LaGrange Park Jubilarians – 2021 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

LaGrange Park Jubilarians – 2021

Sister Patricia Borchardt, CSJ

(Sister Thomasine)

70 years

Sister Pat Borchardt entered religious life with the founding community of LaGrange Park on August 15, 1951. She served as an assistant in the development office at Nazareth Academy for twenty-one years. Prior to this assignment, she was the manager of Nazareth’s book store. She was also the functional coordinator at Bethlehem Center, director of plant services, and worked with SHARE Food, a diocesan food program. Sister Pat received a BS in History from Loyola University and completed a program in learning disabilities from the Archdiocese of Chicago. She taught primary grade students for 26 years at various Chicago Archdiocesan schools.

In her retirement years, Sister Pat is doing what she loves to do: cooking, baking and sewing. She is sharing her love of sewing by creating animal pillows which are given to children who are in hospice or who have lost a parent to cancer or other diseases. Sister Pat often shares her wonderful baked goods with the sisters and employees at the LaGrange Park center and for many celebrations and events.


Sister Barbara Lord, CSJ

(Sister Jerome)

70 years

Sister Barbara Lord entered religious life with the founding community of LaGrange Park on August 15, 1951. She has a BS in Social Studies from DePaul University. She took Early Childhood Education courses and attended the Open Court Reading Workshop. She also attended Xavier University in New Orleans for Black Catholic Studies and Workshop Way courses.

Sister Barbara served as the Prefect for primary grade school boys at St. Joseph Military Academy, and taught for more than 38 years at many Chicago Archdiocesan schools. She loved teaching and working with young children. Although sewing was not part of her academic studies, she has always loved to sew. She served as a seamstress for the LaGrange Park founding community during her retirement years.

Sister Barbara is currently retired and remains active in prayer ministry.


Sister Marybeth McDermott, CSJ

70 years

Sister Marybeth McDermott entered religious life with the founding community of LaGrange Park on August 15, 1951. She ministered as an immigration advocate. She was a member of the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants for the Archdiocese of Chicago and was a team leader at the McHenry County Jail, where she provided support for detained immigrants. Sister Marybeth attended weekly Friday morning prayer vigils in Broadview to support detainees as they were transported to area airports for deportation. For forty years Sister Marybeth served as a primary grade teacher in Chicago Archdiocesan schools. In 1993, the Congregation initiated School on Wheels to provide opportunities for people to learn English and work toward citizenship. Sister Marybeth directed the program for 15 years. She also volunteered at St. Joseph Press.

Sister Marybeth is currently retired and remains active in prayer ministry.


Sister Therese Middendorf, CSJ

(Sister Therese Marie)

60 years

Sister Terry is Academic Dean at Nazareth Academy, La Grange Park, IL, a ministry she has served in for 49 years. She is proud of the strong lay leadership in the school and loves the energy of the young women and men students. After earning her BS in Mathematics at Dominican University she taught mathematics in Junior High for 7 years before moving on to Nazareth Academy. Teaching and becoming an administrator in high school prompted further education including Master’s Degrees in math and private school administration.

While maintaining full time duties at Nazareth, Sister Terry also served the Congregation as candidate director, a leadership team member for eight years and as a member of the Board of Directors for St. Joseph Academy in Baton Rouge. Her work currently involves admissions of new students, building the master schedule of classes, and participation on committees.

Camping in National Parks in the U.S. and Canada and multiple opportunities to travel to European and Near East countries have provided enormous enjoyment and “feet on the ground” education. The oldest of six children, Sister Terry is blessed with the joyful company of 14 nieces and nephews and 13 grand nieces and nephews.


Sister Mary Lou Pleitner, CSJ

(Sister Christine Marie)

60 years

Sister Mary Lou Pleiter entered religious life with the founding community of LaGrange Park on August 15, 1961.  She taught junior high students for 25 years in Chicago Archdiocesan schools. Her second career ministry was in office administrative where she served in assistant positions at St. Nicholas Parish and St. Barbara Parish for a total of 28 years. Sister Mary Lou holds a BA in Sociology from Rosary College and an MA in Environmental Education from Northeastern University. She attended the Institute of Spiritual Companionship and served a 2-year internship in such. Always learning, she enjoys creating video slideshows for the sisters’ jubilees, funerals and various meetings. Her hobby is coloring mandala designs and finding creative ways to use them.

Currently, Sister Mary Lou serves as the local historian (archivist) at the LaGrange Park Center. In addition, she is a spiritual companion and enjoys walking with deacons’ wives in the deaconate program in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Follow us on: