Knoxville parishioner is Irish Mother of the Year

Maureen Miller of Knoxville poses with her granddaughter, Nora, in Davenport.

KNOXVILLE — Who hasn’t said a prayer to St. Anthony when something lost needed to be found? In an ironic turn of events, the Quad Cities St. Patrick Society found its 2014 Grand Marshall and Irish Mother of the Year at St. Anthony’s in Davenport and Knoxville, Iowa, respectively!
On March 14 and 15, the St. Patrick Society recognized Dennis Flaherty as this year’s Grand Marshall (see Catholic Messenger March 6, Page 2), and Maureen Rooney Miller as the Irish Mother of the Year. Flaherty is a member of St. Anthony’s in Davenport and Miller is a member of St. Anthony’s in Knoxville.
The following article and picture (and the photo that accompanies it) were printed March 21 in the Knoxville Journal Express newspaper. They are reprinted with the Knoxville paper’s permission:
“My son, TJ, said I could die happy because I have a grandchild and have been named Irish Mother of the Year,” said Maureen (Rooney) Miller, publisher of the Knoxville Journal Express and Pella Chronicle, after being recognized at the Quad Cities St. Patrick Society on Friday. She continued, “I prefer to wait for many years and many more fun times before dying happy, and like to think this is just the start of a lifetime of happy events yet to come. I am surprised and thrilled to be recognized by the society as the Irish Mother for 2014.”
Maureen was nominated by her friends, T. Waldmann-Williams and Pat Schrad (both of St. Anthony, Knoxville) after they read about the request for nominations in The Catholic Messenger, the Davenport Diocese Catholic weekly newspaper. They wrote everything in about 150 words and sent a few pictures that led to her recognition. “One of the stipulations was that Maureen had to be present at the clan luncheon as well as ride in the parade on Saturday. I didn’t know if that would be possible since her daughter Meghann is getting married the following Saturday at St. Patrick’s in Iowa City,” said Waldmann-Williams.
“We just knew we couldn’t be there at the celebration, and we wanted to be sure Maureen could,” said Pat.
When Maureen got the call one week before the event, she asked who was pulling her leg.
“Never in a million years did I think I would have been selected, since I live in Knoxville. However, I can’t remember when I had so much fun. I’ll be going back every year to be a part of this event,” Miller said.
(The link to the article: http://www.journalexpress.net/local/x1387875385/Miller-named-Irish-Mother-of-the-Year)

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