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​Sister Charlene Wedelich, CDP, dies, was co-coordination of papal visit in 1987

August 07, 2020 | posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio

Topics: In the Press, Breaking News


Sister Charlene Wedelich, CDP, dies, was co-coordination of papal visit in 1987

Sister Charlene Wedelich, CDP, entered eternal life on July 10 at the age of 87. She was born on Jan. 2, 1933 in Houston. She was one of four children born to Henry F. and Hilda (Funke) Wedelich. Her baptismal name was Patricia Ann. She answered God’s call to become a Sister of Divine Providence on Sept. 12, 1955 and professed first vows on June 22, 1957. Sister Charlene was a bridge builder who believed life was about connecting with others, helping others bond and unite with each other and with God their Creator. Her energetic contribution to the mission of Jesus was multi-faceted.

Sister Charlene’s inner calling to listen and absorb another person’s story made her a friend to many and a great leader. She was a present-day role model for women religious, and a promoter and voice of women’s rights and abilities through her years as a teacher, as a member of her congregation’s formation of new members ministry and in her subsequent ministries and numerous organizational roles in both the ecclesial and civic communities. She served her congregation as superior general for two four-year terms. She unselfishly gave of herself and her time to women and men religious during her 12 years as co-vicar and 11 years as vicar for Religious in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. She returned to her congregation to serve as the director of Mission Support and as of six years ago, coordinator of Donor Relations.

Sister Charlene earned a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of St. Thomas in Houston; a master’s degree in Theology from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana; additional graduate studies at Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University, Oblate School of Theology and the University of Notre Dame. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae of the University of St. Thomas Award (1944), the degree of Doctor of Humanities Honoris Causa by Our Lady of the Lake University in 1973, the St. Vincent de Paul Angel Award (1988) and in 2003 was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for Civic Leadership. She served on the Board of Trustees of Oblate School of Theology, Catholic Television of San Antonio, the Mexican-American Cultural Center and Our Lady of the Lake University.

Of all her many accomplishments, she was most proud of being the co-coordinator with Msgr. Lawrence StuebbenƗ of the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul II to San Antonio. She was the only woman to hold this position for the entire United States visit. She received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award, Member of the Papal Household in 1988.

She is survived by her brother Henry F. Wedelich, Jr., sister-in-law Karen Gore, cousin-in-law Doris Funke, and all her Sisters of Divine Providence. She is also survived by 22 nieces and nephews, and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Henry F. and Hilda (Funke) Wedelich, siblings Leah Marie (Philip) Boudreaux, Catherine Susan (George) Gore, sister-in-law Dorothea Wedelich, niece Kathleen Gore, grandnephew/niece Ross and Hayley Wedelich, cousins Jackie Dittmer, William (Marie) Dittmer, William Funke, Louise Funke (Bill) Noonan.

Funeral Mass was held July 16 in the Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake Convent with Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette presiding. Seating was limited, and safety precautions were observed.

In lieu of flowers, you may wish to make a memorial contribution to the Sisters of Divine Providence, 515 S.W. 24th Street, San Antonio, Texas 78207-4619.