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Pray For Them

Fr. Thomas McNeff


Father Thomas McNeff, 60, pastor since 2007 of St. Jane de Chantal Parish, died Dec. 2 at McNeal Hospital in Berwyn of cancer.

Father McNeff was a native Chicagoan and attended public elementary and secondary schools, including two years at City College of Chicago, before enrolling in Niles College at Loyola University. He graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary and was ordained in 1977.

Deacon Richard Hudzik credits Father McNeff with being very welcoming. “His chief interest was to make people feel at home. He was all about openness,” Hudzik said. Hudzik, who later worked with Father McNeff in adult education at St. Maria Goretti Parish while studying for the permanent diaconate, said that Father McNeff had great interest in the liturgy and in doing everything possible to enhance the church environment to enrich the liturgical experience for his parishioners.

For three years beginning in 1977, Father McNeff served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Hometown, and then became the associate director of campus ministry at the University of Illinois’ Circle Campus for two years.

From 1982-95, Father McNeff served as associate pastor at St. Fabian in Bridgeview, St. Rosalie in Harwood Heights, St. Anne in Hazel Crest, St. Cajetan on the Southwest Side and St. Terrence in Alsip. He was named pastor of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Schiller Park in 1995.

For a brief period at the beginning of 2007, Father McNeff was associate pastor at St. George Parish in Tinley Park. In July of 2007, he was named pastor of St. Jane de Chantal Parish and was serving in that capacity at the time of his death.

Father McNeff is survived by four brothers, one sister, three stepbrothers and a stepsister.

Sr. Emmanuel Kattner


School Sister of St. Francis Emmanuel (Betty) Kattner, 75, died Oct. 11 in Chicago.

A Chicago native, Sister Emmanuel was raised in St. Benedict Parish (Irving Park) and attended St. Benedict School and Alvernia High School. She entered the congregation in 1954.

She served as a teacher at several schools throughout the Midwest, including many years at St. Boniface in Stewart, Neb., where she eventually became principal.

In 1995, while spending a summer in Chicago with her family during a change in assignments, she was diagnosed with cancer and chose to spend her remaining years here. She was an active member of St. Benedict Parish, offered hospitality to her religious sisters, family and friends and tutored children, as well as finding other ways to help people despite weekly chemotherapy.

She is survived by her sisters Rita, Marianne and Therese Kattner and her brother Thomas.

Sr. Marie Theodore Girten


Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Marie Theodore Girten, 86, died Nov. 3 in Sinsinawa, Wis.

A Chicago native, she made her first religious profession in 1946. She taught music and served as principal organist for the parishes at which she taught for 23 years. She ministered as principal organist at the motherhouse, in Sinsinawa, for 36 years and as an assistant in the motherhouse pharmacy for 20 years. She served in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

She is survived by two sisters, Ruth Mieling and Therese Breiter, and a brother, Walter Girten.

Sr. Anne Kamieniecki


School Sister of Notre Dame Anne (Annuncia) Kamieniecki, 99, died Oct. 20 at Resurrection Life Center in Chicago.

She was born in what was Vilno, Russia, and is today Vilnius, Lithuania. She came to Kenosha, Wis., with her parents as a young child.

In 1926, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame and then taught for 30 years in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before coming to Chicago in 1960. For the next 25 years, she taught in schools of the archdiocese including St. John Cantius, St. Ambrose and St. James in Highwood.

When she was 75 years old, Sister Anne moved to the Academy of Our Lady, where she worked in community service and where she eventually retired.

Fr. Franklin Tasker


Carmelite Father Franklin (Robert James) Tasker, 81, died Nov. 8 in Florida.

A Chicago native, he attended Holy Rosary School and Mount Carmel High School. After graduating, he entered the Carmelites and continued his studies. He was ordained in 1956.

His ministry as a chaplain and pastor took him to Houston; Ontario, Canada; and the Joliet diocese.

Father Tasker is survived by a brother, George, and a sister, Irene Vitt.