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Sr. Martin Therese Gensler


School Sister of Notre Dame Martin Therese (Janet) Gensler, 84, died at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox Dec. 13.

Born in Kickapoo, Illinois, Sister Martin Therese was a vowed member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for 64 years.

She professed first vows in 1955, and took her final vows in 1961.

Sister Martin taught for more than 44 years. Her assignments included primary and intermediate grades at St. Constance and St. Alphonsus in Chicago as well as in other communities in Illinois and Indiana.

At St. Alphonsus, where she served from 1971 to 1992, Sister Martin taught seventh and eighth grades, was the media specialist and served as assistant principal.

Sister Martin moved to Marian Village in Homer Glen in September 2019 and then to Mother Theresa Home in Lemont.

Sr. M. Lourdes Kelly


Holy Cross Sister M. Lourdes (Anna May) Kelly, 109, died Dec. 19.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of 11 children, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1935 when her sister, Holy Cross Sister Mary Martha (Elizabeth) Kelly brought her back to the United States with her. Sister Mary Lourdes made her initial profession of vows in 1938.

After a series of bureaucratic mix-ups, she became a citizen of the United States in 1948.

She began her teaching career in 1938, serving at schools throughout Indiana and Illinois. In 1980, she retired to St. Mary’s Convent in Indiana, where she made a daily trip to the grotto at the University of Notre Dame — on foot, if her ride was not on time.

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Sr. Marie Janet Meis


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Marie Janet Meis, 94, died Dec. 25 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Iowa, Sister Marie Janet made her first religious profession in 1945 and her perpetual profession in 1948. She taught for 30 years and was principal for 13 years. She served in Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, California and Colorado.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Marie Janet taught at St. Sabina (1945-1951) and St. Brendan (1960-1968).

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Sr. Joanne Podlucky

Educator, communications specialist

Adrian Dominican Sister Joanne (Jessica) Podlucky, 71, died Dec. 25 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Pennsylvania, she was in the 52nd year of religious life, 12 years in the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and 40 years in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

She taught in schools in Pennsylvania, Alabama and Chicago before serving as a communications director and media specialist for the Adrian Dominican Congregation and Mercy Health Services in Farmington Hills, Michigan, as well as for a private media consulting company.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Presentation (1976-1977) and Precious Blood/Presentation (1977-1978).

She is survived by two sisters, Francine Hill and Carolyn Silka, and two brothers, Joseph Podlucky and Ronald Podlucky.

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Sr. Charles Ellen Turk


Providence Sister Charles Ellen (Mary Cleophas) Turk, 101, died Dec. 25 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Indiana, Sister Charles Ellen entered the Sisters of Providence in 1936 and professed final vows in 1944.

In her 84 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered in education for 47 years in schools in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. She served as principal for 15 of those years.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Leo (1938-1939); St. Angela (1939-1941, 1944-1950); St. Mel (1941); and St. Mel-Holy Ghost (1941-1944). She was principal of Mother Theodore Guerin High School, River Grove (1969-1973).