More than 400 Celebrate Inspiring Parish Women
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 6, 2018
AURORA—One liners from each of the Woman of Inspiration’s biographies provide insights into why they were nominated by their respective parishes for the honor.
Pastors, parishioners of the Aurora Deanery, friends and families came together Aug. 26 at Pipers Banquets to honor the women, who ranged in age from a junior in high school to those with senior citizen status.
Annunciation BVM Parish honored Julie Mattas who “looks forward to 20-plus more years of serving here at Annunication or wherever God’s plan takes her.” Blessed Sacrament in North Aurora held up Eileen Mathey, saying, “you can always count on Eileen to help.”
Rita Brink was described as “a very dedicated parishioner of Holy Angels Church,” and Holy Cross in Batavia says Gail Russell “is a devout, practicing Catholic who serves as a shining example of what that means to all she meets.” 
Both Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and the Aurora Deanery Council of Catholic Women honored Carol Rosensteil in part because she “brings warmth, joy, professionalism, sharing of her faith, and grace to our community.”
Emma Zagal of Sacred Heart Parish is aware of the “big responsibility” of her work as a catechist, but says she finds “great pleasure” in “teaching (children) about God’s immense love.” 
At St. Joseph Parish, Joan Breyne helped organize and volunteer “in many ministries that are still vibrant today.” 
The much-newer parish of St. Katharine Drexel points to Marge Stiefbold as “an instrumental part of making (the parish) a thriving, welcoming parish.”
Music minister, high school student Brianna Silva was honored by St. Mary Parish, which says “she always brings to her ministry reverence, poise and faith.” 
St. Nicholas Parish notes the “profound faith and loyalty to God and the Church” of their honoree, Siria Gonzalez. 
Diana Alanis of St. Peter in Aurora says she believes “that I must follow (Jesus’) example of love and justice for all his marvelous creations.”
“To meet Berni (Mayer) is truly to encounter Christ on this earth,” says St. Peter Parish in Geneva. 
Oanh Mai began volunteering at St. Rita of Cascia Parish as a catechist in 1987 and the parish notes her current, above-and-beyond, sacristan service. 
Maria Zamora is described as “a cheerful volunteer for whatever tasks need to be done to make the parish run smoothly,” by St. Therese of Jesus Parish.
The Aurora Deanery Council of Catholic Women sponsors the Catholic Women of Inspiration awards dinner each year, enlisting the help of women from deanery parishes. 
At this year’s event, Rose Martinet, treasurer of the National Council of Catholic Women, brought greetings from the national council. Bishop David Malloy thanked the honorees for their service and for their prayers.
He spoke with sadness of the “same (sexual) scandal raising its head again,” and with gladness of the opening of the new Catholic academy in Aurora, which was the result, he said, of “a lot of work (and) a lot of prayer.”
The bishop expressed his gratitude to all who worked on that education effort.
Life has its ups and downs, he concluded, and through it all “we are joyful, we are hopeful, we are prayerful.”