Barb Leaf is not a weaver, per se, but the 2022 Women of Distinction Award winner from Little Flower Parish in Springfield, Ill., clearly has a knack for it. Barb, who has been a Springfield Dominican Associate since 2012, is expert at becoming part of the fabric of her intersecting communities. She strengthens the praying community of her parish as the environment coordinator, Eucharistic minister, and RCIA team member. She and her husband Jim, who is also an associate, are faithful members of a thriving Cursillo community.
Barb’s contributions to the community of Springfield Dominican Sisters and Associates are equally impactful. She and Jim often volunteer to support special events at Sacred Heart Convent and Barb serves on the Dominican Sisters Trust Board. This year she is lending her artistic sensibilities to the congregation’s 150th anniversary committee by serving on the environment subcommittee.
She was recently recognized by her fellow parishioners as a “woman of distinction” and received the award at a diocesan celebration at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on July 23.
The parish announcement of the award recognized Barb’s gifts to the parish spending “countless hours” creating art for and decorating the sanctuary and sewing priests’ vestments, altar cloths, banners, and baptismal garments. More recently, to those tasks she has added sewing “liturgically colored masks” for the pastor during the pandemic.
“Barb’s creativity witnesses to the beauty of creation as she enhances worship spaces at Little Flower Paris and in her daily life with her artistic talents,” Said Sister Joan Sorge, the director of the Springfield Dominican Associate Program. “Barb speaks often of the trust she has in God, and of her desire to follow Him as well as of being strengthened along the way by family, friends, and the Dominican Sisters. Her faith-filled insights and commitments are a blessing!”