Carolan and Crapo

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Our communities lost two notable Catholic religious leaders this week. Sister Jeanne Crapo graduated from Dominican University (Rosary College in those days) and then returned to the school in 1961. She played many roles at the school including director of admissions, English teacher, and most recently, archivist.

Wednesday Journal profiled her a decade ago in a piece about three Dominican sisters and their activist roles in Chicago's Civil Rights efforts. Those are our kind of nuns.

Also, on the front line of complex racial issues was Rev. John Carolan. For decades he was the pastor of St. Catherine-St. Lucy Church at Washington and Austin. He was charged with the emotionally fraught effort of blending these two decidedly independent  parishes into one entity back in the 1970s. A gentle leader, he made the merger work and stayed on to lead the new parish, a parish which certainly qualifies as one of Oak Park and Austin's most diverse congregations. He died last week, also at age 93.

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