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Pray For Them

Fr. Rollins E. Lambert


Father Rollins E. Lambert, former pastor of St. Dorothy Parish on Chicago’s South Side, and the first African-American to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago, died Jan. 25 at Holy Family Villa, Palos Heights. He was 86.

Father Lambert, a Chicago native of both African-American and Cherokee Indian heritage, attended Chicago public elementary and high schools and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he converted to Catholicism while studying political science. He graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in 1949.

He was assigned to St. Malachy Parish, 2248 W. Washington Blvd., as assistant pastor for eight years before serving for four years as assistant pastor at St. Dorothy Parish, 450 E. 78th St. For seven years, beginning in 1961, Father Lambert was the assistant director of the Newman apostolate at Calvert House on the campus of the University of Chicago. He returned there for a two-year stint as director from 1970-72. In the period between the Calvert House assignments, Father Lambert returned to the South Side, first as pastor of St. James Parish, 2907 S. Wabash Ave., for a year, then as pastor of St. Dorothy Parish for two years.

In 1975, Father Lambert was made an advisor on African Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Social Development and World Peace Department. He served in this Washington, D.C. post until 1987. He followed this with successive oneyear terms in archdiocesan offices, first as director of the Office of Human Relations and then as associate director of community services.

From 1988 until his retirement in 1991, Father Lambert served as a dean in Vicariate VI, a geographical area covering Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs, with residence at St. Joseph Parish in Homewood.

Sr. M. Aldona Rychter


Felician Sister Mary Aldona Rychter, 87, died Jan. 1 in Our Lady of Angels Convent.

A member of the Felician Sisters for 70 years, Sister Aldona was a primary-grade teacher in Illinois and Alabama for 39 years and she served as a business clerk at a hospital in Centralia, Ill., for 20 years.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she ministered at St. John of God (1941-51), Good Shepherd (1951- 58), Our Lady of the Gardens (1958-63) and St. Linus in Oak Lawn (1963-64). From 1980-85, she was administrator of the infirmary for Felician Sisters in Chicago.

Sister Francis Xavier Hetzel


School Sister of St. Francis Francis Xavier Hetzel, 87, died Jan. 2 in Milwaukee.

A Wisconsin native, she entered the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1938.

Sister Francis Xavier was a teacher, director, assistant principal, administrator, pastoral minister, director of religious education and tutor in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Francis Xavier taught at St. Bernardine School, Forest Park (1942-50) and at St. Benedict High School (1950-57).

Sister James Jeffers


Daughter of Charity Sister James (Elizabeth Ann) Jeffers, 72, died Jan. 5 in Chicago.

Sister James was born in South Bend, Ind., and worked as a secretary at the University of Notre Dame for five years after high school. She entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis in 1960.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she resided at St. Patrick School in 1966-67 while she finished her master’s degree in English at De- Paul University, and she taught at St. Louise de Marillac High School, Northfield, (1969-72; 1977-94); and Loyola Academy, Wilmette (1994-2001). She also taught in Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and served as local superior both in Mississippi and Northfield.

In 2001, Sister James was missioned to Marillac Social Center in Chicago as a teacher of reading and literacy. She continued in this ministry until the time of her death.

Sister James is survived by her sisters, Monica Jeffers and Judy Quinn of South Bend, Ind., as well as many nieces and nephews.

Fr. Roy Ontiveros


Carmelite Father Roy Ontiveros, 76, died suddenly Jan. 2, in Tucson, Ariz.

Fr. Roy, a Chicago native, attended Mount Carmel High School before entering Mount Carmel Preparatory Seminary, Niagara Falls, Ontario. He professed vows as a Carmelite in 1950 and was ordained in 1978 and he served as pastor at several parishes.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, he was director of Carmelite Carefree Village retirement community in Darien and ministered at Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein

He is survived by his brothers Robert and Daniel Ontiveros and nieces and nephews.

Sr. Helen Scherr


School Sister of St. Francis Helen (Arnoldus) Scherr, 88, died Jan. 2 in Campbellsport, Wis. A Wisconsin native, she was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis June 13, 1947.

Sister Helen was a teacher and licensed practical nurse in Illinois, Mississippi and Wisconsin. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Helen taught at St. Cyprian School, River Grove (1950-64), and St. Maurice School (1966-68), and served as a nurse at Cabrini Hospital (1974- 87) and in various nursing homes in Chicago (1987-2000).