Category Archives: General News

2017 Hall of Honor Inductee the late James Kirby, M.D.

2017 Hall of Honor inductee the late James Kirby, M.D.

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

James, who provided loyal service to Mater Dei, earned his doctoral degree in medicine from Loyola University in 1939.  After establishing his first medical practice in Skokie, Illinois, James then moved to New Haven, Illinois.  While in New Haven, James served as a founding member of the Egyptian Tri-County Health Department, the mayor, the P.T.A. president, and a school board member.  In 1965, James moved to Breese, where he continued to practice medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital until his retirement in 1984.

In keeping with our calling to serve as advocates for Catholic education, James and his supportive wife Nellie opened their home to five students residing in southern Illinois for whom distance would have otherwise prevented them from attending Mater Dei.  An avid fan of both basketball and football, he also served as a “team doctor,” offering his medical expertise for the benefit of Mater Dei’s athletes.  Finally, James both promoted and supported various Mater Dei fundraisers.

As a resident of Breese, James was an active member of St. Dominic Catholic Church, serving as a eucharistic minister, lector, usher, and Parish School of Religion (P.S.R.) teacher.  Additionally, he volunteered as a crossing guard for St. Dominic Catholic School (now All Saints Academy) and as the secretary of the Clinton County Medical Society for twenty years.

James, who passed away April 29, 2005, was blessed with three children, Sheila, Tom and Gary ’81, nine grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.

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).

Winter Athletics Award Winners

Coaches and members of the bowling team, boys basketball team, girls basketball team and cheerleading squad, as well as their families, celebrated their seasons and honored team members during the Winter Athletic Banquet on Sunday, April 23.

Bowling award winners were (from left) Keegan Spirek – Highest Average, Maria Kreke – Best Spare Percentage, and Calvin Kalmer – Most Improved Bowler.

Boys basketball award winners were (from left) Nolan Robben – Offensive Player of the Year, Cordell Beckmann – Coaches Award, Mason Toennies – Most Improved Player, Lucas Theising – Defensive Player of the Year, and Noah Gerdes – MVP.

Cheerleading award winners were (from left) Callie Becker – Co-Outstanding Leadership Award, Carly Etter – MVP, Emily Morris – Co-Outstanding Leadership Award, Alyssa Winkeler – Above and Beyond Award, and Savanna Luitjohan – Most Improved Cheerleader.

Girls basketball award winners were (from left) Margo Lampe – Defensive Player of the Year, Logan Braundmeier – Free Throw Award and Coaches Award, and Kelsey Gerdes – MVP. (Not pictured is Kierra Winkeler – Most Improved Player.)

Indoor Percussion Competes at WGI World Championships

Members of the Mater Dei Indoor Percussion, with instructors Mr. Matt Murphy (far left) and Mr. Blake Korte (far right), pose for a picture prior to their performance at the Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion and Winds World Championships in Dayton, OH, on April 20.

Performing this year’s show, “The Dawn,” under the direction of band director Mr. Blake Korte, our Indoor Percussion closed their season at the Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion and Winds World Championships in Dayton, OH, on April 20.  With a score of 80.163, the Knights missed advancing to the semi-finals by two groups.  In addition to competing, the students enjoyed performances at the finals competition and visited the U.S. Air Force Museum.

Students Enjoy Physics Day at Six Flags

Forty-three students, under the guidance of Physics and Physics Honors teacher Mr. Dwight Thomas, participated in Physics Day at Six Flags on April 21.  Throughout the day, students collected data related to the use of physics in Six Flags’ attractions.

(from left) Tori Voyles, Emily Morris, Ellyn Dorries and Margo Lampe braved Superman Tower of Power.

Maria Kreke (left) and Will Harad (right) enjoyed riding Pandemonium.

 

2017 Hall of Honor Inductee Phyllis (Fox) Berndsen

2017 Hall of Honor inductee Phyllis Berndsen, Class of 1963

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

Following her graduation from Mater Dei in 1963, Phyllis earned a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification.  In her forty-two-year career as a nurse, she served in a variety of areas, including surgery, mental health, intensive care, emergency room care, and maternity.  Phyllis also served in a management position at Clinton County Rural Health.

While serving as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, Illinois, Phyllis answered her calling to lay ministry, as she played a key role in the development of a grief support group, for which she served as a facilitator.  She then served in the hospital’s Pastoral Care Department, providing spiritual support for patients and their families, from 2001-2007.

Phyllis’ passion for lay ministry led her to earn a Certificate of Theology, with a focus in pastoral ministry, in 2005 through the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension (LIMEX) Program.  Since 2007, she has served as the pastoral associate at St. Augustine of Hippo Catholic Church in Breese, Illinois.  In this role, Phyllis assists in ensuring that the administrative, spiritual, and faith formation needs of the parish are met, which includes directing the adult, resurrection, and youth choirs; training parishioners to serve as eucharistic ministers and servers; preparing parishioners for baptism, marriage, and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA); serving as an ex-officio member of St. Augustine’s Finance Committee and Pastoral Council and All Saints Academy’s School Board; serving as a member of St. Augustine’s Stewardship Committee and Parish Partnership Committee; and coordinating St. Augustine’s Grief Ministry Outreach.

As member of St. Augustine of Hippo Catholic Church since 1969, Phyllis also continues to serve as a cantor, eucharistic minister, lector, sacristan, Youth Faith Formation teacher, and Ladies Sodality member.  In addition, she is a member of Community Link’s Human Rights Committee.

Phyllis and her husband Tom are blessed with three children, Scott (’85), Mark (’87), and Angela (’92), and seven grandchildren.

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).

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.