Helen Keeffe-Orawiec

The St. Barbara Council of Catholic Women chose Helen Keeffe-Orawiec as the parish’s 2013 Woman of the Year.

Keeffe-Orawiec has been an active parishioner since 1968. She and her husband have raised seven children and have 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Since 1994, she has been a surrogate parent to six children and is a surrogate presently to one child at Misericordia.

As the CCW hospitality chairwoman, Keeffe-Orawiec works all CCW fundraisers and meetings. She is also a member of the Church Commission of Altar/Sacristans and launders, sews and creatively recycles altar cloths into purificators. She also volunteers with church holiday preparations and donates regularly to the St. Barbara Food Pantry.

When she’s not volunteering at the church, Keeffe-Orawiec has volunteered at LaGrange Memorial Hospital and at a family practice office since 1994. In her spare time she participates in a group that makes prayer shawls for the ill.

If you don’t know her by name, Keeffe-Orawiec is also known by her nickname, “the Hat Lady,” because of her seasonal hat wardrobe.

She was honored as the parish’s Woman of the Year at a ceremony on May 18 in Elmwood Park.