The eighth annual Woman of Distinction Mass and banquet will be held Saturday, June 1. This event is hosted by the Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Each parish in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is asked to select an honoree in appreciation for their leadership and service to church and community.
The celebration begins with 10 a.m. Mass, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. The honored women will be presented a certificate by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and recognized at Mass.
The annual Good Friday Way of the Cross for Peace and Justice will be held on April 19, beginning at noon at the Supreme Court Building at 2nd and Capitol. The 90-minute prayerful walk remembers Jesus’ passion and its connection with the sufferings of injustice experienced by God’s people in our world today. Join with others in this ecumenical experience of prayer.
Springfield Dominican Sister Margaret Joanne Grueter, OP, died April 1 at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Carrollton in 1952 to Charles “Bud” and Rosemary (Johnson) Grueter. She made her profession of vows in 1977 at Sacred Heart Convent.
Sister Margaret Joanne was an educator who dedicated nearly half her 42 years of religious life to the students and faculty at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. There she was assistant principal from 1994-1998 and principal from 2000-2016. In the interim, she completed a master’s degree in human development and counseling at UIS. From 2016-2018, she taught junior high school religion at St. Agnes School in Springfield, until illness required her retirement.
Veronica Mary Paprocki, the mother of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, bishop the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away on March 13, in Chicago. She was 91 years old.
She was beloved wife of the late John H. Paprocki Jr.; loving mother to Ramona (Joseph) Bellino, James (Candace) Janda, Bishop Thomas John, Edward (Lori) Ashe, John L. (Michelle), Ronald (Carol), Joseph (Joanne), Allen (Kim), and Ann (Robert) Dickmann; cherished grandmother of 17; proud great-grandmother of 14; fond aunt of many nieces and nephews; dear sister to the late Florence Osuch, Raymond Bonat, and Eugene Bonat; sister-in-law to Marian Jacobs, Roseann Gray, and Lillian Parks.
ST. LOUIS — Sister Wilma Wittman (Mother Mary Basil), OSU, died peacefully March 4 at St. Andrew’s at Francis Place in Eureka, Mo. She spent most of her life ministering in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
The daughter of John Sigmund Wittman and Marie Augusta Myers Wittman, she was born May 2, 1924, in Alton, where she graduated from Marquette High School. She entered the Ursuline Sisters in Crystal City, Mo., in 1942 and made her vows in 1945. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the College of New Rochelle in New York and a master’s degree in education at St. Louis University.
AURORA — Springfield Dominican Sister M. Megan Farrelly died March 3 at Presence Mercy Medical Center, Aurora. She was born in Chicago in 1946, and named Elizabeth Agnes by her parents, James D. and Roberta Barclay Farrelly. She made her profession of vows in 1966 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield.
Sister M. Megan dedicated her entire religious life to education, teaching primary and junior high students, college students, adults, and challenged teens over the span of 53 years. Before illness required her to cease ministry, she was interim principal at Rosary High School, Aurora. Prior to that she was assistant principal and curriculum director at IC Prep, Elmhurst, and an adjunct teacher at Dominican University. Sister M. Megan taught in schools in central and northern Illinois including St. John Bosco, Our Lady of Grace, and St. Christina, Chicago; St. Mary, New Berlin; and St. Paul, Odell, where she was also principal. Additionally, she was principal at Cathedral, Springfield, and Rosary High School, Aurora. She also taught at Waubonsee College, and Benedictine University. In the 1990s she relished the challenge of teaching at Garfield Alternative High School, Chicago.
Springfield Dominican Sister M. Paulita Philippe died March 16 at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Livingston, in 1937, and named Annette Mary by her parents, Paul and Emma (Martinelli) Philippe. She made her profession of vows in 1959 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield.
Sister M. Paulita dedicated her life to education and pastoral ministry. She enjoyed especially her 15 years among Spanish-speaking Catholics in Rogers, Ark., east central Illinois, and Kankakee County during the final 16 years of active ministry. Early in her religious life, she taught elementary grades at St. Agnes, Springfield; St. Christina, Chicago; St. Bernadette, Evergreen Park; St. Francis, Jerseyville; and Holy Family, Decatur.
Mothers are the beating heart of a family and the backbone of society. They are also the reason for our priests in more ways than one. Catholic Times Editor Andrew Hansen spoke with two mothers of young priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois about what it’s like being the parent of a priest, what they saw in them at a young age, and advice they have for other mothers with young boys.
Hey, Father! Why can we not eat meat on Friday during Lent? Where in the Bible does it say that? Also, isn’t fish meat? That seems to contradict meatless Fridays.
Springfield Dominican Sister Philip Neri Crawford, OP, died Feb. 26 at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Springfield, in 1931, and named Marilyn Marie by her parents, Louis and Florence (Christjansen) Crawford. She made her profession of vows in 1951 at Sacred Heart Convent.
Sister Philip Neri dedicated 62 years of religious life to Catholic education. From her first assignment at St. Thomas School, Newton, to her final 14-year teaching position at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, she never lagged in her commitment to or energy for encouraging students and teachers. She also taught at Catholic elementary schools in Evergreen Park, Chicago and Crystal Lake. Sister Philip Neri also taught at the religious education center in Carlinville before her first mission as elementary school principal at Our Saviour in Jacksonville. There and at St. Dominic School in Quincy, she taught eighth grade as well. After six years in the Springfield Diocesan Office of Education she was principal at St. Christina, Chicago, then Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond, La., where she was a pioneer teacher and the school’s second principal.