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Sr. Pauline Richter


Adrian Dominican Sister Pauline (Rose Angeline) Richter, 86, died May 18 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in New Mexico, she was in the 66th year of her religious life.

Sister Pauline ministered in Illinois, Michigan and New Mexico.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Ascension, Harvey (1957-1960); Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette (1964-1965); Aquinas High School (1965-1966); Our Lady of Good Counsel (1966-1968); and Our Lady of Loretto, Hometown (1968-1970).

She is survived by sisters Maxine Garcia, Norma Stoll, Georgia Kincaid, Mary Antonette Kropog and Sheryl Warden.

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Fr. Joseph Cook

Associate pastor

Father Joseph T. Cook, 61, died Aug. 17. He was associate pastor of St. Linus, Oak Lawn.

Born in Evergreen Park, Father Cook attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Niles College Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

After being ordained in 1986, he served as associate pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption and Holy Ghost, South Holland.

He was then pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption and St. Kieran, Chicago Heights, before being assigned as associate pastor of St. Linus.

Cook’s classmate and friend, Father James Presta, pastor of St. Emily, Mount Prospect, had known Father Joe since they both entered Niles College Seminary in 1978 as freshmen.

“Father Joe had a great smile and an infectious laugh, a deep, unwavering faith in the Lord and a passion for priestly ministry,” Presta said. “He has been a wonderful friend, a great classmate and brother priest to me. He will be sorely missed by his dear family and many friends, his seminary classmates and the many people whose hearts and souls he touched in parish life.”

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Fr. William J. Costello

Associate pastor

Father William J. Costello, 82, died Aug. 23. He was a retired priest and former associate pastor of St. Eugene Parish.

Born in Chicago, he attended St. Gabriel School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1964.

Father Costello was assistant pastor of St. John of the Cross, Western Springs; St. Theodore; and St. Nicholas of Tolentine. He was associate pastor of St. Christina; Holy Cross, Deerfield; Prince of Peace, Lake Villa; and St. Peter, Antioch. He last served at St. Eugene Parish before retiring in 2008.

“Father Bill loved being a priest,” said Father John Ryan, pastor emeritus at St. Dismas Parish and a classmate of Costello. “He certainly loved the people at the parishes he served. He was a true servant of the Lord, very faithful to his duties and totally dedicated to his parishes.”

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Deacon Bob DeFiore

Class of 1978

Deacon Louis “Bob” DeFiore, 84, of Huntley, died Aug. 26. He was ordained in 1978 and served for many years at St. John the Evangelist, Streamwood.

Deacon DeFirore was born in Chicago and met his wife, Carol, in high school. They married in 1957.

He worked as a pipefitter and was ordained a deacon in 1978. He served first at St. Ferdinand Parish and then at St. John the Evangelist.

According to the obituary posted by DeFiore Funeral Home, “He was called to share and live out God’s word, and becoming a deacon was a perfect fit for him and a vocation that he so loved doing.”

In 2001, he was the grateful recipient of a heart transplant.

Deacon DeFiore is survived by his wife, Carol; his children, Robert DeFiore, Julie Arza, Mari Kaiser and Carol Lynn DeFiore; nine grandchildren; and siblings Marlene Sylvester and Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Carol DeFiore.

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Sr. Barbara Hutfless


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Barbara (Richaria) Hutfless, 79, died Aug. 6 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Nebraska, she made her first religious profession in 1961, and her perpetual profession in 1966. She served as a culinary artist for 13 years and a teacher aide for two years before beginning a 29-year ministry of teaching. She served in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois and Colorado.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Barbara taught at St. Thomas the Apostle (1979-1987, 1995-2000) and St. Louis de Montfort, Oak Lawn (2000-2003), and was a substitute teacher at St. Germaine, Oak Lawn (2003-2008).

She is survived by a sister, Patricia DeMare, and a brother, Richard Hutfless.

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Fr. John Ferdinand Willett

Educator, pastor

Redemptorist Father John (Jack) Ferdinand Willett, 84, died Aug. 15 at St. Clement Redemptorist Mission Community in Liguori, Missouri. He influenced generations of Redemptorist missionaries during the 20 years he was involved in formation ministry.

Born in Michigan, Father Willett entered the Redemptorist formation program at St. Joseph Preparatory College in Missouri and professed temporary vows in 1956. He made his final profession of vows in 1959 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961.

He served at parishes and in preaching ministry in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin and taught and worked in formation in Redemptorist seminaries. He also served in Nigeria.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was pastor of St. Alphonsus (1975-1978, 1984-1990).

He retired and moved to St. Clement in Liguori in 2014.

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Sr. Sally Ann Fergus

Educator, prioress

Adrian Dominican Sister Sally Ann (William Rose) Fergus, 82, died Aug. 16 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Chicago, she graduated from Immaculata High School. She was in her 63rd year of religious life and had a master’s degree in education from DePaul University and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University Chicago.

She taught and was a principal in Michigan, Florida and Illinois, and was a religious education consultant at the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Catholic Education. She also served as prioress of the congregation’s Midwest chapter.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Kilian (1960-1966); Ascension, Harvey (1966-1968); St. Philip Neri (1969-1970); and St. Columbanus (1970-1980). She was principal of St. Hilary (1980-1991); a religious education consultant in the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education (1993-1999); and Midwest chapter prioress in Burbank (1999-2008).

She is survived by a sister, Maureen McManus, and two brothers, Patrick Fergus and Thomas Fergus.

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Sr. Marionita Gergen


School Sister of St. Francis Marionita Gergen, 100, died Aug. 17 in Milwaukee.

Born in Nebraska, Sister Marionita was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1941 and made her final vows in 1949.

Sister Marionita ministered in Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin for more than seven decades. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Martin School (1944-1949).

Sister Marionita is survived by a sister, Florence Dondlinger.

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Sr. Joan Slobig


Providence Sister Joan (Denis Mary) Slobig, 77, died on Aug. 16 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Chicago Heights, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1964 and professed final vows in 1975.

Sister Joan ministered in education and served as director of the congregation’s formation program, was elected to the general council in 1996 for a five-year term, served as administrator of St. Ann Clinic (now Wabash Valley Health Center) and then served as a parish life coordinator at Indiana parishes.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Providence-St. Mel High School (1969-1971) and was director of instruction at Mother Theodore Guerin High School, River Grove (1975-1977).

Sister Joan is survived by a sister, Judy Reagan, and her twin brother, Father John E. Slobig.

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Sr. Barbara Doherty

Educator, administrator

Providence Sister Barbara (Vincent Ferrer) Doherty, 88, died on Aug. 17 in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

Born in Chicago, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1951 and professed final vows in 1958.

She was a teacher, theology professor and director of postulants before being elected to the provincial team for the Chicago area, serving as president of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, directing the Institute for Religious Life at Catholic Theological Union and coordinating the Shrine of St. Mother Theodore in St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Immaculate Conception (1956-1960); St. Joseph Province, Park Ridge (1975-1983); Institute of Religious Formation, Catholic Theological Union (1999-2007).

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