Rockford Deanery Honors Women of the Year
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 1, 2018
ROCKFORD—The 26th annual Catholic Women of the Year Banquet for the Rockford Deanery, Jan. 28, honored 17 women from 17 parishes for what Bishop David Malloy called “a great example and a great encouragement.”
 
“What a great group this is when we come, year after year, for the honoring of this service, and so often the humility of service of the honorees,” he said in brief remarks before offering the meal blessing.
 
Following the dinner, the women were called forth one by one as some of their accomplishments and qualities were announced. Each received a plaque handed out by the bishop and were enthusiastically applauded by the roomful of people, particularly those of their respective parishes.
 
They were honored for particular works of service, such as Ruth Luetkenhaus who “bakes her heart out for CCW bake sales, fish fries, bingo, funeral lunches and the 8th grade graduation meal.” Another, Mary LaLoggia, was cited for “a special talent for spreading the Good Word,” while Rita Creger was noted for “volunteering ‘behind the scenes’ with no recognition expected.”
 
Some of the women have been lifetime members of their parish, while others came to their current parishes from elsewhere, including from Germany and Poland. But common to all were the qualities of dedication to their parish and to their faith. They join the 463 previously honored at past events by the Rockford Deanery Council of Catholic Women.
 
The 2018 Women of the Year of the Rockford Deanery are: 
Belvidere: St. James Parish: Ruth Luetkenhaus
Byron: St. Mary: Elizabeth Pierson
Durand/Irish Grove: St. Mary/St. Patrick: Eileen Samp
Loves Park: St. Bridget: Patty Weyrauch
Pecatonica: St. Mary: Ellen Hazzard
Rockford: Cathedral of St. Peter: Rita Creger; Holy Family: Mary LaLoggia; St. Anthony of Padua: Frances Sola; St. Bernadette: Audrey Egler; St. Edward: Maricela Marquez; St. James: Janette Grisanzio; St. Patrick: Mary Giliberti; St. Rita: JoAnn Lewis; St. Stanislaus Kostka: Irena Slusarska; SS. Peter and Paul: Yolanda Arreguin
Roscoe: Holy Spirit: Margie Newberry
South Beloit: St. Peter: Janene McCollough
 
The president of the Rockford Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, Cathy Vendemia, encouraged women of all parishes to step up to serve at deanery and diocesan council levels. 
 
Bishop Malloy also spoke to the need for new volunteer officers, saying, “The idea of greater involvement in an organization like this is certainly a good one. It’s something that’s really a response to a crying need, of kind of a languishing of faith, that we see throughout society.” 
 
He called such service “an opportunity to get more involved (and) to be with people who encourage us and we encourage them in our faith.”
 
Info: Council of Catholic Women, Cathy Vendemia, 815/765-3384 or c.vendemia@yahoo.com