Father Bart Winters Joins the Misericordia Ministry Team
by Ann Wilson
Since Father Jack Clair took on the responsibilities as President/Executive Director of Misericordia Home, he found he had less time for his ministry duties. Consequently, Misericordia welcomed Father Bart Winters to its Ministry Team in April 2022. In addition to collaborating with Andrew Blomquist and Kathy Morris in Ministry, Fr. Bart also works with Bob Myers in promoting the mission and values of Misericordia among its dedicated staff.
On any given day, Fr. Bart may meet with small groups and participate in spirit-sessions. He is delighted and grateful to be a part of this community. Fr. Bart says, “Misericordia truly is a sacred place where God’s presence is tangible and real.” But how did he find himself at Misericordia?
Ordained a priest in 1983, he served as deacon for Fr. Jack’s first Mass, a year earlier in 1982. His first assignment was at St. Nicholas Church in Evanston. “I loved my time at St. Nick’s, and met some wonderful people there who are still my friends today,” says Fr. Bart. The parish had an active special religious education program which he participated in and, through it, met a family whose daughter was intellectually and developmentally disabled. The family had a difficult time making ends meet, and raising a disabled daughter proved to be more than they could handle. “I can still remember calling Sr. Rosemary to see if she would be able to help in any way.” Sure enough, she met with the family and the young woman eventually became a resident at Misericordia, where she thrived.
Father Bart’s interest and familiarity with special needs children and adults continued. His younger brother, Mark, became the guardian for a young man with significant developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities. His name was Terry. Mark also reached out to Sr. Rosemary and eventually Terry became a resident who loved Misericordia and flourished there. He was also an important member of Fr. Bart’s family, and was Best Man at Mark’s wedding. “I can still remember driving Terry back to Shannon after the wedding. He was absolutely thrilled by it all,” says Fr. Bart.
Fr. Bart then followed a more traditional path, holding Pastor positions at a myriad of Catholic parishes around the Chicago area. After his assignment at St. Nicholas, he was assigned to the seminary at Mundelein. Most summers he would host his extended family there for a picnic. and there was always a contingent with Terry and his friends from Misericordia. “In addition to the seminary, I have had the honor of serving as pastor of St. Gregory the Great Church, which I absolutely loved. What a wonderful community!” says Fr. Bart.
He has also served at Alexian Brothers Bonaventure House and Marillac St. Vincent Family Services. Recently, he served as Associate Pastor at St. Alphonsus and at St. Ann Parish in Lansing, MI. While serving here at Misericordia, he also helps with Masses at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish (a combination of Our Lady of Victory, St. Bartholomew, and St. Pascal parishes).
In Fr. Bart’s free time, he enjoys reading, cooking and taking long walks.
We are so thrilled to have Fr. Bart on the Ministry Team at Misericordia, and look forward to his involvement going forward!
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