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Former SXU President Sr. Irenaeus Chekouras passes away

It is with great sadness that I inform our Saint Xavier community of the untimely passing of Sister Mary Irenaeus Chekouras, R.S.M., Ph.D. ’55. Sr. Irenaeus went peacefully with Sister Marion Johnson, R.S.M., at her side.

Many of us knew Sister Irenaeus during her tenure as president of Saint Xavier College from 1972 to 1982, but all of us loved her as President Emerita. Her history with Saint Xavier spanned many years and covered a broad spectrum of responsibilities:
•	Faculty Member in the School of Education from 1956 to 1957, 1960 to 1969;
•	Director of Graduate Education from 1970 to 1972;
•	Part-time Faculty Member in the School of Education from 1982 to 1999;
•	Volunteer Consultant for University Advancement since 1993.

In 2011, she began facilitating a philosophy course in the Renaissance Academy, a lifelong learning program at Saint Xavier University.

Whatever her role, Sister Irenaeus served this University with stately grace and an informed, decisive style. And she carried both into extensive service on the Board of Trustees for Loyola University of Chicago (1985-1994); St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota (1984-1994); and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

Sister Irenaeus also served her community as the Mistress of Postulants for the Sisters of Mercy from 1957 to 1960.

But above all else, she loved her students and the challenge of teaching them all. Until the end, she remained a tireless advocate for women and children in transition and actively supported the Institute of Women Today, where she also served as a trustee. Her dedication, energy and commitment to excellence will be greatly missed.

Sister Irenaeus earned her doctorate of philosophy of education from the University of Chicago in 1964 and a master’s degree from Catholic University in 1956. 

Visitation at Mercy Hall is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and for Friday, May 25, starting at 9:00 a.m. and followed by a funeral Mass for Sister Irenaeus celebrated at 11:00 a.m. in Mercy Hall Chapel. Burial will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside. 

May her faithful soul rest in the peace of the Lord. Amen.

Christine Wiseman