McHenry Women Honored by Parishes, Friends and Families
McHenry Deanery Women of Inspiration 2013 pose with Bishop Malloy after receiving their awards. They are (from left) Jeanne Stein, Joan Badgley, Patricia Adams, Leonida Pureza, Eva Melesio, Mary Pollock, Elaine Brandstetter, Michaeleen Arnholz, Maria Scott, Colleen Geils, Carol White, Judy Bernhardt, Carol Sima, and Helen Dietz. (Observer photos by Amanda Hudson)
Peg Bowman (left), music and liturgy director at Sacred Heart Parish in Marengo, was delighted to meet up again with Colleen Geils who was honored by Christ the King Parish in Wonder Lake as a 2013 Woman of Inspiration. (Observer photo by Amanda Hudson)
Teresa Malmgren, poses with Bishop Malloy during the McHenry Deanery 2013 Women of Inspiration banquet, Sept. 15. (Observer photo by Amanda Hudson)
By Amanda Hudson, News editor
September 19, 2013

CRYSTAL LAKE—At the McHenry Deanery Women of Inspiration banquet on Sept. 15, Bishop David J. Malloy posed a question once asked by St. Ignatius of Loyola as he read through the Lives of the Saints for the first time.

“What if I were to live that kind of life?” Bishop Malloy quoted, adding that “in many ways, that is the wisdom of an evening like this,” to become motivated to ask ourselves that same question. The “love for Christ, love of the Church and a life of prayer” behind the many works done by these women being honored are the keys to that service, he said, concluding that “if this evening motivates us toward those three things, it will be well worthwhile.”

The Honorees
McHenry Deanery 2013
Women of Inspiration are

Cary — SS. Peter and Paul: Michaeleen Arnholz;
Crystal Lake — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Judy Bernhardt; St. Thomas the Apostle: Jeanne Stein;
Hartland — St. Patrick: Teresa Malmgren;
Huntley — St. Mary: Leonida Pureza;
Johnsburg — St. John the Baptist: Carol Sima;
McHenry — Church of Holy Apostles: Eva Melesio;  St. Mary: Mary Pollock; St. Patrick: Joan Badgley;
Marengo — Sacred Heart: Patricia Adams; Richmond — St. Joseph: Helen Dietz;
Spring Grove — St. Peter: Elaine Brandstetter;
Wonder Lake — Christ the King: Colleen Geils;
Woodstock — St. Mary: Maria Scott, Carol White.

The men and women introducing the 15 honorees at this ninth annual event, held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Hall, spoke of the qualities they see in their honorees.

Teresa Malmgren’s “ever-present presence,” was noted by Father Thomas Doyle, along with her hugs for the priests, “as Bishop Malloy just experienced,” he said as the audience chuckled.

Msgr. Joseph Jarmoluk said that Elaine Brandstetter “wants to make everybody’s life easier. She’s one of the giants in the community” of Spring Grove.

Other women were touted for their “deep love of our faith,” for being “a wonderful impact on the life of the parish,” for “walking the walk,” and for having a “gracious, prayerful, peaceful presence.”

Carol White was described as a “candle surgeon” by Father Burt Absalon of St. Mary Church in Woodstock for her ability to remove wax. He noted that his parish’s second honoree, Maria Scott, “acts as a bridge (and) brings God’s love wherever she goes” as she works with Anglo and Latino parish members.

The Catholic Women of Inspiration event is presented each year by the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women.