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Sr. Mary Rita Kendergan


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Mary Rita Kendergan, 98, died Oct. 31 in Footville, Wisconsin.

Born in Milwaukee, she made her first profession in 1943 and her perpetual profession in 1946. She taught, was a parish visitor and was a library aide and librarian for five years. She served in Illinois, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Wisconsin, South Dakota, California and Iowa.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Rita taught at St. Brendan (1943-1947); St. Mary, Evanston (1949-1951); and St. Cajetan (1966-1967). She served as library aide at Trinity High School (1989-1990) and Dominican University (1994-2002), both in River Forest.

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Sr. Lynn Lisbeth

Educator, pastoral minister

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Lynn (Alita) Lisbeth, 76, died Oct. 31 in Footville, Wisconsin.

Born in Arkansas, she attended Immaculate Conception School and Holy Child High School, both in Waukegan, before entering religious life.

Sister Lynn made her first religious profession in 1965 and her perpetual profession in 1970. She taught, served as a liturgist, was a pastoral minister and did adult faith formation, as well as serving as a general councilor for the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. She served in Wisconsin, New York, Montana and Alaska.

She is survived by two brothers, Kenneth Lisbeth and James Lisbeth.

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Fr. Wilfred Lowery


Redemptorist Father Wilfred Lowery, 97, died Nov. 10 in Liguori, Missouri. He left a lasting legacy in Thailand and continued to minister to Thai and Laotian immigrant communities throughout the United States well into his 90s.

Born in St. Louis, he made his first profession of vows in 1944 and his perpetual vows in 1947.

He was ordained in 1949, and was sent to serve the poor in Thailand in 1951. After studying the language and serving as a pastor in the Udon Thani Prefecture and in Nongkhai he served as bursar and vice superior in Bangkok. He was serving as vicar general of the Diocese of Udon Thani when health issues prompted his return to the United States.

He directed retreats and worked for the Redemptorist Mission Office while stationed at Villa Redeemer in Glenview (1976-1981) and was assigned as an itinerant preacher with outreach to Laotian immigrants at St. Michael Parish in Chicago (1987-1990).

After serving in Kansas in Missouri, he returned to Chicago as director of his community’s Foreign Mission Office in 1996, and retained that position when he moved back to Villa Redeemer to serve as local superior a year later. He served there until moving to Minnesota in 2000.

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Sr. Mary Clare Brunkala


Franciscan Sister of Chicago Mary Clare (Dorothy) Brunkala, 91, died Nov. 14.

She made her first religious profession in 1955 and her perpetual profession of vows in 1960.

She taught at Five Holy Martyrs (1954-1955) before attending nursing school. She ministered in South Dakota and Indiana as a nurse. She was director of nursing at Mother Theresa Home, Lemont (1969-1972) and a registered nurse in the infirmary at the motherhouse in Lemont (1972-1973) and at St. Joseph Home (1973-1981), where she was also sacristan.

After ministering in Ohio, she returned to the motherhouse in 1985 and served as a nurse (1985-1986), infirmarian, driver for sisters, shopper, secretary, assistant superior at Our Lady of Victory community (1999-2002), sacristan and local secretary. She retired in 2017.

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Sr. Agnette Bengal


Sister of Christian Charity Agnette (Regina) Bengal, 107, died Nov. 17 at Sacred Heart Convent, Wilmette.

Born in Michigan, she entered the Sisters of Christian Charity in 1929, made first vows in 1933 and made perpetual vows in 1938.

She taught in schools in Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Louisiana, before studying social work and serving as superior of a home in Missouri.

In 1966, Sister Agnette returned to Chicago as superior and principal of St. Gregory School, and she served as provincial assistant. In 1968, she moved to Prospect Heights to serve as superior and substitute principal. In 1980, she was appointed superior of the motherhouse in Wilmette.

In 1984, Agnette began working at Mallinckrodt College as assistant academic dean and teaching sociology. Two years later, she moved to Josephinum, where she was assistant bursar, and continued teaching at Mallinckrodt.

She was assigned to Sacred Heart Convent in Wilmette in 1987, where she was named local treasurer and supervised the maintenance workers. In 1994, she was supervising the housekeepers and working in the sewing room with her sister, Sister Marina. In 2007, Sister Agnette moved to doing light duties around the convent and writing feastday letters to the Eastern Province local leaders. Sister Agnette retired in 2010 at the age of 96.

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Sr. Mary Kevin Ryan

Educator, clerical worker

Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ Sister Mary Kevin (Sarah) Ryan, 90, died Nov. 19 in Donaldson, Indiana.

Born in Gary, Indiana, she entered the Poor Handmaid community in 1949 and professed her final vows in 1952.

She was an educator from 1952 to 1966, serving at St. Augustine, St. Henry and Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, as well in Indiana. She moved into clerical work, serving at several hospitals in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

She loved music and was a member of the choir at St. Bartholomew Parish and taught guitar at Our Lady of Victory, St. Bartholomew and St. Mathias Parishes in Chicago from 1979 until 2018. 

She retired to Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson in 2018.