14 Women Honored as Inspiring
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 31, 2017

NORTH AURORA—On Aug. 27, Julie Cibulskis of Annunciation BVM Parish in Aurora was feted for, among other qualities and service, dedicating “many service hours to Catholic schools.”

She was among 14 women  about whom Bishop David Malloy offered his reflections and on whom he bestowed the 2017 Women of Inspiration awards for the Aurora Deanery. Each was nominated by her parish.

The nomination for Sharon Konen of Blessed Sacrament Parish in North Aurora, reads in part that her “love of the Catholic faith and her willingness to share that faith with others has been evident ... .”

Come to Bishop Malloy’s Mass
in Honor of Fatima

What: A celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mary’s appearance to cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos (right) at Fatima, Portugal, and the Miracle of the Sun.

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 12
Where: Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church St., Rockford
Admission: Open to everyone

Holy Angels parishioner Joan Baxendale began by volunteering with her Aurora parish school, starting what is now more than 30 years of service with the bereavement ministry.

Simone Romanos of Holy Cross in Batavia lost her singing voice to cancer but now uses her voice to speak and testify.

Long-time Our Lady of Good Counsel parishioner Mary Frances Sterns “represents what’s best” about her Aurora parish.

Martina Monarres of Sacred Heart in Aurora hopes to respond to her honor “with fidelity to God and my commitments as a Christian.”

“We do this every year, and each year it really is an inspiration to see those honored,” Bishop Malloy said.

He called the women “a reminder to us,” and commended the event for witnessing lives of service and faith to young and old alike, calling it “a very good thing, and good for all of us.”

That goodness was evident in the biographies of the women listed in the dinner program.

For example, Connie Weber, St. Joseph Parish in Aurora, said she has been “so blessed by God with a strong faith, loving family, supportive friends and a belief it is better to give than to receive.”

Julie Walker “shows a generous spirit and lighthearted sense of humor that inspire those around her,” at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Sugar Grove.

At St. Mary Parish in Aurora, Agustina Salazar inspires “not so much by all the inspiring things she says and does, but the (inspiring) kind of Catholic woman (she) is.”

Maria Herrera has an “ever cheerful and enthusiastic disposition” at St. Nicholas Parish in Aurora.

Jessica Elizabeth Vazquez has been cantoring at weekend Masses at St. Peter Parish in Aurora, since she was 16.

Mary Stith “is an example of what a Catholic mother, wife and friend should be both in and out of the St. Peter (Geneva) Parish community.”

Bishop Malloy thanked the priests and members of religious orders who attended, some of whom influenced those being honored. For example, a religious sister invited Maria de la Luz Velazquez to volunteer, and she has become even more active at St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora since attending the Light of the World Retreat.

And Olinca Lara Bermudez, a St. Therese of Jesus parishioner and a citizen of the U.S. for two years, says she “is very grateful for the support and encouragement” from her Missionaries of the Sacred Heart pastor in Aurora.

After leading prayers for those suffering in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, Bishop Malloy again expressed the appreciation of everyone present for the Women of Insiration.

He also invited everyone to  join him at a Fatima centennial Mass, Oct. 12.

An ADCCW committee and parish volunteers stage the annual banquet.