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Sr. Carolyn Sieg, OSB, wins 2nd annual Kucera Catholic Leadership Award

Posted by Abbot Austin on December 18, 2015 at 9:00 PM

St. Procopius Abbey (Lisle, IL) - Dec. 16, 2015

Presentation of Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, Catholic Leadership Award by Abbot Austin Murphy, OSB:


    Archbishop Daniel Kucera is a monk of St. Procopius Abbey who has used his talents to serve the Church generously in many different ways. Besides serving in our community in various positions, he was our community’s fifth abbot and in that capacity he led our community through an important time of transition.


    Also, Archbishop Daniel served as president of Benedictine University, then called Illinois Benedictine College. After this, he served as an auxiliary bishop of the Joliet Diocese from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, Archbishop Daniel was asked to serve as the bishop of Salinas, KS, and then, in 1984, he was installed as the archbishop of Dubuque, IA. He finished his term as archbishop of Dubuque in 1996 and there he currently resides in retirement.


    The Kucera Catholic Leadership Award is for a Catholic in our region who has demonstrated leadership in the Church by extraordinarily serving others as people in whom Christ is received.


    This year’s award goes to Sr. Carolyn Sieg, OSB.


    Sr. Carolyn is best known for having been the long-standing principal of St. John of Arc School. But we’ll say more on that in a moment. She is a native of Lisle and she herself attended St. John of Arc School. There she was taught by the Benedictine sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery. She remembers these sisters as being gentle, fun-loving, and prayerful. She later entered Sacred Heart Academy and then she herself joined the Benedictine community of Sacred Heart Monastery.


    Sr. Carolyn has an undergraduate degree in education from St. Mary of the Woods and a Masters in Administration from St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has taught elementary school in Fort Worth, TX, as well as in Chicago and Cicero. Moreover, in her career she has taught in every grade from first to eighth, with the exception of second.


    Now about her tenure as principal of St. John of Arc School. She was appointed to the position at the age of 26! She then served as principal for over 45 years. As you can imagine, much could be said about her accomplishments during these years. I can only highlight a few. Under her leadership, the school has excelled and currently it has over 700 students. In 2011, the school was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon school of excellence (this was actually the second time the school won the award). Fr. Gabriel Baltes, one of many pastors Sr. Carolyn has worked with at St. Joan of Arc, says this about Sr. Carolyn: “She never sees problems that are insurmountable. Life is not a set of problems to her. Life is just a wonderful tapestry of challenges that she uses to make her a better principal and to make [St. Joan of Arc] a better school.”


    Thank you, Sr. Carolyn, for your many years of extraordinary leadership. St. Procopius Abbey is happy to give you this year’s Kucera Catholic Leadership Award.


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