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Fr. L. Jerome Parrish

Associate pastor

Father L. Jerome Parrish, 62, died at his sister’s home on Nov. 8. Father Parrish, who was associate pastor of St. Denis Parish, had been on long-term medical leave since 2005 and he spent the last year of life with his sister, Addrene, on the South Side of Chicago.

Born in Chicago, he attended Holy Angels School, St. Ignatius College Prep, Yale University and Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee. In 2002, Father Parrish earned a master of divinity degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and he was ordained in 2004.

Father Parrish overcame many medical obstacles on his path to ordination. Originally on track to be ordained in 2002, complications from a surgery to repair a torn muscle led to cardiac arrest, a stroke and kidney failure, leaving Father Parrish on dialysis and with neurological damage. 

After several months of treatment and recuperation, Father Parrish returned to Mundelein that fall. In April and May 2003, he had two more surgeries to repair and replace two heart valves damaged by an infection. However, with time his kidneys improved enough to allow him to stop dialysis.

Due to his precarious health, Father Parrish only served as associate pastor at St. Denis from July 1, 2004, through March 23, 2005.

Father Parrish is survived by his sister, Addrene Parrish, and brother, Maurice Parrish.

Deacon Donald Palmer

Class of 1999

Deacon Donald Palmer, 68, died Nov. 8. He was ordained in 1999 and had served at St. Joseph Parish, North Orleans Street.

Deacon Palmer, who was retired because of ill health, was living in Wisconsin at the time of his death.

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Sr. Mary Avitta Nowak


Felician Sister Mary Avitta (Irene) Nowak, 88, died Nov. 1, in Our Lady of the Angels Care Convent.

Born in Blue Island, she attended St. Isidore School, Blue Island High School and St. Louis Academy. She entered the Felician Sisters in 1950 and professed her final vows in 1958. She ministered in various elementary schools throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she ministered at St. Mary Magdalene (1950-1951); St. Helen (1951-1957); Holy Innocents (1957-1961); Ascension, Evanston (1961-1963); St. Bronislava (1975-1980); St. Stanislaus, Posen (1980-1988); and St. Linus, Oak Lawn (1988-2005).

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Sr. Mary Kay Dum


BVM Sister Mary Kay (Meda) Dum, 84, died Nov. 8 in Dubuque, Iowa. 

Born in Oklahoma, she entered the BVM congregation in 1951 and professed final vows in 1959.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Kay taught at St. Gertrude. She also ministered in Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Iowa, North Carolina and Florida.

She is survived by a sister, Elizabeth Kennington, and brothers William and Michael Dum.

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Sr. Romona Nowak


Adrian Dominican Sister Romona (Jane Lucian) Nowak, 72, died Nov. 8 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Chicago, Sister Romona graduated from Aquinas Dominican High School. She was in her 51st year of religious life.

Sister Romona ministered in education and as a chaplain and pastoral care associate in Illinois, California, Indiana and Michigan.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Rita School (1967-1972) and Aquinas High School (1972-1976); was religious education director at St. Ann, Lansing (1981-1984); and taught at St. Ailbe (1986).

She is survived by her brother, Robert Nowak.

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Sr. Margaret Muellenmeister


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Margaret (Terza) Muellenmeister, 93, died Nov. 14, in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin.

Born in Minnesota, Sister Margaret made her first religious profession in 1946 and her final profession in 1949. She taught, tutored, served as culinary artist, ministered as a parish visitor and served on support staff. She served in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, Wisconsin, New York, South Dakota, Oregon and Montana.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Margaret taught at Visitation (1949-1952) and served as a culinary artist at Trinity High School, River Forest (1952-1954).

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Sr. Jude Van Baalen

Educator, pastoral minister

Adrian Dominican Sister Jude Van Baalen, 78, died Nov. 14 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Detroit, she was in the 59th year of her religious life.

Sister Jude ministered in Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota, Minnesota and British Columbia. She served in education and a variety of pastoral ministries.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Queen of Angels (1963-1968).

Sister Jude is survived by brothers Paul and Marc Van Baalen and sisters Ann Bertolini and Adrian Dominican Sister Susan Van Baalen.