News & Events
News & Events
The recently unified St. Paul VI Women’s Society is proud to honor Carol Dvorak as our first Woman of the Year! Carol is the co-president from the Mater Christi Women’s Guild with her counterparts from the St. Mary CCW and St. Hugh SCW.
Carol stepped in as president of the Guild in 2018 when it was floundering. Since 2021, she has been a welcoming presence to the women of all three legacy parishes attending our St. Paul VI monthly gatherings at Mater Christi. Her vivacious personality and sense of humor are thoroughly engaging!
One of 7 children, Carol received the sacraments at Mater Christi and attended middle school there. She grew up in the family home on Country Club Lane in North Riverside, where she has been caregiver for her mother, Betty Dvorak, since 2014. Carol first started attending Guild meetings with her mother. Encouraged by her mentors, she volunteered to run the raffle portion of the group’s raffle/bake sale. Then one year, she ran the Guild’s mission dinner.
It was her mother who urged Carol to volunteer as president. Betty herself had held many Guild offices and was 2004 Woman of the Year. While Carol was president from 2018-2021, the Guild launched a parish outreach that funds the cremation of deceased indigent veterans. Carol steps up when she sees a need, as when she took charge of Mater Christi’s Giving Tree for St. Eulalia. She has been a lector since high school. Carol and Betty cook for the homeless through Housing Forward, which Betty sponsored for 15 years when it was soup and sandwiches.
Her career has taken her from working in a water testing lab to doing accounting to serving as personal executive assistant to the chairman emeritus of Sunbeam and Encyclopedia Britannica. She holds a master’s in public health.
A world traveler, Carol has done photo safaris in six African countries. Ironically, she first met her friend Susan Storcel of Mater Christi taking a photo on Table Mountain in South Africa on a trip that featured the total eclipse. They’ve been back to Africa and to Peru, Alaska, and elsewhere. Carol is also an avid gardener.
Carol’s fun-loving family enters the West Suburban Irish parade in Naperville as the Houlihan Clan—this year with 7 cars and 2 floats. Each August, Carol takes some of her 21 nieces and nephews on a “cousin camp” weekend and appoints a director of fun. Her youngest niece, Gracie, wrote an essay about Carol being her hero. It is one of five finalists in an essay contest that will be judged this month.
Carol, we cherish your friendship and salute your leadership. Congratulations!
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