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The Golden Rose Award

St. John Cantius Parish has had a long tradition of presenting the Golden Rose to an individual, family or institution which has displayed an outstanding example of living, promoting or implementing Catholic teaching. The Golden Rose is a precious and sacred ornament made of pure gold, which on Laetare Sunday popes have often blessed and conferred upon persons distinguished for their faith and loyalty to the Holy See, as a mark of esteem and paternal affection. The golden flower given on this day shows forth Christ and His Kingly Majesty. The thorns and red color of real roses tell of His Passion, to which the Prophet Isaiah alludes: “Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress?” (Isaiah 63:2) Thus, this Sunday on which the rose is blessed is often called Rose Sunday.

The Golden Rose was presented on Laetare Sunday, March 19th, 2023 at the 9 a.m. Mass.

Congratulations to Rosemary Hackett, the 2023 Golden Rose Recipient!

This year, at a time when the pro-life cause must be taken to our state level, St. John Cantius Parish, wishes to highlight an individual and an organization on the front lines of the fight against the culture of death in our state.

Rosemary Hackett, the daughter of Mrs. Mary Anne Hackett of Catholic Citizens of Illinois, has followed in her mother’s footsteps in taking action and stepping up—when it counts and where it’s needed.

Rosemary Hackett been involved in the pro-life movement just all her life. She has led Illinois Right to Life as the President for over 15 years. Under her guidance and leadership Illinois Right to Life has become the premiere organization dedicated to the pro-life cause in Illinois, and even beyond.

Under Rosemary’s leadership, the organization has regularly been a voice for life in local, state, and national news-media. Illinois Right to Life has touched more than 3 million people in the media in 2023 alone.

Rosemary has seen Illinois Right to Life through some very hard seasons- and, what’s more - it’s been personal and deeply passionate for her.

2018 Gubernatorial Candidate Jeanne Ives said, “Rosemary's faithfulness to the pro-life cause in a state where political leaders celebrate the evil of abortion is inspiring. She is Christ-like in her thoughtfulness in taking on difficult issues and responding with wisdom and grace.”

For her hard work, dedication, and especially her work in the pro-life movement as President of Illinois Right to Life—on behalf of St. John Cantius parish, I am pleased to award the Golden Rose to parishioner Rosemary Hackett.

Photos to come.


The Golden Rose was presented on Laetare Sunday, March 27th, 2022 at the 11 a.m. Mass.

Congratulations to Mrs. Judith Keefe on being awarded this year's Golden Rose.

The custom of the Golden Rose dates back many centuries. The Holy Father presented a stylized rose made of gold to an individual noted for living, promoting or implementing Catholic teaching.


Judith Keefe has whole-heartedly given herself to many projects that help promote our Catholic Faith.

So many of you know Judith as a catechist, as the woman who led our Sunday School program for many years. You may know her through your daughter whom Judith prepared for her First Communion. Judith may have taught your son so that when he received the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, he would know that he was receiving his God.

You were fortunate if your child was instructed in the Faith by Judith. It is these lessons in our religion that form a person for life. If you were educated by Mrs. Keefe, then you should thank her for enlightening you in the Eternal Truths for your Salvation. Our parish is grateful to have had this woman do such important work, a spiritual work of mercy, for so many years.

For her hard work, dedication, and especially her work in religious education at our parish, on behalf of the parish, I am pleased to award Judith Keefe with the Golden Rose.

The past recipients of the Golden Rose Award are:

2022—Judith Keefe

2021—Lisa Kowalik

2020—Joe Urbaszewski

2019—William Melichar

2018—Andrea Eisenberg

2017—Kathleen Carr (Catholic Art Guild)

2016—Ruth-Margaret Durkin

2015—Myles Ahearn

2014—Kelly Ford

2013—Jed Gibbons

2012—Dan Cheely

2011—Michel Ozorak

2010—+Fr. Dudley Day, O.S.A. & Fran Shambro

2009—Richard Caro

2008—Rudolph Geter

2007—Mark Middendorf

2006—Mr. & Mrs. Wilbert Hegener

2005—+Fr. James Downey, O.S.B.

2004—Fr. Bart Juncer

2003—Mary Anne Hackett

2002—Richard Guzior

2001—Mary Kraychy

2000—Magdalen College

+Monsignor Richard Schuler

1999—William & Rose Marie Fairman

1998—Dorie Gruss

1997—Dorothy Amorella


Attending Mass at SJC
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