Congregation Appointees Named
by Eileen Dushek-Manthe
Judith Schaefer, OP
Judith “Judy” Schaefer, OP, has been appointed promoter of the Cause of Venerable Samuel Mazzuchelli for the Congregation. She began the appointment Aug. 1. Judy hopes that Pope Francis’ desire to recognize ordinary people as saints will promote the cause for beatification of Fr. Samuel. “I think that at this moment in the Church’s history—and especially in the American Church—we really need an example like Fr. Samuel. Someone who was educated, and who was committed, and who loved God and loved the Church,” said Judy. Part of her preparation to promote the cause will be familiarizing herself with the Mazzuchelli Collection in the Archives at Sinsinawa, meeting with Bishop of Madison Donald J. Hying, and following up on possible cases that will support the cause. The later may include a trip to Italy to follow up with a person who believes they were healed through the intercession of Fr. Samuel. Bishop Hying is very supportive of and devoted to Fr. Samuel. Judy believes he will be a good resource for her in navigating the process and making fruitful connections. Judy also plans to connect with the Dominican men as she carries out this mission. Making Fr. Samuel’s work known will be a mainstay of her efforts. She plans to remain living in Winona, MN. “I feel this is an opportunity to give back to the Congregation,” Judy said. “Fr. Samuel deserves to be researched and investigated and moved as far forward as possible.”
Diane Skibicki, OP
Diane Skibicki, OP, has been named coprioress of St. Dominic Villa. She shares the appointment with Deborah Bomyea, OP, and they began July 8. This particular shared leadership is a new idea for the Congregation. Diane has been at the Villa for six years as person centered care facilitator and care partner. Her new responsibilities will allow her to incorporate all of her previous experiences of the Villa and other skilled care facilities, where she was chaplain and gained experience in dementia care, bringing a rich background of knowledge to enhance the lives of our Sisters at the Villa. Diane will continue as pastoral care partner as well as coordinate liturgies and accompany Sisters to appointments or on outings. Understanding Sisters’ needs and desires is important to offering the best quality of life for them. An important part of her ministry will be “making sure Sisters are provided with their need for Dominican life—prayer, study, and attending chapters and assemblies.” Diane is passionate about every life having a purpose. “You may not know what that purpose is, but as long as you are living, there’s a purpose.” She added, “I really feel called to the elderly. That’s what gives me energy; that gives me life. There is so much learning that can be gained from just listening to their stories and their experiences.” Diane will continue to live in Dubuque until the “2024 group” of Sisters is present at Sinsinawa Mound.