sister inez denise hallinan


December 4, 1925 - November 9, 2009

"Turn your life over to God and trust in the Lord"-words of S. Inez Denise Hallinan that embodied her whole life.

She was born on December 4, 1925, in Denver, Colo., one of ten children born to Dennis and Agnes Hallinan.  A month after her birth, she was taken to St. Catherine's Church and baptized Therese Marguerite. Family life was secure and loving.

Therese went to St. Catherine's grade school where she met the Sisters of St. Joseph and from a very early age she knew she wanted to become a sister.  She went to Holy Family High School. A classmate and very good friend from there entered the Sisters of Loretto immediately after graduation. The seed of the vocation, planted deep within Therese resurfaced, and she began to think of entering the convent.

While her father had preferred she wait and her mother had wished she would marry, both took comfort knowing their daughter was doing something that would make her happy. So, after working briefly for the telephone company, Therese entered Carondelet in February, 1944.  Six months later she received the habit and the name S. Inez Denise. She had an aunt in the community, S. David Marie Hallinan, As years passed, the two of them often chatted about the "olden days" when Denver was a young city.

After her profession in 1946, and for the next 24 years of her religious life, S. Inez Denise served in grade schools throughout the province, either as a junior high teacher or as an administrator. Her missions included schools in St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Honolulu, and in Denver, at her beloved St. Catherine's. Her sense of humor and joy in life served her well in community, especially in larger ones, where she was glad to share herself. She acknowledged her large birth family helped her adjust in community.

In 1972, S. Inez Denise went to Peru. In Ica, she taught for two years at Cologio Christo Rey and for two additional years volunteered to serve in the chancery office in the Diocese of Ica, where she worked very closely with the bishop.  He deemed her service invaluable. While her time in Hawaii had opened her to Asian cultures; in Peru, she imbibed the spirit of another people and way of life.

After her return to the United States in 1976, she volunteered for one year at Nazareth, but then returned to Denver as administrator of St. Francis de Sales High School in 1977. She was glad to be "home," not only for her mother, who was ill at the time, but for her entire  family. She says she "really liked it very, very much."

After a one year sabbatical at Galilee Institute in Arnprior, Ontario, in 1982, S. Inez embarked upon what she termed the very happiest time of her life. For the next 22 years, from 1983 - 2005, she ministered in the marriage tribunal for the diocese of Springfield, Mo. She never regretted the decision to take on that responsibility. After she was hired she began studying canon law at Catholic University, completing her work three years later.

The joy from that ministry came from two sources: the people she worked with, especially Msgr. Reidy, Bishop Leibrecht and the others in the office.  Being able to live out our charism of reconciliation was her other source of joy as she helped persons through the annulment process. Often moved to tears by sad circumstances of a union, S. Inez, nevertheless hoped that the petitioner would have a happier life if the marriage were annulled.. 

Leaving Springfield was her last and most difficult move.  Her retirement to Nazareth Living Center was made easier because she said, "Now I have a chance to renew my spiritual life. That is very important to me." Living in a house with the Blessed Sacrament gave her great comfort as she readily undertook her life of prayer and witness.

Turning her life over to God and trusting in God's goodness and love, S. Inez peacefully entered into God's loving embrace for all eternity on November 9. Her pain is gone; her joy is now complete. May she rest in peace.

S. Rita Louise Huebner


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