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, Mt. Zion; Eleanor Morelock, Sacred Heart, Virden; Brenda Neumann, St. Jerome, Troy; Patty Pease, Resurrection, Illiopolis; Kara Pecoraro, Sacred Heart of Mary, New Berlin; Irene Rickman, St. Mary, Taylorville; Ann Robison, St. Aloysius, North Arm; Rosalie Sandretto, Ss. Simon and Jude, Gillespie; Cindy Saracco, St. Joseph, Benld; Rita Sloan, St. Francis Cabrini, Springfield; Joan Steckel, Holy Ghost, Jerseyville; Bonnie Stephens, St. Mary, Paris; Dee Stern, Church of the Little Flower, Springfield; Mary Beth Tatum, St. Mark, Winchester; Lorraine Travers, Mother of Perpetual Help, Maryville; Janet Werner, St. Mary and St. Mark, Madison; Rita Wiessing, St. John the Baptist, Arcola; Carla Will, Immaculate Conception, Mattoon; Joyce Wright, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Alexander.
These women were selected for their service to God, parish and community.
Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women of Distinction Celebration of Mass and luncheon was postponed. Hopefully, this event will be scheduled by the end of 2020. Questions or comments: Please contact Janet Zimmerman, chairperson of the 2020 Women of Distinction: or (217) 494-4743.
ALTON — The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George will celebrate the first profession of four novices and the reception into the novitiate of three postulants during holy Mass at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 and the final profession of six junior sisters during holy Mass at 10 a.m. on Aug. 3. The split ceremonies are due to the safe distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will be the main celebrant of both Masses, held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alton.
When members of the Class of 2020 began the school year last August, they never could have foreseen how their high school days would end. However, with the resilience of youth, the devotion of their teachers and principals, and a lot of faith, they made it through the tough time that was COVID-19, spending the last quarter of high school, not sitting in a classroom, but learning from home.
For the most part, teachers had only a few days to get ready to teach online. It could not have been easy, but Alaina Cribbett of Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, says she felt teachers were up for the challenge. “Most of the teachers had something set up beforehand, so we pretty much immediately went right into it,” she said. “For classes we did almost all Google Classroom, but the meetings were on Zoom.”
The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Woman (SDCCW) recently announced the names of four young women from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois who each were awarded a $500 scholarship.
“What a wonderful group of young women we have in our diocese,” said Myrna McKee, chair of the SDCCW scholarship committee. “In all, 71 young women applied for the scholarships and they were all winners: scholars, musicians, artists, talented athlete, active in church, schools and community, loving daughters and sisters. They are the future of the Catholic Church and are already disciples of Jesus. We offer congratulations to the four winners who joyfully represent our holy, Catholic youth.”
The Glory Be prayer is hundreds of years old. The author did not know that the world will end when the sun goes nova in a few billion years, reducing earth to a burnt-out cinder. The last line is “world without end.” Why don’t they change it to maybe “heaven without end”?
— Tom in Granite City
In the Creed we recite, “He rose again from the dead.” This seems to indicate that he rose before? Can you clarify?
— David in Jacksonville
The killing of George Floyd has caused upheaval across the nation. Racism and discrimination have been tolerated for too long and have infected all areas of American society. Grappling with these injustices is a difficult, necessary process. Peaceful demonstrations are rightfully drawing attention to these issues. However, some interlopers are exploiting protests by instigating havoc, which distracts attention away from the important issues at hand.
These protests are different; they have cut across all segments of society. More white people are protesting side-by-side with their black brothers and sisters than before. People of all generations are speaking out in a united voice, exposing the racism and discrimination infecting our country. Nations across the world have joined in solidarity, protesting these injustices. People are more open and vocal than ever regarding their views and support for the black community than in the past. This is refreshing and needed.
The discriminatory treatment that people of color experience can no longer be denied. Technology has brought to the surface the disparaging treatment of blacks. The world now sees, and our country is finally acknowledging the disparate treatment and frequent violent acts against people of color. Although this may be an uncomfortable realization, we must recognize and confront racism rather than sweep it under the rug until the next unjust action.
The sacredness of life is the upmost priority of the Catholic Church. The Bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have condemned the killing of George Floyd and call us to stand up to work to reform structures that extinguish the equal dignity of all people. We cannot profess respect for life while ignoring the pervasiveness of racism. We have a responsibility to respond and speak out against actions that are antithetical to the Gospel of Life.
We can begin our efforts by praying, learning, and taking action. Pray for peace, justice, and an end to racism. Learn about racism. Read Open Wide Our Hearts, a pastoral letter written by the USCCB. Discuss it with others. Come together with those of differing backgrounds and seek an understanding of one another. Join organizations that support people of color. Exercise faithful citizenship by voting. Be the agent against hatred and division. This is how we bring about change.
Prayers are offered for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and to his family, as well as to all affected by the current events. May there be peace.
This article was collaboratively written by members of the diocesan Black Catholic Commission: Gale Borders, Frida Fokum, Donna Moore, Renee Saunches, Lorna Simon, and Carmen White.
Sister Mary Frances Lutty, OSF, 98, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, died on May 30 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield.
Sister Mary Frances, the former Anna May Lutty, was born in Pittsburgh on July 26, 1921, the daughter of Frank F. and Josephine M. Fichter Lutty. She entered the congregation on Feb. 2, 1950 and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1952.