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Sr. Theresa Lesnak


Sister Theresa (M. Edmundine) Lesnak, 93, died Jan. 13 in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Born in Chicago, she made her first profession of vows in 1948 and her final profession in 1954.

Beginning in 1950, Sister Theresa ministered in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Nebraska for more than seven decades.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Theresa taught at St. Mary School, Buffalo Grove (1974-1975); was an administrative secretary for Smoler Brothers (1975-1980); taught at Madonna High School (1980-1994); was a secretary for the FD Services Data Base (1994-1995); taught at St. Benedict High School (1995-1998); was an instructor at Wright College (1998-2005); and was bookkeeper for St. Priscilla Convent (2005-2007).

In retirement, Sister Theresa was a volunteer at St. Joseph Convent in Campbellsport, Wisconsin (2007-2014), and served in the ministry of prayer and presence at Sacred Heart in Milwaukee (2014-2015), and at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Greenfield from 2015 until the time of her death. 

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Fr. John Fiore


Basilian Father John Fiore, 92, died Jan. 15 at the Albertine Home in Hammond, Indiana.

He was born in Toronto and was ordained at St. Basil Church there in 1957. He came to Chicago to earn a doctorate in musicology from the University of Chicago.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he assisted at Little Flower, St. David, and for more than 30 years at St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn.

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Sr. Joan Redden


Sister Joan (James Irene) Redden, BVM, 92, died Jan. 15 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Born in Chicago, she entered the BVM congregation in 1947 from St. Francis of Rome Parish, Cicero. She professed first vows in 1950 and final vows in 1955.

Sister Joan ministered in Iowa, Illinois and Washington. In Illinois, she taught elementary school in Cicero and high school in Waukegan and Lake Forest. She also was a teacher assistant in North Chicago and an assistant apartment manager in Waukegan.

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Fr. Richard Thibodeau


Redemptorist Father Richard Thibodeau, 72, the first provincial superior of the Redemptorist Denver Province, died Jan. 16 of COVID-19-related pneumonia in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. An exceptional administrator blessed with a sensitivity to navigate difficult issues, Father Richard served in leadership positions throughout his 44 years as a Redemptorist missionary.

Born in Milwaukee, Father Richard felt called to the priesthood in elementary school. He professed temporary vows in 1970 and perpetual vows in 1973. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1976.

Father Richard ministered in Redemptorist formation programs, as marketing director and president of Liguori Publications; as a local community rector and provincial consultor; and as vicar of the Villa Redeemer community in Glenview.

When two provinces merged to form the Denver Province in 1996, he was elected superior and served three terms, until 2005.

He then was pastor of St. Michael Parish (Cleveland Avenue) 2005 until 2011, before serving as a pastor in New Orleans before being appointed director of the Redemptorist Retreat Center in Oconomowoc in 2019.

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Sr. Barbara Bell


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Barbara (Walthier) Bell, 90, died Jan. 17 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Wisconsin, Sister Barbara made her first religious profession in 1951 and her perpetual profession in 1954. She was a teacher, director of religious education, bookkeeper and pastoral administrator in Minnesota, Indiana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Illinois and Montana.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Barbara served as director of religious education at St. Thomas of Villanova, Palatine (1973-1975), and Visitation Parish (1975-1976), where she also taught in the school.