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Fr. Ronald Lewandowski

Associate pastor

Father Ronald C. Lewandowski, 80, died April 6. He had been associate pastor at St. Patrick Parish, Wadsworth, until retiring in 2008.

Father Lewandowski was born in Chicago and attended St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr School and Lane Technical High School.

He earned a bachelor’s degree at Wright City College in 1959 and a master’s degree in Divinity at Sacred Heart School of Theology in 1995 in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1995.

Father Lewandowski was associate pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside, Arlington Heights (1995-2000); St. Anne (2000-02); and St. Patrick, Wadsworth (2002-2008).

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Fr. Ronald Gollatz


Father Ronald J. Gollatz, 72, died April 17. He was most recently the pastor of Transfiguration Parish, from 2007 to 2016.

Born in Chicago, Father Gollatz attended Our Lady of Help of Christians School and Quigley North. He earned a bachelor’s degree at DePaul University in 1968 and a master’s degree in at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1972.

He served as assistant pastor at St. Celestine, Elmwood Park, and as associate pastor of St. Bride; St. Martha, Morton Grove; St. Emily, Mount Prospect; and St. Gilbert, Grayslake.

He served as pastor of St. Thaddeus, St. Francis de Sales, Lake Zurich; and Transfiguration.

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Msgr. Charles Lang

Professor, college administrator

Monsignor Charles E. Lang, 85, died April 5 in Orange County, California.

Born in Chicago, he attended St. Mel High School and Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in chemistry and math. He earned a doctorate in physical chemistry from Iowa State University before entering Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1961. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Dubuque in 1965 and became an assistant professor in the chemistry department at Loras College in 1965.

In 1971, he earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago and added psychology to his teaching duties. He was named Loras’ dean of students in 1972, vice president for student affairs in 1977 and vice president for college advancement in 1985. 

In 1986, Monsignor Lang was appointed president of Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa, a post he held until 1991.

At the time of his death, Monsignor Lang served Loras College as a development officer and did pastoral work at many churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago, including St. Celestine, Elmwood Park; St. Constance; St. Cyprian, River Grove; St. Robert Bellarmine; and Our Lady Mother of the Church.

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Fr. Thomas Joyce

Educator, community leader

Claretian Father Thomas P. Joyce, 85, died April 6 in Arcadia, California.

Born in Chicago, he entered St. Jude Seminary in Momence, made his first religious profession in 1951 in California and was ordained a priest in 1959 in Chicago.

TJ, as he was known, served as a teacher and campus minister.

In 1972, he returned to Chicago as superior of the Claretian Provincial Residence in Oak Park. Over the next 30 years, TJ served at Holy Cross/IHM and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes, as director of the pre-novitiate program and vocations and superior of Claret House, the Claretian formation house. From 1975 to 1997, TJ served as a staff member at the 8th Day Center for Justice.

In 2002, his missionary work called him to Kingston, Jamaica, where he served until 2006. He served in various local Claretian communities until he retired in 2016.

He is survived by the last of his five brothers, John Joyce.

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Sr. Rita Corkery

Educator, chaplain

Mercy Sister Rita Corkery, 86, died at Mercy Circle April 10.

Born in the Pullman area of Chicago, she was taught by Sisters of Mercy at Holy Rosary School and Mercy High School. After high school, she entered the community in 1949. 

She began her career in teaching at St. Mary of the Lake School in 1952 and continued in the ministry of education for almost 40 years. She held a variety of teaching and administrative positions from primary grades through college level.  

Following her retirement from education, Sister Rita changed careers, working as a part-time hospital chaplain at St. Francis Hospital, Blue Island, while she cared for her mother. After her mother’s death, Sister Rita continued her work in chaplaincy, taking on a position at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park, for 10 years.

In 2006, Sister Rita retired once again due to declining health. In 2011, she began living at Smith Village, a residential care facility in Chicago where she could receive more assistance, and she came to be known there as a volunteer chaplain and friend. She moved to Mercy Circle in 2017.

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Sr. Marie Amada Garcia


Adrian Dominican Sister Marie Amada (Marie Concepta Apodaca) Garcia, 98, died April 10 in Adrian, Michigan. 

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she was in the 78th year of her religious life.

Sister Marie Amada ministered in Illinois, Arizona, New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, California and Nevada.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Nicholas of Tolentine (1940-1941, 1944-1945).    

Sister Marie Amada is survived by a sister, Rita Lawrence.

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Sr. Margaret Ellen Brennan

Culinary artist, nurse

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Margaret Ellen (Brice) Brennan, 91, died April 17 in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.

Born in Chicago, she attended St. Sylvester School. She made her first religious profession in 1947 and her final profession in 1950. 

She served as a culinary artist and as a nurse in Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa, as well as Florence, Italy.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Margaret Ellen served as a culinary artist at Trinity Convent, River Forest (1948-1952) and at Visitation Convent, Chicago (1965-1967). She ministered as a licensed practical nurse at Misericordia Home South (1978-1979); Queen of Peace Convent, Burbank (1989-1992); and Trinity Convent, River Forest (1989-2001). Sister Margaret Ellen served as prioress at Queen of Peace Convent, Burbank (1986-1989).