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Fr. Edward G. Corcoran

Pastor emeritus

Father Edward G. Corcoran, 91, died March 28. He was pastor emeritus of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish, also known as Little Flower Parish.

Born in Chicago, he attended St. Margaret of Scotland School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1956.

He was assistant pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland; Sts. Faith, Hope & Charity, Winnetka; and Our Lady of Grace. He was associate pastor of St. Agnes, Chicago Heights; St. Fabian, Bridgeview; and St. Leonard, Berwyn. He was pastor of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish for 14 years.

In addition, Father Corcoran served for 11 years as spiritual director of the North America Indigenous Ministries.

Father William Corcoran, current pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton, Orland Hills, first met Edward Corcoran at St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish where they worked together. Despite the 26 years age gap, they became close friends. “He was very kind and patient with others,” William Corcoran said. “He loved his parishioners and was a great cheerleader for their betterment.”

After retirement, Father Edward Corcoran went to the Diocese of San Diego to help in the Native American missions. 

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Sr. Joseline Valdes

Educator, pastoral minister

School Sister of St. Francis Sister Joseline (Florentina) Valdes, 87, died March 1 at Nazarethville Place in Des Plaines.

Born in the Philippines, Sister Joseline was received into the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception in the Philippines in 1957 and made her final vows in 1965. She was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1976.

Beginning in 1976, Sister Joseline ministered in Illinois for four decades. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she was a teacher at Holy Angels (1976-1977), assistant principal at St. Philomena School (1977-1978) and teacher at Our Lady of Victory School (1978-1980). She was a caregiver at Life Style Options in Des Plaines (1995-1997) and Community Care System in Oak Park (1996). She served as pastoral minister at St. Peter Canisius Parish (1986-1990) and was assisted living coordinator at Our Lady of Fatima Center in Des Plaines (1997-2013). She also served as the director (1990-1991) and spiritual director (2014-2021) of Fatima Prayer Community in River Grove. In retirement, Sister Joseline served in the ministry of prayer and presence at Fatima Prayer Community from 2021 until the time of her death.  

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Sr. Rosemary Empen

Educator, missionary

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Rosemary (Aemilia) Empen, 88, died March 2 in Footville, Wisconsin.

Born in Rochelle, Sister Rosemary made her first religious profession in 1957 and her perpetual profession in 1960. She was a teacher, principal, missionary, pastoral minister and director of a cultural center, and she served in Illinois, New York, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Mississippi, and in Bolivia.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Rosemary taught at St. Basil (1957-1962).

She is survived by three sisters: Shirley Modjallal, Phyliss Gibson and Carol Glenn; and two brothers:  Joseph Empen and Ronald Empen.

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Sr. Cecile Matushek

Educator, health care administrator

Daughter of Charity Cecile Matushek, 81, died in Bridgeton, Missouri, March 14.

Born in Chicago, Sister Cecile graduated from Aquinas High School in 1958 and entered the Daughters of Charity in 1959.

Sister Cecile served in education for the next 28 years in Missouri and Louisiana, during which she earned a master’s degree in education administration.

After completing another master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in New Orleans, Sister Cecile began working in health care in Texas.

She is survived by her sister, Elissa Rose Oldaker.

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Sr. M. Concetta Petrauskas

Educator, guidance counselor

Sister of St. Casimir M. Concetta Petrauskas, 101, died March 14 in Lemont.

Born in Pennsylvania, Sister Concetta made her first profession of vows in 1943 and her perpetual vows in 1948. She ministered for 64 years in Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania as a teacher and guidance counselor.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Concetta taught at Providence of God (1943-1945), All Saints (1951-1952) and Maria High School (1956-1962). 

Beginning in 2014, her final ministry was that of prayer and presence at Franciscan Village, Lemont.

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Sr. Helen Diane McGuirt

Educator, counselor

Adrian Dominican Sister Helen Diane (Ina Marie) McGuirt, 82, died March 18 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Chicago, she graduated from Aquinas High School and was in the 64th year of her religious life.

Sister Helen Diane ministered in education, as a religious education coordinator, pastoral minister and counselor in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia and Kentucky.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Queen of Angels (1965-1966); Bishop Quarter, Oak Park (1966-1968); and St. Columbanus (1968-1972).

She became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2012.

Sister Helen Diane is survived by a sister, Mary Ina Otten.

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Sr. Kathleen Conlin


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Kathleen (Mary Bernard) Conlin, 89, died March 19 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Wisconsin, Sister Kathleen made her first religious profession in 1953 and her perpetual profession in 1956. She was a teacher, support staff member and pastoral minister in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Kathleen taught at St. Barnabas (1956-1960).

She is survived by two sisters, Mary Ries and Patricia Thiesenhusen, and a brother, Bernard “Joe” Conlin.

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Sr. Mary Kathleen Dowling


Sister of St. Joseph of Carondolet Mary Kathleen Dowling, 71, died March 20 in Fenton, Missouri.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Sister Mary Kathleen entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1972 and was received into the novitiate in 1973.

Sister Mary Kathleen ministered in education, teaching in Colorado, Missouri, Michigan and Illinois.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Nativity of Our Lord (1984), St. Fidelis (1985-1990), St. Philomena (1990-2005) and St. Helen (2005-2021). Sister Mary Kathleen retired in 2021 and moved to St. Louis in January.

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Sr. Imelda Goska


Sister of St. Joseph-Third Order of St. Francis Imelda Goska, 95, of Bartlett, died March 22.

She entered religious life in 1942 from St. Barbara Parish (Throop Street).

She ministered in education and service to her community in Chicago as well as in Indiana and Colorado.