Sister Verena Gunzelman dies March 30

Sister Verena Gunzelman, an Adorer of the Blood of Christ, died Thursday, March 30, at the Wichita Center. She was 101 years old and had lived 83 years as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, April 3 in the Chapel of the New Covenant with Father Tom Welk, presiding.
She was born and baptized in Aleppo. Her parents Peter and Mary (Betzen) Gunzelman later moved the family to Garden Plain.
Verena’s love for music was encouraged by her father who bought her a piano and arranged for lessons when she was in fifth grade.
She entered the ASC community in 1931, at the age of 16, a member of the third group of postulants for the newly established Wichita Province. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 2, 1933, and final vows on Aug. 10, 1938.
Sister Verena earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Alverno College in Milwaukee, and her master’s degree from Notre Dame University in Indiana.
Her 40-year ministry in education was in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri. Her students ranged in age from primary children to senior citizens. Her additional duties included giving piano lessons, serving as principal, organist and choir director.
During the next 20 years, Sister Verena’s ministry consisted of pastoral services in several parishes. She gravitated to people who needed music in their lives: in hospitals, in hospice care, at home alone, in retirement homes, in prison and with the Harvest House Singers whose membership came from 18 parishes in the Diocese of Wichita. She occasionally found time to paint on canvas. For her, art was another means to show God’s goodness.
Sister Verena retired to the Wichita Center in 1998. At her 95th birthday, following the singing of “Happy Birthday,” she sang back, “I thank you, I do,” finishing with a bow. She recently celebrated her 101st birthday with family and her ASC sisters.
Sister Verena is survived by nieces, nephews, other family members, and her ASC community.
Donations in honor of Sister Verena may be sent to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region Mission Center, 4233 Sulphur Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63109, or they can be made at

Father Van Leeuwen dies in India Feb. 28 at age 81

Father Joseph Van Leeuwen, 81, a Passionist priest serving in Kochi, India, died Feb. 28, in Kochi.
A memorial funeral Mass was celebrated Saturday, April 1, at St. Francis Church in St. Paul, where he was buried.
Father Joseph was born Norman Eugene Van Leeuwen on January 28, 1936, in St. Paul to Anthony L. “Tony” and Eugenia Ann (Smith) Van Leeuwen. He attended a one-room school there before moving with his family to Walnut.
After graduating from St. Patrick High School in Walnut, he entered the Passionist Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 18. He made his first vows as a Passionist on July 9, 1957, and changed his name to Joseph. Father Van Leeuwen was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1964.
He served as provincial secretary, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Chicago, Illinois; pastor at Holy Cross Immaculata Parish in Cincinnati, Ohio; Newman Center chaplain at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois; pastor of the African American Parish in Birmingham, Alabama; and had spent the past 20 years at the Passionist Mission in Southern India.
Survivors include two brothers, Rodman C. “Rod” Van Leeuwen and his wife, Twyla, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Bernard “Ben” Van Leeuwen of Bloomington, Indiana; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by one brother, William Joseph Van Leeuwen; and one sister, Clara Frederick.
Online condolences may be left at

Obituaries, April 7, 2017

Frank D., 86, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, February 10.
Elizabeth Catherine Morehead Tosh, 83, St. Joseph, Yates Center, Feb. 22.
Donald L., 76, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Feb. 26.
Father Joseph, C.P., 81, St. Francis, St. Paul, Feb. 28.
Richard Thomas, Sr., 57, St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita, March 7.
Beverly Clarice (Moore), 82, Mother of God, Oswego, March 8.
Derek J., 26, St. Anthony, Wellington, March 8.
Donald Otto, Sr., St. Patrick, Chanute, March 9.
Aubrey Ann, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, March 9.
Mary Carolyn (Corrigan), 89, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, March 9.
Theresa, 89, St. Mark, St. Mark, March 9.
Mary Barbara, 102, St. Bridget, Scammon, March 9.
Rosella, 85, St. Thomas, Wichita, March 9.
Kevin Craig, 67, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, March 9.
Richard D. “Dick,” 81, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, March 10.
Greta Alice, 78, All Saints, Wichita, March 10.
Michael C., 92, Sacred Heart, Anthony, March 11.
Francis R., 87, St. Cecilia, Haysville, March 11.
Cecelia Katherine, 90, St. Mary, Aleppo, March 11.
Mary Lou (Patry), 89, Holy Spirit, Goddard, March 11.
Robert E., 84, St. Rose, Mt. Vernon, March 11.
Betty A., 90, St. John, El Dorado, March 12.
Arturo, Jr., 78, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hutchinson, March 12.
William Harry “Bill,” 82, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, March 12.
John Benjamin, Jr., 66, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, March 13.
Kevin A., 62, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, March 13.
Katherine, 88, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hutchinson, March 13.
Ingrid Ann Alexander, 58, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, March 14.
Barbara L. (Seck), 68, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, March 14.
Evangeline (Tejeda) “Vangie,” 86, St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita, March 16.
Flora Marie Tress “Flo,” 84, St. Joseph, Yates Center, March 16.
Patricia Ann (Day), 63, St. John, Iola, March 16.
David L., 76, St. Joseph, Andale, March 17.
Anna Marie, 91, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, March 17.
Gearl D. “Jerry,” 87, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, March 17.
Frank T., 82, St. Anthony/St. Rose, Wellington, March 18.
Donald W., 54, St. Peter, Schulte, March 18.
Ruth A. (Horsch), 75, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, March 19.
LeRoy Parick, 73, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, March 19.
Andrea Su (Flynn) Potts “Andi,” 72, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, March 19.
Mary Elizabeth “Beth,” 77, Holy Name, Coffeyville, March 19.
Emily, 72, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, March 19.
Vesta Marie, 66, St. John, Clonmel, March 19.
Quincy W., 92, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, March 19.
Carol J., 83, Sacred Heart, Anthony, March 20.
Lucia Hermenia, 84, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, March 20.
Nancee Jo, 73, St. Joseph, Wichita, March 20.
Louis “Big Lou,” 92, St. Joseph, Andale, March 21.
Eugene F., 78, Diamondhead, Mississippi, March 22.
Mary Byrne (McDonough), 91, Adorers of the Blood of Christ Chapel, Wichita, March 22.
Mary Jo, 83, St. Ambrose, Erie, March 24.
Lorraine Catherine, 94, All Saints, Wichita, March 25.
Thelbert Leroy “Cop,” 82, St. Martin, Piqua, March 25.
Barbara (Roths), 92, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, March 25.
Gail, 97, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, March 26.
Margaret Ann (Hochenauer), 85, Wichita, March 26.
Jeanine Ann, 82, St. Mary, Derby, March 26.
Leo A., 92, St. Margaret Mary, Wichita, March 27.
Manuel, Jr., “Jay,” 81, St. Mary, Derby, March 27.
Luella Mae, 77, St. John, Iola, March 27.
Florence L., 78, St. Patrick, Kingman, March 27.
Marvin Joseph, 68, St. Mary, Newton, March 29.
Manuel R., 95, St. Anthony/St. Rose, Wellington, March 29.

Father O’Hare dies March 12 at 93

Father Donal J. O’Hare, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 62 years, died Sunday, March 12 at age 93.
A rosary and vigil was prayed Thursday, March 16, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday in the cathedral.
The Most Rev. James Conley, bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and a close friend of Father O’Hare, will be the celebrant and homilist for the Mass. Bishop Conley is a former priest of the Diocese of Wichita.
Father O’Hare was born on Sept. 29, 1923, in Ireland. He studied at All Hallows Seminary in Dublin and was ordained there on June 20, 1954.
He served as a chaplain in Parsons after arriving in the Diocese of Wichita in November of 1954. Five years later, in 1959, he was named an associate at Saint Patrick Parish in Wichita. He also taught at St. Mary’s Cathedral High School while in Wichita.
Father O’Hare was named pastor of St. Ambrose in Erie and of St. Joseph in South Mound in 1965. He was moved to Holy Name in Coffeyville in 1969 where he was pastor until his return as pastor of St. Patrick, Wichita, in 1984. He was named pastor of St. Anthony/St. Rose in Wellington in 1995 and retired the next year.

Sister Sylvia Perreault dies at age 98

Sister Sylvia Perreault, 98, died March 10 in Wichita. She had been a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph for nearly 80 years.
Funeral services were held Monday, March 13, with a Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, March 14, at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita.
She was born on Feb. 12, 1919, in rural Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, the eighth of 14 children born to Elodia Landry and Albert Perreault. At the age of 19 she entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Crookston, Minnesota, and then went to France for her novitiate at Bourg.
World War II was declared shortly thereafter and she remained in occupied France throughout the war until 1946. When she returned to Minnesota she began a ministry of domestic service caring for school children at the Academy in Crookston, Minnesota, Rainy River, Ontario, and Somerset, Wisconsin.
In 1954 she responded to a call to serve at the Indian Mission in North Dakota for the next 33 years. During her last 17 years of that ministry she showed her special gifts of caring for the mentally handicapped, elderly homebound and handicapped people in their homes and the apartment complex where she resided.
In 2013, she moved to Marian Hall at the Wichita Center of the Congregation of St. Joseph and spent her final years in a ministry of prayer.
In addition to the members of her religious community, she is survived by her sister Florence Moen and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of St. Joseph Dear Neighbor Ministries or StepStone 3700 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67218. Devorss Flanagan-Hunt Mortuary.

Obituaries, March 17, 2017

Mary Ann, 77, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Feb. 22.
Albert N. “Al,” 94, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Feb. 23.
Bernadette L. “Bunny,” 78, St. Patrick, Kingman, Feb. 24.
Joseph A. “Joe,” 74, Christ the King, Wichita, Feb. 24.
Charles E., 89, St. Mary, Newton, Feb. 25.
Paul Anthony, 50, St. Paul/Newman, Wichita, Feb. 25.
Colleen I., 85, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Feb. 26.
Marcelina, 97, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Feb. 26.
Paul Leonard, 75, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 27,
Charles Admirl, 92, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Feb. 28.
Maurice Lee, 79, Holy Name, Bushton, Feb. 28.
Darrel Louis, 72, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 28.
Wesson Ray, 2-month-old son of Gavan R. and Leslie A. Link, St. Paul, Lyons, Feb. 28.
Carl J. “Jim,” 87, St. Joseph, McPherson, March 1.
Michael D. “Mike,” 63, St. Patrick, Parsons, March 1.
Inez Ruth King, 83, St. Joseph, Humboldt, March 3.
Julie J. (Unruh), 50, Holy Name, Winfield, March 3.
Terrence Leo “Terry,” 60, St. Paul, Lyons, March 3.
Mary Ann, St. Patrick, Chanute, March 4.
Carole Ann, 73, Holy Name, Coffeyville, March 4.
Carolyn Lucille Giefer, 72, St. Rose, Mt. Vernon, March 4.
Marie Arlene Bachman, 86, St. Mary, Newton, March 5.
Armella Marie, 85, St. Patrick, Harper, March 5.
Henry B., 92, St. Joseph, Ost, March 5.
Dudley W. “Bill,” 76, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, March 6.
Larry Wayne II, 54, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, March 6.
Donald Louis, 87, Catholic Care Center, Wichita, March 8.

Michael Novak, noted theologian, philosopher and author, dies at 83

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Michael Novak, a Catholic philosopher, theologian and author who was highly regarded for his religious scholarship and intellectual independence, died Feb. 17 at his home in Washington. He was 83.
His daughter Jana Novak told The Washington Post the cause of death was complications from colon cancer.
A funeral Mass is to be celebrated Feb. 25 in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
Since last August, Novak had been a faculty member of The Catholic University of America’s Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics in Washington. He joined the business school’s Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship last year as a distinguished visiting fellow.
He taught special topics in management and gave a series of lectures on campus on the topic of human ecology.
Novak studied at Catholic University in 1958 and 1959 and had lectured at the university several times prior to last year’s appointment. John Garvey, the university’s president, remembered him as “a man of great intellectual honesty.”
“Unlike some scholars, Michael Novak made it a point to reflect on new and different topics, always with a fresh and dynamic perspective,” Garvey said in a statement. “We are immensely grateful that he could end his academic life as he began it, as a member of our community.”
Andreas Widmer, the Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Center’s director, recalled Novak as a mentor and described him as the “founding father” of the discussion about the intersection of faith and economic activity.
“My colleagues and I have been touched by his kindness and humility. He was quick to encourage others and was generous with his time,” Widmer commented. “You would never have known from working with him that this was a man who had counseled popes and changed the course of history. It meant so much to me this past year to have Michael, who has long been a mentor and friend, beside me as a colleague at Catholic University.”
Upon his appointment to Catholic University of America as a visiting fellow, Novak commented on the university’s commitment to promote Catholic social doctrine as a means to human flourishing. “If, as a teacher you want to reach the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, many of whom are poor, where better to be?”
In 2006, Novak and his wife, Karen Laub-Novak, established two scholarship funds to support philosophy graduate students, one in his name for students working on the intersection of philosophy and religion or public policy and one in her name for students interested in the philosophy of beauty.
His wife, a professional artist and illustrator, died of cancer in August 2009.
The author of more than 50 books who was highly regarded for his religious scholarship and intellectual independence, Novak shared his insights into the spiritual foundations of economic and political systems and the moral ideals of democratic capitalism in syndicated columns and innumerable lectures, articles and commentaries.
Novak wrote on topics as varied as capitalism, human rights, labor union history, sports, peace, families and the role of churches in a pluralistic world. His books have been translated into every major Western language, as well as Bengali, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.
He considered his greatest honor to be that St. John Paul II called him a friend, as did Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.
Novak, whose 1982 book “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism” changed the public conversation about the benefits of capitalism, was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1994.

Sr. Maria Guerrero dies Feb. 22

Sister Maria Guerrero, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, died Feb. 22. She was 90 years old.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, Feb. 27, at the Wichita Center of the Congregation of St. Joseph.
Sr. Maria, who originally took the name of Sister Mary Gregory, was born on July 21, 1926, in Wichita, the third of eight children born to Martin and Refugio Hernandez Guerrero.
She attended Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Wichita. Upon graduation from Cathedral High School she attended business school and was engaged in secretarial work for the Veterans Administration and Boeing for several years.
She was received into the Congregation of St. Joseph on July 26, 1950.
Because of her previous clerical experience, her religious ministry began in the hospital offices in Del Norte, Colorado, and Halstead, Kansas. She later studied at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, where she received a bachelor’s degree in education.
Over the next 46 years, she taught in schools of the Diocese of Wichita, and schools in Oklahoma and California. In 1999 she retired to Mt. St. Mary Convent in Wichita but continued to serve as director of religious education for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Wichita from 2002-2003. From 2002-2008 she was Eucharistic minister at Via-Christi St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita.
Her remaining years in retirement were lived at Marian Hall in the Wichita Center and Marian Hall West at the ASC Wichita Center. Memorial contributions may be made to Dear Neighbor Ministries or StepStone, 3700 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67218.

Obituaries, March 3, 2017

Elwanda Sylvia “Skippy,” 95, St. Martin, Caldwell, Feb. 2.
Luis E., 84, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Feb. 3.
Josefina, 92, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Feb. 5.
Theresa Black “Sherry,” 91, Mary Queen of Angels, Fort Scott, Feb. 7.
Gilbert N., 92, Sacred Heart, Colwich, Feb. 8.
Eileen, 87, St. Patrick, Chanute, Feb. 8.
Martin, 91, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Feb. 10.
Alice, 80, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Feb. 10.
Tito C., 77, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Feb. 10.
Stella M. (Becker), 99, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Feb. 10.
Cecilia A. (Potter), 75, Parsons, Feb. 12.
Raphael Zephyr, Sr., 92, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Feb. 12.
Bernadine B. (Roths), 94, St. Joseph, Andale, Feb. 13.
LuAnne Joan, 71, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Feb. 14.
Joe Lee, 62, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Feb. 15.
Kenneth “Kenny,” 78, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Feb. 15.
Dolores Helen, 90, St. Joseph, McPherson, Feb. 15.
Catherine, 91, Sacred Heart, Fredonia, Feb. 15.
Lester G. “Festus,” 68, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Feb. 16.
Angeline B. (Newman) “Angie,” 92, St. Joseph, Conway Springs, Feb. 18.
Aaron E., 74, St. Joseph, Arma, Feb. 18.
Jo Ann, 82, St. John, El Dorado, Feb. 18.
Cynthia L. “Cindy,” 53, St. Michael, Girard, Feb. 19.
Everett Lonnie, Jr., 74, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 19.
Dean Bernard, 91, St. John, Clonmel, Feb. 20.
Deborah “Sue,” 61, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Feb. 21.

Spacil was a dedicated educator and principal for public, Catholic schools

Long-time educator Paul E. Spacil died Friday, Jan. 27, in Wichita. He was 71.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for him Thursday, Feb. 2, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Wichita.
Spacil retired in 2011 after 42 years of service as a teacher and administrator for the Wichita public schools and for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.
“Paul Spacil was not only a true gentleman, he was a dedicated lifelong educator as principal at Holy Savior Catholic Academy and All Saints Catholic School in Wichita,” said Bob Voboril, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Wichita.
“As principal, Paul saw his role as advocating for his teachers and students, and he insisted that the Catholic School Office help him find those resources. Paul treasured the opportunity to bring his faith to the workplace, and he was always willing to collaborate with other educators to help his students.”
In addition to Spacil’s service as an educator, he also served as Credit Union of America Board chairman up to his death.
Spacil was born in Great Bend and raised in Ellinwood, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Mildred (Simpson) Spacil; sisters, June I. (Marty) Harshberger, and Judith L. Spacil. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Candi (Ruiz); a son, Todd, of Wichita; a brother, Leon (Carole) Spacil of Omaha, Nebraska, and a sister, Ann Haremza of Larned.
Memorials were established with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 645 N. 119th St. W., Wichita, KS 67235 and Paul Spacil Donations, Credit Union of America, P.O. Box 47528, Wichita, KS 67201.

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