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Fr. Michael A. Olivero

Retired pastor

Father Michael A. Olivero, 70, retired pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Mount Prospect, died Aug. 4.

Born in Chicago, Father Olivero attended St. John Berchmans School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary North and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1974.

Father Olivero was associate pastor at Queen of the Rosary, Elk Grove Village; St. Cecilia, Mount Prospect; and St. Cyprian, River Grove. In 1993, he was appointed pastor of St. Stephen Protomartyr, Des Plaines, and served in that role until 2005, when he became pastor of St. Cecilia. He retired on June 30.

Msgr. John Pollard, retired pastor of Queen of All Saints Basilica, remembers his classmate as a good and faithful priest. “He spent all his years in the priesthood in parishes dedicating himself to the people of the archdiocese,” said Msgr. Pollard. “He was a very fine liturgist and preacher, always present to his people who were always and foremost in his mind.”

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Fr. John J. Powers

Pastor emeritus

Father John J. Powers, 93, died Aug. 10. He was pastor emeritus of St. Jude the Apostle, South Holland.

Born in Chicago, Father Powers attended St. Robert Bellarmine School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1951.

Father Powers was assistant pastor at Ascension, Harvey; Ascension, Oak Park; St. Mary, Riverside; and Holy Ghost, South Holland. In 1978, he was appointed pastor of St. Jude the Apostle, where he served until retirement in 1995.

Father George J. Kane, pastor emeritus of Church of the Holy Spirit, Schaumburg, remembers his classmate as “kind, compassionate, joyous and absolutely dependable. All through these years this is how he lived his life as a priest.”

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Sr. Mary Enid Lodding

Educator, pastoral associate

BVM Sister Mary Enid Lodding, 91, died July 27 in Dubuque, Iowa. 

Sister Mary Enid was born in Chicago and entered the BVM congregation in 1944 from St. Joseph Parish.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Enid taught at St. Agatha and was a pastoral associate at Our Lady of the Wayside, Arlington Heights.

She also taught in Rock Island and East Moline, Illinois, and in Iowa, Tennessee, Washington and Oregon. She was a pastoral minister in Iowa and director of religious education in Addison, Illinois. 

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Sr. Jean Charles Birney


Adrian Dominican Sister Jean Charles (Elizabeth Ann) Birney, 94, died Aug. 3 in Adrian, Michigan. Born in Michigan, she was in the 76th year of her religious life. 

She ministered in Michigan, Illinois and Florida.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught St. Celestine, Elmwood Park (1942); St. Philip Neri (1948-1952); and St. Edmund, Oak Park (1957-1958).

Sister Jean Charles is survived by a half-brother, Charles Birney Jr., and two half-sisters, Charlene Sundquist and Patricia Lane.

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Sr. Mary Anthony Leno


Sister of St. Joseph-Third Order of St. Francis Mary Anthony Leno, 86, died Aug. 7.

Born in Chicago, she had been in religious life for 69 years.

She ministered in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, including more than 40 years teaching Spanish at Lourdes High School. After retirement, she composed prayers at Clare Oaks in Bartlett.

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Sr. Kathleen Brady


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Kathleen (Marie Amy) Brady, 69, died Aug. 10 in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.

Born in Milwaukee, Sister Kathleen made her first religious profession in 1968 and her final profession in 1973. She was an educator, chaplain and family caregiver in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Montana and Colorado. 

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Kathleen taught at Epiphany (1974-1980) and Immaculate Conception (1980-1981) and was principal at St. Pius (1981-1983). 

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Fr. Thomas Widner

Editor, formation minister

Jesuit Father Thomas Widner, 76, died Aug. 13 in Indianapolis. He had been a priest for 49 years and a Jesuit for 33.

Born in Indiana, he did seminary studies at St. Mary’s College in Kentucky and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis before being ordained in 1969 for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. 

He ministered as an archdiocesan priest in Indianapolis for 15 years, teaching high school English, serving as an associate pastor and co-pastor and working as editor-in-chief of the archdiocesan newspaper, the Criterion.

He entered the Jesuits in 1985 and served as an assistant editor and writer for America Magazine. He was the editor of the New World, as the Archdiocese of Chicago newspaper was known, from 1992 to 1995.

He later was a publications assistant at Company Magazine while serving as director of the Chicago Province communication office, worked in retreat ministry and as the Secretary for Communications at the USA Jesuit Conference.

Father Widner moved back to Indianapolis in 2004, where he served as vice president for mission and identity at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and rector of the Jesuit community (2004-2010). In 2010, he became the director of spiritual formation at Bishop Bruté Seminary, where he worked until his death.