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Sr. Nancy Finn


Religious of the Sacred Heart Nancy Finn, 87, died April 12 in Atherton, California.

Born in Chicago, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart after graduating from Barat College in Lake Forest in 1956. She made first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965.

Sister Nancy’s early years in the society were devoted to teaching at Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago, the Academy and Hardey Prep, and at Convent of the Sacred Heart, Clifton, in Cincinnati. She was the head of school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago (1969-1975).

Sister Nancy spent 19 years at different times during the 1960s through the 1980s at Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest, where she served as dean of students, director of the community service program, taught photography, and for a time served as a house parent living with the boarders.

Sister Nancy studied at the Art Institute in Chicago, where, in 1990, she earned a bachelor’s of fine art in drawing and painting. During the 1990s, Sister Nancy worked at the Art Institute of Chicago photographing the textile collection. Many of her photographs are featured in their books.

In 1999, Sister Nancy was named the area director of her community in Chicago. She was a member of the Kenmore Community in Chicago until 2020.

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Sr. Bernadette Ries


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Bernadette Ries, 82, died April 20 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Montana, she was a member of the Dominican Sisters of Speyer, Germany, at Kettle Falls, Washington, which became the Dominicans of Spokane in 1986 and merged with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in 1995. Sister Bernadette made her first profession in 1957 and her perpetual profession in 1961.

She ministered in health care, congregational leadership and administration, and family support.

She served in Washington, Illinois and Minnesota.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Bernadette ministered as a chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood (1997-1999), and a spiritual care counselor at Hazelden, Chicago (1999-2000).

She is survived by three sisters, Marian Lightner, Emma Jean Freeman and Veronica Franey; and a brother, John Ries.

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Sr. Valery Heffner

Educator, administrator

Mercy Sister Valery Heffner, 93, died April 25.

Born in Milwaukee, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Chicago in 1945.

For nearly 20 years, Sister Valery taught at schools in Chicago, Skokie, Evergreen Park, Dundee, Park Ridge, and Aurora, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Pleasant and Burlington, Iowa.

She also served with the Latin American Committee and as director of Volunteers for Misericordia North, both in Chicago. In 1981, she began a housing internship and went on to serve for four years at the Chicago Housing Authority and then for Southwest Development Corp. and Mercy Properties, all in Chicago.

For several years, Sister Valery served in pastoral care at Oak Park Hospital and Mercy Rehab in Chicago.

Beginning in 1998, Sister Valery served in several volunteer roles, including prison ministry as a Spanish translator.

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Sr. Marie Fitzpatrick


BVM Sister Marie C. (Jane Frances) Fitzpatrick, 95, died May 1 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Born in Chicago, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1945 from St. Charles Parish. She professed first vows in 1947 and final vows in 1952.

She was principal at St. Charles (1963-1966).

Sister Marie also was an elementary teacher and principal in Iowa, New York and South Dakota. She was a religious education director in Denver and parish minister and psychotherapist in Aurora, Colorado.

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Sr. Geraldine Hoye


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Geraldine “Geri” Hoye, 83, died May 4 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Chicago, she made her first profession as a School Sister of Saint Francis of Christ the King of Lemont in 1957 and her perpetual profession in 1962. She served as a teacher and principal before transferring her vows to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in 1990. Sister Geri remained in education administration for another three years before moving into parish ministries for the next 23 years.

Sister Geri served in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Geri taught at St. George (Ewing Street) (1957-1961); Holy Trinity (1961-1962) and St. Stephen (1967-1969).