With sadness, we report that Dr. Lorraine Olley Eustice, the director of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake’s Feehan Memorial Library and McEssy Theological Resource Center, died Nov. 19 after a years-long fight with pancreatic cancer. She will be missed by the USML community.
With her background in library preservation, Olley Eustice had worked at libraries at Northwestern University, Indiana University, and New York University before coming to Mundelein in 2007. With master’s degrees in both divinity and library science from the University of Chicago, she also brought with her a unique blend of theological knowledge that helped in curating Mundelein’s bibliographic collection as well as pointing theology students in the right direction in their research. For this commitment to USML students’ scholarship, Olley Eustice was honored at the University Convocation in May with an honorary doctorate degree — doctor of letters (Litt.D.).
“Over the library is the inscription, ‘Wisdom has built herself a home’ (Sapientia Aedificavit Sibi Domum), which I think expresses the essence of the library,” she said in an interview last year. “It is not a storehouse, but it is a source of collected wisdom of the Scriptures and the Church. It is supposed to cultivate a living memory where connections can be made. When I talk to seminarians about the importance of using the library I will sometimes ask them to think of it as a place where you can take a book and have St. Teresa of Avila speak to you. You can have a conversation with her as you read and contemplate what she has said. You can converse with Ignatius of Antioch, Origen, Aquinas, if you try really hard.”
Visitation will be held at the university’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. with a funeral Mass to follow at 11 a.m. Afterwards, a procession will make its way to the campus cemetery, where Olley Eustice will be laid to rest.
Eternal rest grant to her, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace, Amen. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.