In memoriam: Sister Mary Jane Herlik, OP

SINSINAWA, Wis. – Sister Mary Jane Herlik, OP, died April 4, 2022, at Bayfront Health, St. Petersburg, Florida. Her religious name was Sister Querin. The funeral Mass was held at the Dominican motherhouse, Sinsinawa, April 29, followed by burial in the Motherhouse Cemetery.

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 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, saying, “I felt I was being called to minister to those dying with AIDS.” (Tampa Bay Times) 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.” (The Link) She served in Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida.

In the Diocese of Jackson, Sister Mary Jane served as AIDS ministry coordinator at Sacred Heart Southern Missions in Walls from 1993-1996.

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.
Memorials may be made to the Sinsinawa Dominicans, 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, WI, 53824-9701 or at online.

Repeat broadcasts of the wake and funeral for Sister Mary Jane are available online at Click on the “on demand” tab.