Michael Hoerner

Sister Rose Duchesne Noelke, OSF, 100, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, died on May 30, at St. Francis Convent, Springfield.

Sister Rose Duchesne, the former Leona Mary Noelke, was born in Washington, Mo., on April 22, 1920, the daughter of the late Henry and Rose Barbara Gerritson Noelke. She entered the congregation on Sept. 23, 1949 and professed her religious vows on June 13, 1952.

Student demand for Illinois’ tax credit scholarship is at all-time high. This past school year, 377 students in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received scholarships valued at $1,073,290.31 thanks to generous donations to Illinois’ tax credit scholarship program. When you learn, however, that 1,326 students in our diocese applied, it’s clear the demand is far exceeding the supply.

Can Catholics practice yoga?

— Tessie in Effingham

I suspect that many of us, although we are finding plenty to keep us occupied during our time at home, are coming up with lists of things we want to do when it will be possible to circulate socially again.

Before being ordained priests, Deacons Pawel Luczak and Piotr Kosk prostrate themselves before the altar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield May 2 as a sign of humility and submission to God. Later in the Mass, the two were ordained priests by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki.

“I believe that I am really chosen by God to be a priest,” Father Kosk said. “As a young man, I felt that this is the way I should follow. I know how important the work of priests is and how badly people need the sacraments and the maternal protection of the church.”

“For me, becoming a priest is about building a personal relationship with Christ. I want to be close to him — as close as possible — and I want to share and lead others to that relationship,” Father Luczak said.

Father Kosk’s first assignment is St. Paul Parish in Highland. Father Luczak’s first assignment is St. Peter Parish in Quincy. Those assignments begin July 1.

On June 19, Bishop Paprocki will ordain six other men to the priesthood for our diocese.

Catherine A. “Cathy” Furkin, a longtime employee of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, died on April 27 at St. John’s Hospital. She retired in 2019 after 25 years of service. Over the years, she was secretary for the Office for Stewardship and Development and an executive assistant for the Office of the Chancellor and Pastoral Planning, the Office for Communications and Catholic Times.

Springfield Dominican Sister Charlotte Rebbe died April 10 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield. She was born Charlotte Ann, in Petersburg in 1934, to John and Marguerite Heflin Rebbe. In 1960, she made profession of vows at Sacred Heart Convent.


Sister Augusta Sperl, OSF, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis died on April 2 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. She was 97 years old.

Sister Augusta, the former Bernadine Elizabeth Sperl, was born in Springfield on March 8, 1923, the daughter of August and Elizabeth Beckman Sperl. She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1939 and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1942.

NEW ORLEANS — Sister Mary Patrice Clifford, OSU, died peacefully on March 29 in New Orleans. She served many years in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

The daughter of Connell and Mary Eunice Clifford, Sister Mary Patrice was born Lillian Patricia Clifford on Sept. 2, 1935, in Oak Park. After her family moved to New Orleans, she attended Ursuline Academy there, graduating in 1953. She entered the Ursuline community that summer and professed her vows in 1956.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has launched a new community service called the “Catholic Charities COPE Line” for people who are experiencing situational stress and anxiety related to the coronavirus outbreak. The service is free of charge and available to the public for people living in the 28-county service area of the Springfield diocese.

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