If you were a regular at the North Riverside VFW’s Friday night fish fry or have been ordering from Rose’s Catering and picking up a food order on Fridays, you may have become familiar with Sister Julice, who helped out there and tended the bakery table at during the Friday pickup.
Sister Julice Bots is a School Sister of Notre Dame, who for a number of years called the convent at Mater Christi Parish in North Riverside her home. Originally from the Chicago area, Sister Julice served at missions in Japan and Hungary before returning to her “home” in North Riverside, where she lived with a number of nuns who worked in various locations. Over time, however, the number of nuns living at the Mater Christi convent dwindled to the point where, in the past few years, Sr. Julice was the lone resident.
On the heels of the consolidation of Mater Christi, St. Mary and St. Hugh into a new parish, St. Paul VI, Sr. Julice has found a new place to call home at Marian Village in Homer Glen where she shares an independent living apartment with another nun.
She recently celebrated 70 years in the Lord’s service and this past weekend returned to Mater Christi where a Mass was celebrated in remembrance of all those Sisters of Notre Dame who had passed away.
It was a bittersweet event returning to Mater Christi, but she was happy to see many of her longtime friends, including Rose Zapletal and her daughters, who catered a luncheon following the Mass.
While the adjustment has been hard, Sr. Julice wants everyone to know she keeps busy and walks daily around the beautiful Marian grounds and attends daily Mass. She keeps remembering what her mother told her — to not complain but be a good example to others.
To those who got to know the little nun who moved quickly, served at the fish fry or sold the baked goods she was an example of kindness, an attribute she has brought with her to her new home.
At Marian Village she is joined by a number of sisters from her congregation, but is the only one from Mater Christi. She looks forward to hearing from her friends and speaks fondly of those she came to know so well and appreciates all they did for her, especially Father Matt, former pastor at Mater Christi, now on staff at St. Paul VI Parish.