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Sister Judith Davies, OSF, receives the 2018 Kucera Catholic Leadership Award

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on December 4, 2018 at 8:30 PM

On December 4, 2018, Sister Judith Davies, OSF, received the 5th annual Kucera Catholic Leadership Award. The Kucera Catholic Leadership Award is given to individuals in our region who have demonstrated leadership in the Catholic Church by extraordinarily serving others as people in whom Christ is received. Sister Judith Davies has been Chancellor of the Diocese of Joliet since 1990. Abbot Austin's introduction remarks in the presentation of the award to Sister Judith are provided below the photographs.

Abbot Austin's introduction remarks in the presentation of the award to Sister Judith Davies, OSF:


The Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera Catholic Leadership Award was begun five years ago in memory of Archbishop Daniel, who died in May of 2017.

Archbishop Daniel was a monk of St. Procopius Abbey who used his talents to serve the Church generously in many ways. As our community’s fifth abbot, he led our community through an important time of transition.

Archbishop Daniel also served as president of our college, 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 in Dubuque in 1996.

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 we are happy to give the award to Sister Judith Davies. Sister Judith was born in Fort Wayne, IN, and as a young woman, experiencing the call to serve God by serving others, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart out of Frankfort, IL. She celebrated her 60th jubilee as a Franciscan Sister two years ago.


As a Franciscan Sister, Sister Judith worked in education, both as a teacher and in administration. In 1989, she was asked to help in the Diocese of Joliet.


Initially, she was asked to be the Coordinator of the Joliet Diocesan Synod, which was then followed by appointments to the following positions: Executive Secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Assistant to the Diocesan Board of Conciliation, and Assistant Chancellor. Soon after this, in 1990, she was appointed to the position for which she is perhaps best known, Chancellor of the Diocese of Joliet. After almost thirty years of service, she will be retiring as Chancellor this year. In addition to being Chancellor, Sister Judith has also served in recent years as Archivist and Delegate for Religious in the Diocese of Joliet. She will continue as the Delegate for Religious as well as be Secretary for Clergy and Religious.


Outside of the Joliet Chancery, Sister Judith has further demonstrated her generous spirit of service by serving on various boards, committees, and councils. She has also worked in formation for her congregation of Franciscan Sisters.


I think many, if not most, in this room know Sister Judith due to her many years of service in our diocese. And I suspect that like me, you admire her for not only for her professional competency, but also for her graciousness and her stabilizing influence. She has used her many talents to serve our local church well for many years.


Sister Judith, we thank you for all your service through many years and in many situations. We are happy to award you with this year's Kucera Catholic Leadership Award.

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