Published April 28, 2022
SINSINAWA, Wis.—Sister Mary Jane Herlik, OP, died April 4, at Bayfront Health, St. Petersburg, Florida. Her religious name was Sister Querin. The funeral Mass was celebrated April 29 at the Dominican motherhouse, in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, followed by burial in the Motherhouse Cemetery. She was 91 years old.
Sister Mary Jane made her first profession as a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa Aug. 5, 1950 and her perpetual profession Aug. 5, 1953.
She taught for 30 years and was a co-principal for two years. Sister Mary Jane served as pastoral minister for 10 years and in the HIV/AIDS ministry for 16 years. She noticed in the early 1980s that medical personnel and clergy were afraid to enter hospital rooms of those dying of AIDS, so she responded to their needs.
“I felt I was being called to minister to those dying with AIDS,” she told the “Tampa Bay Times.”
In an interview with “The Link,” Sister Mary Jane advised people to “squeeze some joy out of every day, live with a grateful heart and always trust in a loving God.”
Sister Mary Jane served in the Archdiocese of Atlanta as pastoral associate at St. Joseph Church, Marietta from 1987 to 1993 and was a founding member of the Archdiocesan AIDS Task Force.
In addition to Atlanta, she served in Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.
Sister Mary Jane was born Dec. 20, 1930, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the daughter of Querin and Jenni (Heimerl) Herlik. Her parents and a sister, Rose Ann Hunsader, preceded her in death. She is survived by a sister, Rosalyn Simonar; a brother, Querin “Quin” Herlik; nieces, nephews and her Dominican Sisters with whom she shared 71 years of religious life.