Sister Beth Murphy, OP

After an interlude serving Iraqi refugees in Detroit and the Latino Community in Chicago Sister Beth is back in Springfield ministering in the communications office. In true Dominican fashion, "home" is wherever she is, but she confesses to a special fondness for the prairie landscapes of central Illinois.

Sister Mary Laurentia Fenlon, OP

 

Born 1931
Profession of Vows 1952
Entered Life Eternal 2017

 

Springfield, Ill.—Springfield Dominican Sister M. Laurentia Fenlon died March 21, 2017 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield, IL. She was born in Chicago, Ill. in 1931 to Lawrence J. and Mary Bartley Fenlon and baptized Joan Marie. She made her profession of vows in 1952 at Sacred Heart Convent.

Sister Laurentia ministered most of her religious life in elementary education. She taught or was principal in parish schools throughout central and northern Illinois and in Duluth, Minn. In 1992, she began her ministry as parish pastoral associate, serving at St. Gertrude, Franklin Park, Ill. and at Corpus Christi Parish, Carol Stream, Ill. In 2002, she became unit secretary in the Dominican Sisters’ nursing facility at Sacred Heart Convent and cared lovingly for the needs of the sisters until she was no longer able.

Sister Laurentia was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Richard, Lawrence, and William; and her sisters, Mary Lou Charleston, Lois Fenlon, Margaret Kuh, Jacqueline Fenlon, and Katherine Fenlon. She is survived by her sisters, Rita Schmidt, Crystal Falls, Mich. and Dorothy Ann Agner, Des Plaines, Ill.; her sisters-in-law, Joan (William) Fenlon, Niles, Ill. and Betty (Richard) Fenlon, Hilton Head, SC; and by many nieces and nephews.

Visitation: 4:00-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Aquinas Center, Sacred Heart Convent, 1237 W. Monroe St. Visitation will begin with a prayer service.

Cremation will be accorded by Butler Cremation Tribute Center following the visitation.

Morning Prayer and Funeral Mass: 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 27, 2017, followed by Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. at the convent chapel with Father Peter Witchousky, OP; celebrant. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

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

Sister Virginia Dever, OP

Born January 20, 1917
Profession of Vows January 3, 1938
Entered into Eternal Life March 15, 2017

Springfield, Ill.—Springfield Dominican Sister Virginia Dever (Sister John Thomas) died March 15, 2017, at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1917, to Peter and Anna Murray Dever. She made her profession of vows in 1938 at Sacred Heart Convent.

Sister Virginia spent her life as an educator, teaching students the length of Illinois from Granite City to Hampshire; Duluth, Minn.,and Hammond, La. One of her joys was teaching speech and drama at Sacred Heart Academy, Springfield, and at Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights. Long past the usual age of retirement Sister Virginia was still engaged in teaching and pastoral service. She had a special fondness for St. Edward Parish, Chicago, from which she retired to Sacred Heart Convent in 2011.

Sister Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Muriel Powers, Geraldine Morton, Joan Schack, Barbara Dever, and Sister Mary Jerome Dever, OP, and her brothers James, John, Peter and William Dever. She is survived by her sister-in-law Marge (William) Dever, Arlington Heights, Ill., many nieces, nephews and cousins, including Springfield Dominican Sisters M. Bride Quinn and M. Jerome Quinn.

Service Schedule

Prayer Service: 4:00 p.m. vigil service with visitation until 6:30 p.m., Sunday, March 19, Aquinas Center, Sacred Heart Convent, 1237 W. Monroe St. Morning prayer 9:00 a.m., Monday, March 20, followed by funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m., convent chapel. Father Peter Witchousky, OP; celebrant. Burial follows, Calvary Cemetery.

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

The Dominican Sisters and family of Sister Virginia are being served by Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Please visit butlerfuneralhomes.com to offer your condolences.

Sister M. Carmen Cesario, OP

Mary Carmen Cesario OP-web

Springfield, Ill. –Springfield Dominican Sister M. Carmen Cesario died February 6, 2017, at Sacred Heart Convent. She was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1918, and named Grace by her parents, Carmen and Rose Coconate Cesario. She made her profession of vows in 1952 at Sacred Heart Convent.

Sister M. Carmen is remembered by many Dominican sisters and priests as well as Viatorian priests and brothers as a gracious hostess and wonderful cook and baker. Her gifts were appreciated at the Dominican priory, Winona, Minn.; the Viatorian Province Center, Arlington Heights, Ill.; and at every Springfield Dominican convent where she served.

Sister M. Carmen was preceded in death by her parents, her brother James and her sisters Carol, Joanne, and Rosanne Cesario and Vivian Zamiar. She is survived by 1 niece and 6 nephews.

Prayer Service: 4:00 p.m. with visitation until 6:15 p.m., Thursday, February 9, Aquinas Center, Sacred Heart Convent, 1237 W. Monroe St. Funeral Mass: 6:30 p.m. convent chapel. Morning prayer and final commendation: 10:30 a.m., convent chapel, Friday, February 10. Father Peter Witchousky, OP; celebrant. Burial follows, Calvary Cemetery.

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

The Dominican Sisters and family of Sister M. Carmen are being served by Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Please visit butlerfuneralhomes.com to offer your condolences.

Strategies for Reading the Bible: Peacemaking in a Post-Truth World

Dominicans Host March 18th Workshop with Leading Girardian Theologian

Paul Nuechterlein

Paul Nuechterlein

Springfield, Ill.—One of the most sought-after pastoral theologians in the U.S. currently integrating the work of the eminent Catholic philosopher René Girard into his preaching and pastoral ministry will offer a seminar at Sacred Heart Convent on March 18 2017. Here is a secure online registration form.

Paul Neuchterlein, a Lutheran pastor and Girard scholar, will help engaged Christians grow in their ability to pray with the Bible and apply its lessons as they seek spiritual growth and a more just world.

Nuechterlein, retired after thirty years of parish ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, now devotes himself full-time to Gospel justice. He has a special interest in dismantling systemic racism. He is the owner and publisher of GirardianLectionary.net, a rich resource for preachers and all followers of Jesus.

FB Event Regis_NuechtNoted Christian author and teacher Brian D. McLaren has said, “Paul Nuechterlein has helped me more than anyone else to read the Scriptures in light of Girard’s groundbreaking work. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to seize an opportunity to learn with Paul.”

This one-day seminar hosted by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield is an introduction to the impact of Girard’s mimetic theory—one of the 20th Century’s most important innovations—from one of its most important thinkers.

girard_rene-m

Rene Girard

At the time of Girard’s death in 2015 Bishop Robert Barron of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles wrote, “There are some thinkers that offer intriguing ideas and proposals, and there is a tiny handful of thinkers that manage to shake your world. Girard was in this second camp.”

Mimetic theory—the recognition that human beings and human cultures develop through the imitation of others’ desires—is increasingly making its impact in multiple disciplines including sociology, economics, and anthropology as well as theology. Catholic theologians like the late Jesuit Raymund Schwager and former Dominican James Alison are among the most prominent Catholic Girardian theologians. Reformed tradition scholars of note include Gil Bailie, Michael Kirwan, and James Warren.

The registration fee for Strategies for Reading the Bible is $40.00 before March 1; after $50. The option to request a box lunch for $10 is also available. Visit the event page to register. For more information contact Sister Beth Murphy, OP, sbmurphy@spdom.org or 217-787-0481.

The Radical Faith and Communal Life of Seven Dominican Sisters

The Radical Faith and Communal Life of Seven Dominican Sisters

New book tells the story;
Open house, book signing scheduled February 10

Springfield, Ill.—Seven Springfield Dominican Sisters whose stories are told in a new book will sign copies for guests during an event at Sacred Heart Convent February 10.

A Sisters’ Love: The Story of the Dominican Sisters at St. Dominic’s follows the lives of Sisters Trinita Eddington and Dorothea Sondgeroth from their rural Illinois childhoods to their call to leadership at St. Dominic Health Services, Jackson, Miss., a sponsored ministry of the Springfield Dominicans.

Award-winning journalist and author Joe Maxwell was commissioned by the St. Dominic’s Foundation to write A Sister’s Love to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of St. Dominic’s Hospital. He tells the story of the sisters’ passion for God and how that led them to decades of fruitful service at St. Dominic’s, the only Catholic hospital in the State of Mississippi. Drawing on Sister Dorothea’s personal journals, the congregation’s archives, and dozens of interviews, Maxwell shows how personal sacrifice, prayer, and the commitment of a community contribute to the quality of life in Mississippi, from the early days of the Civil Rights Era to today.

Seated, (L to R): Sisters Kristin Rever, Celestine Rondelli, Susan Karina Dickey. Standing (L to R) Sisters Margaret Grueter, Thecla Khunline, Trinita Eddington, Dorothea Sondgeroth.

Seated, (L to R): Sisters Kristin Rever, Celestine Rondelli, Susan Karina Dickey. Standing (L to R) Sisters Margaret Grueter, Thecla Kuhnline, Trinita Eddington, Dorothea Sondgeroth.

Also featured in A Sister’s Love are the stories of Springfield Dominican Sisters Celestine Rondelli, Thecla Kuhnline, Kristin Rever, Margaret Grueter, and Susan Karina Dickey. Sisters Trinita and Celestine are Springfield natives. Sister Dorothea is from Peterstown, near Mendota, Ill; Sisters Margaret and Thecla are from Carrollton, Ill.; Sister Kristin is from Assumption, Ill., and Sister Susan Karina is from Richmond, Ind.

Sister Trinita’s sole assignment in 63 years of religious profession has been St. Dominic’s, where she received her nurses’ training and where she has, with the exception of a few years away for study, lived her entire religious life. In 1996 she established St. Dominic Community Health Clinic. She still works at the clinic four days a week providing free medical services to the poor in Jackson, Miss. One day each week she consults with the nursing staff at St. Catherine’s Village, a subsidiary of St. Dominic’s. “Serving the poor is serving Jesus,” she frequently says. “Running the clinic has been one of the most rewarding ministries in all of my years at St. Dominic’s.”

Sister Dorothea, who was president of St. Dominic Health Services, 1995-2012, has served most of the last 53 years at St. Dominic’s, interrupted by ten years on the leadership team of the Dominicans Sisters and at various other times for study. She is currently associate executive director of St. Dominic’s Foundation.

In the book’s foreword, Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant calls Sister Dorothea a superhero. “She’s famous and beloved in our state and beyond for her faith, business savvy, and community and spiritual leadership,” she writes. “In a day and age when we need heroes, she is a superhero.” Bryant worked at St. Dominic’s for 39 years before her husband Phil was elected governor in 2012.

The sisters will receive guests, offer the book for sale, and sign copies 5:00-6:00 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 at the convent, 1237 W. Monroe St.

Copies of A Sisters’ Love may be purchased for $30.00 during the book signing or online at St. Dominic’s website. All proceeds support the Dominican Sisters healing ministry at St. Dominic’s.