Father Bonaventure Okoro
Father Okoro is a native of Nigeria, West Africa. He is the eldest of eleven children. His mother is a homemaker and his father was a Director of Religious Education until he retired five years ago. Fr. Okoro majored in Philosophy at a college in Cameroon, Africa, then taught French as a second language in a Catholic college in Nigeria for a few years before coming to the United States at the invitation of the vocation director of the Rockford Diocese in August, 1998. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, where he completed his graduate work in theology, and was ordained on May 18, 2002, by the Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran at St. Peter Cathedral in Rockford, Illinois. His first assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Patrick Parish in St. Charles, Illinois for two years, after which he went to St. Mary’s in DeKalb, Illinois for five years. Fr. Okoro has a hearty laugh and loves working with people, helping them to bring out the best in themselves. That inspired him to pursue an extra graduate degree in counseling and psychology at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, from which he graduated in August, 2008. He provides pastoral counseling to people who need it. He also loves to help out in food pantries, first with the ministry of St. Vincent de Paul in DeKalb and now with the N.I.C.E. (Neighbors in Christ Ecumenical) Center in Lee. Fr. Okoro became Parochial Administrator of St. James Church in Lee, Illinois in September, 2009 and was installed as pastor in October, 2012.
My name is Linda Dolder. I came to St. James from St. Catherine of Genoa Church in Genoa after moving to Waterman in 2015. There, I was very involved as the Parish Respect Life Coordinator, a catechist of 20 years, cantor, lecturer, Eucharistic minister and sacristan in addition to being a Stewardship Commission member and participating in several evangelist programs of faith. I have been married for 19 years and have 4 grown sons. I began work at St. James in November 2015 as Business Manager and Parish Secretary. My goal now is to help organize the parish office and expand the parish evangelization programs.
My name is Melissa Muetze. I have been married for 25 years and have 5 children and 1 grandson. I taught RE at Holy Cross Church in Batavia before moving out here in 2003. Once we moved out here I started getting involved by teaching and with the Parish Council. I enjoy working with the parents and the children and watching them grow every year in Christ. My goal is to have the RE program grow and be successful and to have a youth group for the high school students.