Churches, organizations, recognize the contribution of women
The Herald-News continues its long-standing tradition of recognizing women and the valuable contributions they make to their communities.
The women recognized through the Council of Catholic Women will be honored at a Mass and luncheon April 27 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.
The 2019 theme is “Blessed Women Serving in Faith.”
The following women are being recognized as the 2018 “Woman of the Year” by their churches and organizations.
Sue Bell, St. Patrick Church
of Wilton Center
Bell joined the parish in 2003 and has been valued member of the choir and counting teams and has cared for the altar linens. In previous years, Bell taught religious education.
Bell lives in Manteno and has two married children, six grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Dorothy Claire, Immaculate
Conception Parish, Morris
Claire is active in many capacities for the parish and CCW. She has been on the board for CCW as secretary for five years, is on the hospitality team at the church and she serves as a Eucharistic minister.
For seven years and counting, Claire has washed the purificators for the parish. She is also a past nursing home minister. Claire has been part of the funeral luncheon committee for 10 years and currently is a co-chairman.
Claire has four children Paul (Kathi) Johnson, Paula Johnson (Jeff), Phillip (Jayne) and Phyllis Delaney (Tom). She also has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
St. Anne Parish, Crest Hill
A member of St Anne’s for 58 years, Contos has served as secretary for the past two years and will be co-president for the 2019-20 year. She also serves on the St Anne/St. Ambrose Parish Council.
Contos is a Eucharistic minister, lector and money counter for the parish.
She also taught religious education for three years at St Mary Nativity in Joliet, and belongs to the committees for the parish pancake breakfast and picnic.
She works for Will County and has been married to her husband, Larry, for 30 years. They have four children, one grandson and are looking forward to the birth of their granddaughter in early September.
St. Jude Church, New Lenox
A 54-year member of St. Jude, DiMonte has helped with projects and functions involving parish dinners, bake sales, funeral brunches, and CCW fundraisers and meetings. She often prepares her Italian specialty dishes, especially for the annual St. Joseph’s Table event.
DiMonte has prepared dinner for the parish priests four times a week for many years. She also cooks for special occasions and when guests, especially the bishop, visits.
In addition, she makes the taco meat for the annual CCW Harvest Luncheon.
An accomplished seamstress, DiMonte has shared this talent within the parish by assisting with liturgical sewing projects.
DiMonte raised children John and Joanne at St. Jude, and is the grandmother of five grandchildren.
Jan Garbin, St. Mary
Immaculate Parish, Plainfield
In addition to twice being a past CCW secretary, historian and longtime member of the parish, Garbin helps with funeral luncheons and other church organizations when needed.
She also participates in the SMI Bible study and special programs.
Garbin has been a wife for more than 50 years. She is also a mother and grandmother.
Pam Hunte, Zonta Club of Joliet
Hunte is a retired anthropologist/international consultant who has worked with international teams to carry out policy-relevant research in education, migration and child labor. She uses her vast knowledge and experience to lead international advocacy projects and campaigns for the Zonta Club of the Joliet Area.
She recently served as the key-note speaker at the 2019 Zonta Area 5 Spring Workshop, presenting valuable insight into the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan.
Hunte grew up in Joliet, and attended Farragut Elementary School and Hufford Junior High School. She graduated from Joliet Central High School in 1965, then went to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she majored in anthropology and special education.
After graduation, Hunte entered the Peace Corps and volunteered in Afghanistan for two years. She taught English at a boys’ boarding school in the northern city of Mazar Sharif.
After learning the local language of Dari (Afghan Persian), Hunte worked as a translator for a village health study.
She then pursued international development and continued to work with the United Nations and nongovernment organizations in Afghanistan during the many years of conflict, and also in Pakistan in Afghan refugee camps.
Hunte earned her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and taught anthropology at the University of Connecticut/Storrs. She also worked with the United Nations and the World Bank, not only Afghanistan, but in other countries in Asia, primarily with education and health projects.
Hunte conducted poverty assessments in Tajikistan and Mongolia, and worked with income-generating projects in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.
When Hunte retired, she returned to her home in Joliet. She enjoys gardening, reading, volunteering, family history and traveling.
Hunte has been a Joliet Zonta member since January 2008, sponsored by treasured friend Emmie Ostrom. As an active Zonta member, Hunte serves as the international relations/UN chair and member of the spring fundraising committee.
Jean Jun, St. Mary’s, Minooka
Jun has been a member of St Mary’s CCW for over 15 years and a member of the parish for over 42 years. She has been the chairwoman of Minooka Helping Hands Food Pantry for the last five years.
For the last 2 ½ years she has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA are the only volunteers sworn in by a judge to advocate for abused and neglected children.
Jun organizes greeter’s schedules for 7:30 a.m. Mass, is on the parish service committee, former CCD aide and is a frequent volunteer.
She has been married to John for 48 years, is the mother of Jonathan, Robert and Jennifer and the grandmother of Addison, Brielle and Max.
Rita Kubalewski, St. Jude Parish, Joliet
A member of the parish for 40 years, Kubalewski, as a member of the CCW, has served in various ministries and social functions.
She has been an active worker in the pro life movement and worked as a teacher’s aide for the St. Jude faith formation program for several years. She also works at the St. John the Baptist food pantry, distributing food each week and volunteers at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home in the music therapy department.
Kubalewski was also a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, serving as its secretary for many years.
Married to Jim for 50 years, Kubalewski is the mother of five children and 13 grandchildren.
Jean Lund, The Church of St. Anthony, Joliet
A member of The Church of St. Anthony for 75 years, Lund is a Eucharistic minister and a member of the money counting team and CCW.
Lund volunteers for church dinners and helps decorate for church functions. She also volunteers at the Joliet Catholic Academy bookstore and Silver Cross Hospital Encore Shop.
She and her husband Ron married at St. Anthony’s. They will be celebrate 55 years of marriage this year. They have three daughters and 10 grandchildren.
Crystal Malone, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Mu Omega Chapter, Joliet
Malone is the chairman of the chapter’s #CAP Program which is the abbreviation for College Admissions Process. This program is designed to assist students in their efforts to enter college by providing a hands-on approach that includes all the steps from researching various colleges to actually completing the application process.
She is the chairman of the chapter’s Connection committee, which studies issues that affect the quality of life, and initiate political change. She is also on the Board of Directors of the chapter’s Tealight Foundation and serves as the fundraising chairman.
Malone is a graduate of Howard University. She received a Masters of Dance at Brockport University in New York and her degree of Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University.
She is an attorney and a member of the Women Lawyers Association and The Black Bar Association. She sometimes teaches at Generation Dance and also instructs at Living Water Yoga.
Kimberly Oldham, St Dennis Church, Lockport
Oldham joined the CCW Board in 2015 first as hospitality coordinator and now as Treasurer. She is a graduate of the Biblical Institute of the Diocese of Joliet and participates in the Word Alive Bible Study.
Faithfully grouping weekly after making her Cursillo Weekend in 2012, she has also helped build three homes in Clarksdale, Mississippi through Habitat for Humanity.
Oldham is active in the Media Ministry and has participated in Renew, Generations of Faith, Life in the Spirit, Alpha and Encounter. One of her greatest joys was traveling to Israel.
She and her husband David have three children, three granddaughters and one great-grandson.
Maureen Peterson, Sacred Heart Church, Joliet
Peterson volunteers at the weekly luncheon served to the surrounding community, serving as waitress and then helping to clean up after the event. She is also a volunteer at the church’s First Sunday breakfast.
She also works with the parish team at Daybreak Center in Joliet, is an usher at Sunday morning services and is a member of the CCW.
Peterson is a waitress at United Airlines. She and her husband Joseph have two sons.
Dolores Schury, St. Mary’s, Mokena
Schury is a 15-year member of St. Mary Mokena Council of Catholic Women and serves as a Eucharistic minister to hospitalized and homebound parishioners.
When the Council began the vocation cross program Schury served as a facilitator. In this program a cross rotates among CCW members who pray daily for those pursuing a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
Schury helps with many parish activities: selling tickets; hosting receptions; collecting items for the Catholic Charities Donation Center; and assisting with food prep for the Daybreak Center. This year Schury assists with the hospitality committee.
She has four children, eleven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Jill A. Skole, executive director, Agape Missions, NFP, Joliet
Skole is an accomplished professional in the area of social work and has dedicated her time to serving marginalized populations within the Chicagoland area. She began her leadership in the community after graduating with a masters in social work from Aurora University in 1990.
Skole helped to start P.A.D.S. then Daybreak Center, becoming executive director position at Agape Missions. She has been instrumental in the mission to help those living with HIV/AIDS as well as working with individuals exiting correctional institutions.
From being an adjunct professor, transitional housing coordinator, case manager, substance abuse counselor, Skole continues to advocate, educate, and care for the clients she serves.
Sue Vaccaro, St. Ambrose Church, Crest Hill
Being a part of the St. Ambrose Parish and the CCW has been a rewarding experience for her. Vaccaro is also the chairperson of the Respect Life Committee and is very dedicated to the ministry in which she serves.
Vaccaro is a mother and a grandmother and is happily awaiting more grandbabies later this year.
Jill Walsh, St. Ann Catholic Church, Channahon
A member of St. Ann for over 20 years, Walsh has served the parish for four years as the office manager and pastor assistant.
Walsh extends herself to make church and CCW events run smoothly.
Christine Warriner, St. Rose of Lima, Wilmington
Warriner is a lifelong member of St. Rose and a graduate of St. Rose School.
She recently retired as a labor and delivery room nurse and enjoys spending her new-found free time volunteering as an usher at Mass, working at the church’s Kuzma Cottage food pantry, serving at parish funeral luncheons and pitching in wherever help is needed.
Warriner and her husband Gene have raised three children, also graduates of St. Rose, and have five grandchildren whom they see very frequently.