Obituaries

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Deacon Gilberto Cintron

Class of 1975

Deacon Gilberto Cintron, 87, died Jan. 7. He was ordained in 1975 and served at St. Hedwig Parish.

Deacon Cintron was born in Puerto Rico. He was married to his wife, Maria, for 62 years. He had nine children and more than 30 grandchildren and was a father figure to many more.

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Sr. Eleanore Hillenbrand

Educator
1997-2014

Benedictine Sister Eleanore (Rita) Hillenbrand, 95, died Oct. 29 at St. Joseph Court-St. Scholastica Monastery.

Born in Chicago, Sister Eleanore attended St. Hilary School and St. Scholastica High School. She was accepted into the community as an aspirant in 1942 and she professed her final vows in 1947. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in English from DePaul University. She taught at St. Hilary, St. Symphorosa and St. Lambert, Skokie, as well as in Colorado. She served at St. Scholastica High School (1957-1992), including as chair of the English Department. In her community, she served as the director of studies and executive secretary to the prioress.

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Sr. Ann Sharp

Educator, prioress

Benedictine Sister Ann (Charlotte) Sharp, 99, died Dec. 27 at St. Joseph Court-St. Scholastica Monastery

A native of Chicago, Sister Ann attended Sullivan High School for two years before transferring to St. Scholastica High School becoming a postulant of the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago during the fall of 1937, her senior year. She professed final vows in 1949.

Sister Ann attended De Paul University for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. While completing her studies, she began teaching at Queen of All Saints in 1940 as a member of the original faculty. In 1945, she taught middle- to upper-grade students at Mother of God in Waukegan.

During her remaining 23 years in elementary education, Sister Ann taught at St. Symphorosa, St. Joseph and St. Lambert, Skokie, as well as in Colorado. In 1968, she joined the faculty at St. Scholastica Academy, and she served as dean from 1973 through 1978.

She was elected prioress of the community in 1978 and served until 1982. During her term, St. Joseph Court, a two-winged facility, was built at the north end of the 1906 monastery building, to be the health care facility for the sisters.

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Sr. Lucille Gardner

Educator

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Lucille (Mauricio) Gardner, 84, died Dec. 30.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Sister Lucy made her first religious profession in 1955 and her perpetual profession in 1958. She served in education and as a consolation minister in New Jersey, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Lucy taught at Visitation (1957-1960) and St. Barnabas (1967-1971) and was principal at the combined St. Patrick/St. Alphonsus School, Lemont (1979-1984).

She is survived by a sister, Mildred Banister.

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Sr. Marie Shields

Educator, pastoral minister

Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Marie Shields, 81, died Dec. 31 in Cincinnati.

Born in Chicago, she was in her 64th year of religious life.

Sister Marie taught in mostly inner-city parish schools in Ohio for 14 years. She later served for 51 years in Columbus, Ohio, doing parish ministry.

Sister Marie loved her work, and the parishioners loved her. She sparked parish support for a local food pantry and homeless shelter, for farm projects in Ghana and Ecuador and for national social justice groups like Network, Pax Christi and Bread for the World. She started an initiative to collect new clothes for people who needed them and connected the parishioners to the work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur around the world.

She retired in 2019.

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Sr. Mary Ruthilia Kobitta

Educator

Felician Sister Mary Ruthilia (Helen) Kobitta, 90, died Jan. 3 at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

She attended St. Joseph elementary and high schools on the South Side of Chicago. She entered the Felician Sisters postulancy in 1947 and professed her final vows in 1955.  She ministered for 49 years in elementary schools as a teacher in Illinois and Wisconsin. 

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she ministered at St. James (1949-1951), St. Wenceslaus (1951-1952); St. Mary Magdalene (1952-1955); St. Isidore, Blue Island (1960-1966); St. Linus, Oak Lawn (1973-1983); and St. Turibius (1987-1997).

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Sr. Mary Maxine Teipen

Educator, provincial

Providence Sister Mary Maxine Teipen, 91, died Jan. 5 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Indianapolis, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1946 professed final vows in 1953.

Of her 74 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered in education for 21 years in Indiana and Illinois, including at St. Mel (1948-1953). She later was treasurer for her community, provincial and a member of the congregation’s general council.

Sister Mary Maxine is survived by a sister, Mary Lou Dunlop.

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Sr. Alice Vincent

Educator

Sister of St. Joseph Alice Vincent, 87, died Jan. 3.

Born in Vermont, she was in religious life for 68 years.

Sister Alice was an elementary teacher in the Archdiocese of Chicago for 37 years before serving as a hospital chaplain in Missouri for 16 years. 

She retired to LaGrange Park in 2007 and continued to do congregational ministry work as a volunteer until 2010.

She is survived by siblings Daniel, Robert, Andy, Lawrence, John, Mary, Laurette and Lucille.

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Sr. Patricia Fillenwarth

Educator, counselor

Providence Sister Patricia (Joseph Monica) Fillenwarth, 79, died on Jan. 7 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Born in Indianapolis, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1958 and professed final vows in 1965.

Sister Patty ministered in Indiana and Washington, D.C., before spending five years teaching in Arequipa, Peru. She then served 16 years as principal of Maternity BVM. She also served as councilor for the St. Joseph Province, headquartered in Chicago, for the last eight of those years.

Having experienced the needs of families in Humboldt Park, Sister Patty became a certified counselor and opened Providence Family Services, which offered bilingual family counseling at little or no charge. After giving 24 years to this ministry, she retired in 2018 and returned to the motherhouse.

Sister Patty is survived by her sister, Providence Sister Joseph Fillenwarth, and her brother, John Fillenwarth.

Fr. Michael J. Walsh

Associate pastor

Father Michael J. Walsh, 89, died Dec. 31. He was a former associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Palos Hills.

Born in Chicago, he attended St. Francis de Paula School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1956.

He served as assistant pastor of St. Ambrose; Holy Name of Mary; Santa Maria Del Popolo, Mundelein; Our Lady of Lourdes; and St. Helena of the Cross. He was associate pastor of St. Richard and Sacred Heart, Palos Hills. He retired from active ministry in 2000.

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