Sister Mary Rene Lawless, OP

SisterMaryReneLawless_IMG_4248_crop

With sadness we announce the death of Sister Mary Rene Lawless, OP.  Sister Rene passed away late last night at 6:45 p.m.  We ask you to pray for her. Sister Rene was one of the pioneers that went to La Oroya, Peru in 1964 and she was a tireless missionary throughout her life. She touched many lives both in the U.S. and Peru and will be deeply missed.

Funeral Arrangements:

Tuesday, May 31

3:00                   Gathering

3:30 – 6:15         Visitation

4:30                    Vigil with Preaching

5:00                    Dinner

6:30                    Funeral Mass

Wednesday, June 1

9:15        Daily Eucharist

10:30     Office for the Dead with Rememberings followed by Final Commendation and Burial

Noon    Dinner

Look at this space for more updates.

Video: Billy and Sister Samuella

Billy & Sister Samuella

BillAndSisterSamuella

 

 

“Ever since I had Sister (Samuella) in 1st grade there has been a warm spot in my heart for women religious in the church, what they have done for the church and also the tremendous amount of work they have done for the wider world.
At some point on the pilgrimage I wanted to come to a farm that was run by nuns because there are so many of them around the county, and it is a perfect example of the innovative spirit they have in their ministry that sisters have been doing—forever—so ahead of their time… Just now people are becoming interested in ecology, organic farming and so many things the sisters have been doing. It is so inspiring to see sisters following the spirit and teaching people in different ways. It’s a great privilege to be here with the sisters at Sacred Heart praying with them and coming out to see the fruits, I mean the literal fruits of their prayer.” ~ Billy Menor, Jesuit novice on Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Billy Menor went on pilgrimage with only $35 in his pocket from San Francisco, California to one of his final stops: Jubilee Farm in Illinois.
He shared amazing stories about his month-long travel experiences as a Jesuit novice. His most interesting story is about his first grade teacher, Sister M. Samuella Volk, OP, who exhibited the joy that influenced his decision to choose a vocation in religious life.
Billy shared with Sister Sharon Zayac, OP, and Sister Samuella his profound respect for what women religious have done for the world and how Sister Samuella shaped him as a child to revere the earth and all creation in ways that have stuck with him his whole life. Here is a portion of that conversation recorded on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

Twenty-nine New Associates Make Committment

 

The Dominican Associate Class of 2016

The Dominican Associate Class of 2016

Springfield, Ill.—The Dominican Sisters of Springfield welcomed 29 new associates from Illinois and Missouri during Mass at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel on May 15.

One of the largest associate classes in recent years, the group included residents from seven Illinois communities and, for the first time ever, ten new associates that hail from Columbia, Missouri. They made their commitment after completing a 9-month course in the history, spirituality, and mission of the Dominicans.

Welcome to all our new associates!

Associate Teri Casson reads her commitment as Sister Regina Marie Bernet looks on.

Associate Teri Casson reads her commitment as Sister Regina Marie Bernet looks on.

From Bloomington, Ill. Pat McLean, St. Mary Parish (Sponsor: Sister Philip Neri Crawford, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Marianne Nolan)

From Carrollton, Ill. Phyllis Didier, St. John Parish (Sponsor: Sister Henrianne Schmidt, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Ancilla Caulfield)

From Chatham, Ill. Teri Casson, Christ the King Parish (Sponsor: Sister Regina Marie Bernet, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Francene Harbauer)

From Chicago Heights, Ill. Joan Anderson (Sponsor: Sister Agnes Ann Pisel, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Edwina Finnegan), Marcela Bermudez (Sponsor: Theresa Sovereign, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Clarice Kniery)

From Concord, Ill. Sharon Beniach, Our Saviour Parish, Jacksonville (Sponsor: Patty Fitzpatrick, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Stephanie Kapusta)

From Jacksonville, Ill. (all Our Saviour Parish) LaVonne DePauw (Sponsor: Sue Brosmith, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Helen Wolf) Becky DeVore (Sponsor: Sister Margaret Ann Cox, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Bernice Juip) Barbara Dunseth (Sponsor: Sister Margaret Ann Cox, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Myra Flahive) Sandra Keesee (Sponsor: Jan Fellhauer, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Melanie Roetker) Rosella Spreen (Sponsor: Sue Brosmith Prayer Sponsor: Sister Aniceta Skube)

From Monee, Ill. Diane E. Brandstetter, St. Boniface Parish (Sponsor: Sister Agnes Ann Pisel, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Alan Russell)

From Mt. Sterling, Ill. Jane Veith, St. Mary Parish (Sponsor: Sister Jean Patrick Ehrhardt, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Doris Taylor)

The Dominican Family at prayer

The Dominican Family at prayer

From Springfield, Ill. Glenda K. Becker, Christ the King Parish (Sponsor: Patty Fitzpatrick, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Stephanie Kapusta) John Freml, St. Joseph Parish (Sponsor: Sister Linda Mary DeLonais, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Gael Daley) Betty Goldasich, Little Flower Parish (Sponsor: Sister Mary Linda Tonellato, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Norma Somers) Michael Goldasich, Little Flower Parish (Sponsor: Sister Mary Linda Tonellato, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Noel Plummer) Beth LaFata, St. Joseph the Worker, Chatham (Sponsor: Sister Joan Sorge, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Rose Schleeper) Christina Saunderson, Blessed Sacrament Parish (Sponsor: Sister Katherine O’Connor, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Pauletta Overbeck)

From Columbia, MO (Sacred Heart Parish) Rosa Caubet (Sponsor: Sister M. Clare Fichtner, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Samuella Volk) Deacon William Caubet (Sponsor: Sister M. Clare Fichtner, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Gabriella Luebbers) Joanna Guzman (Sponsor: Sister M. Clare Fichtner, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Blaise Galloway) Barbara Head (Sponsor: Sister M. Clare Fichtner, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Marion Sitkiewitz) Vanessa Velez-Rivera (Sponsor: Sister M. Clare Fichtner, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Dominic Joerger)

Sister Linda Tonellato supports new associate Mike Goldasich as he declares his commitment.

Sister Linda Tonellato supports new associate Mike Goldasich as he declares his commitment.

From Columbia, MO (St. Thomas More Newman Center) Nancy Howard (Sponsor: Sister Karen Freund, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Carole Dittrich) Martha Lerch (Sponsor: Sister Karen Freund, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Carole Dittrich) Michele Sisson-White (Sponsor: Sister Karen Freund, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Xavier Kelly) Phyllis Stoecklein (Sponsor: Sister Karen Freund, Prayer Sponsor: Sister Margaret McCormick) Mary Waters (Sponsor: Sister Karen Freund, Prayer Sponsor: Sister M. Anton Uthe)

Baptized Christians from any tradition may be candidates for the Dominican Associate Program. Women seeking vowed membership as sisters are required to be single and Catholic. For more information about becoming a Dominican sister or a Dominican associate call 217-787-0481 or email. DominicanSisters@spdom.org.

Who was St. Catherine of Siena?

To the servant of God, every place is the right place, and every time is the right time. ~ St. Catherine of Siena

To the servant of God, every place is the right place, and every time is the right time.
~ St. Catherine of Siena

Who was St. Catherine of Siena?

From The Love of Christ Impels Us

A Short History of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital and St. Dominic Health Services, Inc. 1946-2000

By Susan Karina Dickey and Josephine Therese Uhll

St. Catherine was born in Siena, Italy in 1347. At the age of seven she consecrated her lif to Jesus and nine years later she received the habit of the lay Dominicans. As a lay Dominican she did not live in a convent with a religious community, but from her family home she visited the sick and engaged in other works of mercy and charity. During her lifetime the Black Death 9bubonic plague) swept across Europe and Catherine served its victims with great love and devotions, yet never contracted the disease. She lived a life of intense prayer and ministered—to the point of exhaustion—to the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, and the suffering of every kind. She acquired a reputation as a peace maker and was called upon to arbitrate between city states and various factions within the church. In 1380, at the age of 33, Catherine suffered what appears to be a stroke and died seven days later. In 1461 Pope Pius II canonized her a saint and several hundred years later, in 1970, Pope Paul VI declared her to be a Doctor of the Church, that is, someone recognized for her wisdom and contributions to the understanding of church teaching.

 

To the servant of God, every place is the right place, and every time is the right time.

~ St. Catherine of Siena

 


Sister Mary Ventura, OP: 1928-2016

VENTURA MARY_web

Springfield Dominican Sister Mary Ventura died on April 26, 2016, at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Bradley, Ill., in 1928, one of four children born to Philip and Josephine Ciaccio Ventura. She made her profession of vows in 1947 at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield.

Sister Mary gave her life educating children and adults. As a primary school teacher she served in Chicago, Mt. Sterling, Odell, and Springfield. In Aurora and Morrisonville she was principal and junior high teacher. She also taught in East Alton and Rantoul, spent 14 summers in Mendota administering a federally-funded program for migrant children, and served part time on the staff at Alfred Fortin Villa, Bourbonnais. After teaching Vietnamese refugees in Peoria, 1985-1986, Sister Mary moved to St. Bernadette Parish in Evergreen Park, where she served for thirty years. She taught fourth grade, then in 1996 started Essential Learning Solutions (ELS), a computerized learning program for children and adults with learning difficulties.

In 1997, after just a year of running ELS at St. Bernadette, Sister Mary was recognized by the parent company as “one of our top facilitators in the entire country.” The commendation letter read in part, “Sister Mary has literally poured he life into these students and in the process has been a great encouragement to the home office staff.”

An indefatigable teacher and student, Sister Mary spent many summers studying or teaching in programs outside the traditional classroom setting. As with many Sisters of her era, Sister Mary completed her bachelor’s degree during summer school. She graduated from St. Joseph College, Rensselaer, Ind, in 1964, then completed a masters in educational administration at the University of Illinois. Her file is replete with documentation for ongoing education and certificate programs—everything from asbestos awareness seminars to assertive discipline classes.

Sister Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her step-mother Caterina Ventura, her sisters Josephine Argento and Frances Argento, and two infant brothers.

She is survived by nieces Nina Engleman and Joann and Phil Marie Argento, nephew Al Argento, and many great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will begin with a gathering ceremony at 3:00 p.m. and conclude at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, Sacred Heart Convent, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield. A vigil service will be held at 4:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass follows at 6:30 p.m., Rev. Peter Witchousky, OP, and Rev. Benedykt Pazdan, concelebrants.

Final Commendation and Burial: 10:30 a.m., Friday, April 29, Sacred Heart Convent. Burial follows at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62704.