Rockford Deanery Honors 16 Women
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 31, 2019
ROCKFORD—The predicted snow held off until after this year’s Women of Inspiration banquet, allowing a crowd of just short of 600 people to give plenty of applause and cheers for the Rockford Deanery women who were honored.
 
The 27th annual event sponsored by the Rockford Deanery Council of Catholic Women was held at Giovanni’s Restaurant and celebrated the faith and many contributions of the 16 honorees to their parishes.
 
The women have shared their talents, from music and lectoring to organizational skills and sewing, translating and coaching. 
 
Their faith was noted in comments like “a faithful, humble servant of God” and “a dedicated teacher of religion.” 
 
A small hint of how much time these women have given were heard in remarks like: “some of her many contributions ... ;” “she is extremely active and involved both in the parish and community ... ;” “she has always been active in the parish first with her parents and siblings and later with her own family;” “she is a very dedicated member of the parish;” and even “she contributes almost daily to the parish.”
 
As Father Kenneth Stachyra, spiritual advisor to the Rockford Deanery CCW, says each year, “Women make up 50 percent of the parish ... and do 90 percent of the work.”
 
The 2019 Women of Inspiration in the Rockford Deanery are:
 
Belvidere: Teresa Gonzalez, St. James;
 
Byron: Mary Woolf Pearson, St. Mary; 
 
Durand/Irish Grove: Bonnie Vonderohe, St. Mary/St. Patrick;
 
Loves Park: Rose Marie Trotter, St. Bridget;
 
Pecatonica: Elizabeth Wells, St. Mary; 
 
Rockford: Kathy Appino, Cathedral of St. Peter; Mary Kay Garganera, Holy Family; Miechelle Terranova, St. Anthony of Padua; Patricia Stroup, St. Bernadette; Pattie Cesarek, St. Edward; Patricia Levins, St. James; Norma Vonderheide, St. Rita; Mary Jaworowski, St. Stanislaus Kostka; Elvia Olivas, SS. Peter and Paul;
 
Roscoe: Claire Powers, Church of the Holy Spirit;
 
South Beloit: Terri White, St. Peter.
 
The banquet honors women who often serve behind the scenes, sometimes nearly unseen by other parishioners.  But as a poem on the back of the evening’s program says: “There is a special place in Heaven set aside for (Catholic women) volunteers ...”