Assumption Parish honors long-time music director

Courtesy photo
A NEWLY RESTORED stained glass window at Coal City’s Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Parish was dedicated in honor of Rita Wise, the church’s long-time music director. The dedication was a surprise for Wise who was accompanied at the dedication by her family that included her daughters, Ann and Katie, and granddaughter.

Parishioners and friends of Coal City’s Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church offered their appreciation to the church’s long-time music director with the dedication of a stained glass window.
On Sunday, May 19, the congregation surprised Rita Wise with the unveiling of a stained glass panel dedicating a window in the church narthex in honor of her service and sacrifice to the church.
Wise has served Assumption Parish since the 1980s and she plans to continue serving in this capacity.
It was through recommendations from the Parish Council, Finance Council and Stewardship Committee, and Saint Cecilia (Patron Saint of Church musicians) that a newly restored stained glass window be dedicated in her named.
Father Robert Noesen, pastor of Assumption Parish, said the dedication comes in honor of Wise’s years of selfless giving as a volunteer.
“All the work she has done for our sacred music ministry program is truly admirable,” Noesen said.
Wise became involved with the church choir in the early 1980s, which led to her directing the choir.
At that time, Noesen said the parish had a high mass at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and the choir sang each week.
In the 1990s, a set of handbells was purchased and donated to the parish, and Wise volunteered to direct the handbell choir.
Through the years, Wise has been spotted at many community events directing a choir or accompanying a vocalist or instrumentalist, from the Coal City library, Carbon Hill Museum, Coal City Centennial, and to accompany the many solo, ensemble and chorus events within the schools. She has also played in the pit band for the school’s musicals.
Additionally, Noesen points out Wise sang for many years in the Diocese of Joliet Chorale for multiple Diocesan Masses and services at Saint Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral and elsewhere throughout the diocese, all while raising a family with her late husband, Jim, and balancing a teaching career.
Several members of the church choir and parishioners joined her family for the ceremony, offering their personal thanks for all she has done for the betterment of the parish.