McHenry DCCW Honor ’20, ’21 Women Of Inspiration
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 23, 2021
MCHENRY—From the uncertain pandemic year in 2020 through 2021, women throughout the McHenry Deanery never lost sight of quietly leading at their local parishes with uninterrupted active and dedicated volunteerism.
To mark that service, 285 guests were able to gather in person to honor 23 Catholic Women of Inspiration at a dinner hosted by the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women and held at Church of the Holy Apostles on Sept. 19 in McHenry.
Each woman, representing one of 10 parishes in the deanery, was individually introduced. A brief summary of their accomplishments, as highlighted in their nominations, was presented by their pastor, parochial vicar, or other parish representative.
McHenry Deanery Catholic Women Of Inspiration
Church of Holy Apostles: Jennifer Marsh, Adriana Tello
St. Mary: Martha Peters (posthumously), Barbara Williams
St. Patrick: Jacque Swider
Spring Grove
St. Peter: Jeannette Toms
Wonder Lake
Christ the King: Rodita Conroy, Jenny Nellessen
St. Mary: Juana Flores, Patricia Ritzman
St. Patrick: Jennifer Riley
St. Joseph: Sheila Malinowski
St. Mary: Kathy Wojciechowski
Church of Holy Apostles: Raquel Condado, Shannon Landwehr
St. Mary: Fran Wiser
St. Patrick: Anne Schweder
St. Joseph: Barbara Russell
Spring Grove
St. Peter: Jacqui Wold
Wonder Lake
Christ the King: Alice Castillo, JoLynn Smuda
St. Mary: Miriam Castaneda, Kriss Liebetrau
Bishop David Malloy presented each woman with a certificate of honor. 
“It is good to be here,” Bishop Malloy said of the in-person event. “Doesn’t this remind us that life is constant and that the Church and Christ are the foundation of who we are as part of our faith and parish experience? These women serve as an inspiration for us to ask ‘what if I do like-wise?’ ”
As accolades were read a general theme was woven throughout. Women were acknowledged for their respect, dignity, and joy in service. 
Their contributions varied greatly and included prayer shawls, music, food, communications, teaching, nursing, cleaning, fundraising, Christmas church decoration, serving in various ministries such as catechist, lector, hospital visitations, Cursillo, and much more. 
Barbara Russell, president of the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women and a 2021 Woman of Inspiration recipient, expressed her appreciation to the nominees. 
“They inspire us and our younger members, too,” she said. “They all help out in their parishes and do it out of love.” 
Kriss Liebetrau, a life-long member of St. Mary Parish in Woodstock, expressed her 
“I am so honored to be included with this amazing sisterhood of women,” she said. “We’re called to serve and it is important to keep it going. St. Mary’s is my home.”
A variety of sports, food, golf, and children’s themed baskets were available as part of a fundraiser. Proceeds from ticket donations will be given to Refuge for Women Chicago, which has a location in Carpentersville. 
It is the nation’s largest non-profit, faith-based organization that provides a continuum of care for women, age 18 and older, who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. 
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