… are white as snow because Jesus takes away all sins.  Isaiah 1:18
… have big eyes to look and choose what is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:21
… have big ears that are quick to listen. James 1:19
… have big feet to hop with thanksgiving.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
… are gentle, kind-hearted and forgiving.  Ephesians 4:32
… eat healthily by filling up on God’s word each day.  Psalm 119:11


Enjoy the final two days of the inaugural Mater Dei Girls Soccer Tournament on April 11 and 15!  The pool-play tournament features Mater Dei, Murphysboro, Springfield Southeast, Fr. McGivney and Highland.  (select this link for the complete schedule)

We welcome current 8th grade students and their families to join the Mater Dei family!  To schedule a registration appointment, please contact Registrar Mrs. Deb Foote (526-7216) to schedule an appointment.  For additional information regarding our spiritual, academic and extracurricular programs; transportation; or scholarships and tuition assistance; please contact Director of Enrollment Mrs. Maria Zurliene (

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2017 Hall of Honor Inductee Rita (Schomaker) Winkeler

2017 Hall of Honor Inductee Rita Winkeler, Class of 1973

Mater Dei is proud to announce that Rita (Schomaker) Winkeler will be inducted into the Mater Dei Hall of Honor on May 5, 2017, with fellow inductees Phyllis (Fox) Berndsen, the late James Kirby, M.D. and Jeff Ripperda, M.D.

Following her graduation from Mater Dei in 1973, Rita Winkeler earned a bachelor’s degree from McKendree College, a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification.  After staying home with her sons, Rita served as a third grade teacher at Carlyle Elementary School for twenty-one years, retiring in 2015.  During her career, Rita assisted with the development of a new teacher mentoring program and implemented a volunteer program that paired third grade students with residents of Carlyle Healthcare Center twice per month.

Inspired by her son Mark, who is profoundly mentally and physically disabled, Rita answered our calling to “serve as our brother’s keeper” by championing the fight to cease the planned closure of Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, Illinois, where Mark has lived since 1994.  Under Rita’s leadership, the “Save Murray Center” campaign, which included fundraisers, rallies, letter writing campaigns, and meetings with legislators in Springfield and Chicago, proved successful, as Murray Center remains open.

Rita continues to advocate for developmentally disabled individuals by serving as the president of Murray Parents Association, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of VOR (a national advocacy organization) and the Advisory Board of Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled.  Moreover, she shares her knowledge and talents for the benefit of Murray Center, Community Link, Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) homes, and parents and guardians caring for developmentally disabled individuals.  Finally, as a nationally certified guardian, Rita serves as a court appointed guardian for three disabled individuals, including her brother.

In recognition of her tireless efforts, Rita has earned the following honors: Public Citizen of the Year from National Association of Social Workers (Southern District), the Front Line Award from Illinois Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled, the Dr. W.P. Plassman Award from Murray Parents Association, the Humanitarian Award from the Centralia Chamber of Commerce, the Key to the City of Salem from the Salem City Council, and the Phenomenal Woman Award from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

As a resident of Bartelso, Rita is an active member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, serving as a lector and member of the Ladies Sodality.

Rita and her husband Bernard (“Jitty”), a 1970 Mater Dei graduate, are blessed with three children: Robert (’99), Mark, and Adam (’06).

Established in 1997, the Hall of Honor recognizes alumni and friends of Mater Dei who have lived their lives as witnesses of her mission.  The celebration will begin at 6:30 pm with Mass in the Mater Dei Chapel, followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. Proceeds benefit the Mater Dei Grant-in-Aid program.  For reservations ($20 per person), please contact the office (618-526-7216).

Fathers & Friends Host Successful Breakfast

Fathers & Friends members hosted a successful breakfast on Palm Sunday, April 9, during which they served over 400 guests. We thank all who enjoyed the delicious meal, our Fathers & Friends members who cooked and served the food, and our Athletic Department members who served drinks and cleaned tables.

We also congratulate Donna Johnson of Breese, who won the quilt raffle.

Pictured are pancake chefs Brian Dumstorff (left) and Deron Haake (right)

Pictured are servers (left to right) Rex Schomaker, Steve Schomaker, Brian Winkeler and Brian Zurliene.


FBLA Tours Busch Stadium and St. Louis Zoo

On April 4, under the guidance of moderator Mrs. Heather Land, thirty-three members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) toured Busch Stadium and St. Louis Zoo.  Students gained insight into the numerous and varied opportunities in the business world, including the different corporate roles that are essential to each business’ success.  Students also enjoyed time “outside of business hours” walking in the shoes of a Cardinal player and traveling on an African safari.

Students of the Quarter – Third Quarter 2016-2017

Students of the Quarter for the third quarter are (front, l to r) freshmen Anna Klostermann and Matthew Fuehne, sophomores Madison Stone and Justin Fritch; (back, l to r) juniors Hannah Timmermann and Zach Sorgea, and seniors Callie Becker and Ethan Schumacher.

The administration and faculty are pleased to announce the Students of Quarter for the third quarter.  Please join us in congratulating these students and their families!

Senior Ethan Schumacher, the son of Martin and Karen Schumacher.  Throughout his academic career, Ethan has enrolled in a variety of honors courses, including Calculus and English Composition 101 and 102 as a senior; and earned recognition as an Illinois State Scholar.  Outside the classroom, he is a four-year member of Scholar Bowl, earning recognition as an IHSA First Team All-Sectional player as a senior; a three-year member of National Honor Society; and a two-year member of Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE).  Finally, Ethan is a member of Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) at St. Rose Catholic Church.  Following graduation, Ethan plans to earn a degree in engineering.

 Senior Callie Becker, the daughter of A.G. and Angie Becker of Breese.  Throughout her academic career, Callie has enrolled in every honors course offered, including Calculus, English Composition 101 and 102, and Physics Honors as a senior; earned awards for her achievement in Spanish III and Spanish IV; and earned recognition as an Illinois State Scholar.  Outside the classroom, she is a four-year member of the cheerleading squad (110% Award as a sophomore and Most Valuable Cheerleader as a junior), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Student Council (current treasurer), and Teens for Life; a three-year member of National Honor Society and Student Ambassadors; a two-year member of Big Brothers Big Sisters; and a first-year member of the spring musical chorus.  Callie also volunteers at Barnes Jewish Hospital and Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) homes.  Finally, Callie is a member of Breese Youth Ministry and Luke 18 confirmation retreat teams, as well as a lector and Eucharistic Minister, at St. Dominic Catholic Church.  Following graduation, Callie plans to enroll in a pre-medicine program, as she aspires to become a neonatologist or pediatrician.

Junior Zachary Sorgea, the son of Scott and Kim Sorgea of O’Fallon.  Since his freshman year, Zachary has enrolled in the honors English, mathematics and science courses, including Algebra II and Trigonometry, American Literature Honors, Chemistry Honors, and Composition Honors as a junior.  Outside the classroom, Zachary is a three-year member of the soccer team and track team and a two-year member of National Honor Society.  He has also volunteered his time making blankets for the residents of Aviston Nursing Home.  Finally, Zachary is a member at St. Nicholas Catholic Church.

Junior Hannah Timmermann, the daughter of Jeff and Lynn Timmermann of Germantown.  Since her freshman year, Hannah has enrolled in the honors English and science courses.  As a junior, in addition to American Literature Honors, Composition Honors, and Chemistry Honors, Hannah is enrolled in AP American History and Pre-Calculus.  She earned awards for her achievement in English I Honors, English II Honors, Geometry Honors, Physical Science Honors, Theology (freshman and sophomore years), and World History.  Hannah was also a winner in the 2016 VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest.  Outside the classroom, she is a three-year member of the golf team (Most Improved Golfer as a sophomore) and a first-year member of National Honor Society.  Finally, Hannah is a greeter and Vacation Bible School volunteer at St. Boniface Catholic Church.

Sophomore Justin Fritch, the son of James and Debbie Fritch of Aviston.  Like his freshman year, Justin is enrolled in honors English and mathematics courses, specifically English II Honors and Geometry Honors.  Outside the classroom, he is a two-year member of the varsity soccer team.  Justin is also a Life Scout, the sixth rank of Boy Scouts, and plans to earn the final rank of Eagle Scout.  As a freshman, he was selected as the Student of the Week.  Finally, Justin serves as a member of Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) at St. Francis Catholic Church.

Sophomore Madison Stone, the daughter of Nathan and Cristy Stone of Breese.  Both her sophomore and freshman years, Madison has enrolled in honors English courses.  As a sophomore, in addition to English II Honors, she is enrolled in Algebra II and Trigonometry and Biology Honors.  Outside the classroom, Madison is a two-year member of the cross country team and homecoming float committee and a first-year member of Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) and Student Ambassadors.  She was selected as the Theology Award recipient as a freshman and as the Student of the Week as a sophomore.  Finally, Madison serves as a member of Breese Youth Ministry and Luke 18 confirmation retreat teams, as well as a server, at St. Dominic Catholic Church.

Freshman Matthew Fuehne, the son of Steve and Gwen Fuehne of Damiansville.  In his first year at Mater Dei, Matthew is enrolled in Algebra I Honors, English I Honors and Physical Science Honors.  Outside the classroom, Matthew is a member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the soccer team, the cast of the spring musical, and the homecoming float committee.  He was also elected as a freshman class officer (secretary).  Finally, Matthew serves as a member of Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM) at St. Damian Catholic Church.

Freshman Anna Klostermann, the daughter of Steve and Jennifer Klostermann of Breese.  In her first year at Mater Dei, Anna is enrolled in Geometry and Spanish II (sophomore level courses), as well as English I Honors and Physical Science Honors.  Outside the classroom, she is a member of chorus, concert band, Liturgical Music Group, marching band, Scholar Bowl, The Lance newspaper staff (club news page editor) and the casts of both the fall play and the spring musical.  As a tubist, Anna was selected to perform in the Clinton County Band and Art Festival and earned a first rating at the IHSA Solo & Ensemble contest for her solo performance.  She also performs in Clinton County Showcase productions.  Finally, Anna serves as a cantor, choir member, pianist, and server at St. Dominic Catholic Church.

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