Page 1

Journeys SiSTerS OF ST. caSimir

Vol. XXXII No. 2 Fall 2018

Our 2018 Jubilarians

Sisters of Saint Casimir 2018 Jubilarians celebrate their anniversaries: Standing with Sr. Regina Dubickas, General Superior, from left, Sr. Marilyn Karpovich, 60 years; Sr. M. Concetta Petrauskas, 75 years; Sr. M. June Puishys, 60 years; Seated, Sr. Mary Philip Ramoska, 75 years.

The Legacy Rooms Planning Committee members: (front row, from left), Sr. M. Immacula Wendt, Sr. Regina Dubickas, Sr. Theresa Dabulis, Sr. Margaret Petcavage; (back row, from left) Daina Cyvas, Mary Beth McCarthy, Sr. Elizabeth Ann Yocius, Paula Schultz, and Sr. Margaret Zalot.

Accepting the call to congregational leadership, 2018-2023, from left, Sr. Elizabeth Ann Yocius, General Councilor; Sr. M. Immacula Wendt, Assistant General Superior/General Treasurer; Sr. Regina Dubickas, General Superior; Sr. Margaret Zalot, General Councilor/General Secretary.


A Message from Sister Regina Dear friends, So many blessings for our community! Our General Chapter in early May brought us together in a spirit of unity and re-commitment to our mission and charism. As we elected leadership for our community for the next five years, we promised to continue the journey “Together for a Great Love—for God, for one another, and for our world.” The opportunity to participate in the General Chapter of our Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters in Scranton, PA, at which we re-affirmed in a beautiful ritual ceremony our commitment to journey with one another. Standing together in the Friendship Garden that they dedicated to the relationship between Mother Cyril, IHM, and Mother Maria, SSC, we could not help but be in awe at God’s Providence that brought us together at the very founding of our community and now as we live a new season of our lives. The Jubilee celebration of our Sisters' 75–year Diamond Jubilarians, and 60–year Diamond Jubilarians, a lifetime of fidelity to God’s call through all the joys and sorrow, ups and downs that are part of everyone’s life. The Blessing of our Legacy space at the St. Casimir Center, which depicts the story of our community in its many aspects. The space was created with the hope that it would also inspire those who come to listen and hear the voice of God in their hearts and go forth to do good in the world. The Auxiliary Banquet in early October, always a very special, joyful event with our benefactors and friends who have been so loyal to us over these 98 years of the life span of the SSC Auxiliary. The many hours of preparation for this event are greatly appreciated and well worth the joy and fun everyone who comes experiences. You will read more about each of these blessings in this issue of Journeys. We are grateful to God for all the people in our lives who are truly a blessing. Our Chapter logo, “Together for a Great Love, for God, for one another, for the world,” continues to echo in our hearts and our efforts to keep before us our

2

S iST er S

OF

response to God’s call. It is really a call for everyone, you our dear readers and all of us Sisters. A few weeks ago, I received a letter from my cousin in Lithuania in which he shared his experience of the visit of Pope Francis. He said that one of the key messages of the Holy Father was that of drawing our strength from the past in order to live the present with faith and hope. He encouraged young people to relate and talk with seniors so that they would come in touch with the roots of the past, its joys, its struggles, its values. Pope Francis said, “Remember your past and go forward.” We have always valued our past and try to draw on the strength of those on whose shoulders we stand. I would like to end by quoting a few verses from the song “Standing on the Shoulders” by Joyce Johnson-Rouse. I am standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before me I am honored by their passion for our liberty I will stand a little taller, I will work a little longer And my shoulders will be there to hold the ones who follow me. They lift me higher than I could ever fly Carrying my burdens away I imagine our world if they hadn’t tried We wouldn’t be so very blessed today. May we all “stand a little taller, work a little longer,” so that through all that we are and all that we do, we may be a blessing for the world and for those who come after us.

Sister Regina Dubickas General Superior Sisters of St. Casimir

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm


Jubilarian Reflections Sister M. Concetta Petrauskas 75 Years Seventy-five years of life is a long time to review, so I will attempt to compare my life as a Sister of St. Casimir to the workings of a kaleidoscope, instead. Just as a slight prompt of a finger (hand) can produce diverse patterns of brilliant light mirrored in vibrant colors on a kaleidoscope, so my life has been altered by the ways in which I responded to the day-by-day activities of community life as a Sister of Saint Casimir. The activities which precipitated the changes and served as catalysts were many. Some of these are: wellness and illness, community prayer and private prayer, praying for and being prayed for, birthdays and anniversaries, novenas and retreats, devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the saints, teaching and learning, recreating and doing house chores, teaching in primary and secondary grades, leading and following, successes and failures, sorrow and joy, laughter and tears, sinning and being absolved, loneliness and friendships, consolation and desolation, life and death of loved ones, poverty and affluence, fasting and feasting, enrollment in Blessed DeMonfort’s “Reign of Jesus Through Mary,” homesickness and community life, knitting and crocheting, weaving palms and small crafts, baby blankets and afghans, clowns, caring and sharing, receiving Holy Communion and being an extraordinary minister, living joyfully, sorrowfully, and so many others which influenced my personality and changed me. A combination of homilies, lectures, meetings, and the learned adages of my saintly mother also helped me to accept all changes as being God’s will for me and has brought peace to my life throughout the years. Recalling the past has revealed a lifetime rich in blessings from Almighty God for which I am most grateful. “My cup runneth over.” “Deo Gratias” for all that has been and for all that will be. With St. Paul, I can honestly say: “What do you have that you did not receive; and if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift!” (I Cor. 4:7). Now, I joyfully await God’s loving hand as He will turn the kaleidoscope when I will be hopefully welcomed into His loving embrace. w w w. ssc 2601. com

S ist er s

of

Sister Mary Philip Ramoska 75 Years One of the Lord's greatest blessings given to me is my religious vocation. I am greatly thankful for 75 years of happy religious life, and I am proud to be a Sister of St. Casimir with no regrets. May the Lord be praised!

The Sisters, and all those gathered at the Community Jubilee Celebration at Franciscan Village, extend a hand and pray a blessing over the Jubilarians seated at the head table.

2018 Jubilarians, seated from left: Sr. Mary Philip Ramoska, Sr. M. June Puishys, Sr. Marilyn Karpovich, and Sr. M. Concetta Petrauskas

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

3


Jubilarian Reflections Sister Marilyn Karpovich 60 Years

Sister M. June Puishys 60 Years

Jubilee—a time of excitement, renewal, peace, joy, gratitude! A time to see more with eyes of faith how God has come into my life and been present with me on my life’s journey! A time to thank God for the greatest gift of all —the gift of faith! As a young child, my mother and the SSCs who taught me in elementary school nurtured my faith life. While in high school, I had a desire to share my faith in a tangible way, so I volunteered to teach with the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity who were preparing the young religious education students for their First Holy Communion. This was both enjoyable and rewarding. My educational and faith experiences with the SSCs and the MSBTs prompted me to ponder religious life as my possible call from God. Reflecting on my ministry as a Sister of St. Casimir, I saw myself continually called to deepen and grow my faith wherever I served—as a teacher, school and youth retreat center administrator, director of young adult ministry and young adult volunteers for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and as director of SSC Associates relationships. While assisting at Villa Joseph Marie High School in PA, I became aware there was no campus ministry department. I valued the opportunity to initiate the first off-campus weekend retreat for the seniors and to undertake the responsibility to search for a full-time campus minister—a faith-filled person who had a strong focus on social justice. Over the years, the campus ministry department has flourished and proven to be a blessing to the students and staff as they deepen their own faith life though their outreach to the poor and marginalized. During my time of ministry with the SSC Associates, I felt the Spirit moving me to offer experiential opportunities where the associates could deepen their spiritual life, learn more about the virtuous life of Mother Maria, and serve the needs of others. Their deeper love and faith commitment has shone through in their lives of prayer, spirituality, service, and community. My life of faith and service has been very enriching and rewarding. I have profound gratitude for the gifts and talents God has given me, my discipleship experience as a Sister of St. Casimir, and my endeavors to show the face of Christ to those I was fortunate to meet and minister to along my life’s journey!

It is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since I celebrated my Golden Jubilee as a Sister of St. Casimir. At that time, I reflected on my call to a life of prayer and dedicated service to God and His people. It reflected in my position as a nursing Sister responsible for the care of newborns. Much has transpired in these past 10 years. I no longer have an active role in nursing, even though my heart is still there. I have been gifted with a longer life than any other member of my immediate family has received, and for that, I am grateful. These years of “retirement” have given me the opportunity to spend more time in prayer and meditation, with a heart open to God’s blessings and graces. For that, I am grateful. Yes, God is good!

4

S iST er S

OF

We have much for which to thank God, and with all my heart, I ask you: thank God! ~Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas

God Bless All Our Jubilarians

With joyful hearts we give thanks to God for you!

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

Art by Sister Donna Korba, IHM

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm


Celebrating Chapter: Together for a Great Love Sisters of St. Casimir Share 2018 SSC General Chapter News unanimously to accept both the SSC/IHM covenant document and plan agreement. The covenant ritual which followed was deeply moving and meaningful. A special surprise for the SSCs was that the two IHM leaders who were in Scranton,PA, Sister Ellen Maroney, President, and by Sister Margaret Zalot

Every five years the Sisters of St. Casimir hold a General Chapter to enter more deeply into a spirit of unity, discern a direction for the renewal of their life, and elect new leadership. The 2018 General Chapter took place at the Carmelite Spiritual Center in Darien, Illinois, from May 1-5, 2018. The opening liturgy took place in the chapel at Franciscan Village, with Father Bernard Scianna, Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians, as the celebrant. Before the final blessing Sister Regina Dubickas announced the opening of the Chapter and called each of the 27 delegates by name. Each delegate responded: “I am ready.” All those assembled then blessed the delegates as they left, “ready” to begin the work of Chapter. Sister Dolores Clerico, SSJ, fa-

cilitated the meetings using contemplative dialogue as the means of communication around each table. As each person shared her thoughts and her wisdom, everyone listened attentively, paused for moments of silence to take in what they had heard, and were open and ready to move beyond the surface to a deeper level of understanding and connection with one another. Sister Danielle Jacob, Chapter secretary, recorded each session in word and photograph. During one of the sessions, the Sisters entered into conversation about the covenant relationship that the Sisters of St. Casimir have with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM). Three IHM Sisters were present for the entire SSC Chapter. Their loving presence and their heartfelt participation were a blessing to all the Sisters of St. Casimir. The 27 delegates voted

Small group discussion.

Sr.Regina Dubickas announces the opening of Chapter. W W W. SSc 2601. cOm

S iST er S

OF

Sister Jean Marie Bachetti, Councilor, and the 2 past presidents of the IHM Sisters, Sister Terry O’Rourke and Sister Mary Persico, joined in through Zoom. To the music of “Come, Thou Chosen of the Lord,” a hymn sung at every profession and jubilee celebration, each SSC signed the covenant document, touched the covenant box, and was embraced by the IHMs present. The ritual ended with all joining hands in a circle and singing "Together for a Great Love." In a following session, the delegates had conversations around the meaning of the logo chosen for the Chapter, Together for a Great Love.

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

5


SSC General Chapter News Continued

IHM's express their sincere greetings and blessings to the new SSC leadership team during the Eucharistic Liturgy which followed the election.

One-on-one sharings, table conversations, and large group interaction bore fruit in the following directional statement: We embrace the call to be together for a great love. Believing our manner of relating brings life into our world, we will: • value each person as she is—God’s beloved one; • bring heartfelt presence to each other through our deep listening and the generous giving of ourselves in responding to their needs; • set aside attitudes and behaviors that diminish life-giving relationship with one another; • relate in ways that are intentional, supportive, and loving. We want our relationships to be inclusive—with God, with one another, and with the world. The second purpose of the Chapter is to elect new leadership for the next five years. The following Sisters were elected to the service of leadership for 2013–2018: 6

Sister Regina Dubickas, General Superior Sister M. Immacula Wendt, Assistant General Superior/ General Treasurer Sister Elizabeth Ann Yocius, General Councilor Sister Margaret Zalot, General Councilor/ General Secretary On September 22, all the SSCs gathered for a community assembly and were asked the question: Can we embrace our call to be together for a great love? The answer was a resounding “yes,” with the expectation that each of us individually, small communities wherever we live, and all of us collectively would continue to live into this yes and say with complete confidence after the next five years:

S iST er S

WE ARE TOGETHER FOR A GREAT LOVE. OF

Chapter prayer

You, O God, are love. You lead us each day to the center of our being, and you lead us to you, our deepest love. Spirit of God, open our hearts to a future full of hope in love for you, for one another, and for our world, as we continue our life’s journey together for a great love. Amen.

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm


Captured Moments from SSC General Chapter 2018

Delegates pause for a moment of fun on the first evening of Chapter.

Sister Nancy Streitmatter offers her words of wisdom at one of the Chapter sessions. Framed Chapter logo, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Maria, and a globe of the world set a beautiful environment for the Chapter.

Sister Joyce Ann Dopkin, who ministers in Argentina, contributes to the reflection on the Chapter theme.

Delegates shared the blessings of the Chapter during their last session. w w w. ssc 2601. com

S ist er s

of

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

7


Along the Way Argentine Sisters Share Thoughts on SSC 2018 General Chapter Joyce Ann Dopkin

Coming home for Chapter is always a life-giving experience. It is like recharging the batteries. It means renewing contact with the Sisters, and then there is usually an opportunity to visit home and dip yourself in family love. Much of this 2018 Chapter was treated in assemblies prior to the Chapter through Zoom. (Zoom is a video conferencing program using computers.) There were no surprises so the meetings themselves were permeated with contemplative prayer and contemplative conversation as we chose new leaders, moved forward in the covenant with our IHM Sisters, and projected our future Together for a Great Love! Jeanne Moceyunas Words are hard to find to express what I experienced, lived in Chapter. Gratitude for what was shared, how we shared our lives with openness as we begin this new chapter, together for a great love. Sister Jeanne died on September 20, 2018, in Argentina, a little over four month after her time in Chicago at Chapter and visiting her family in Pennsylvania. Nilda Varanauskas Chapter was very peaceful and contemplative.

Four of the six Sisters from Argentina gather for a photo with Sr. Margaret Mary Mazgelis. From left: Sr. Jeanne Moceyunas, Sr. Estela Risso, Sr. Margaret Mary, Sr. Elenisa Buzas, and Sr. Asuncion Costantini. 8

S ist er s

of

Estela Risso Chapter was very spiritual and reflective with a vision for our future! "Together for a Great Love" was a great theme. We are proud to have the IHM Sisters and our leadership working together. We are happy with our lives. The Sisters are a beautiful community, and they teach us so much. When we visited the Sisters at Franciscan Village, they received us with pure love. They are so happy that we are here and could travel from Argentina. Mother Maria's dream to serve people in Argentina is reality! For over 40 years, I worked at a school in Cardoba, Argentina. In May 2014, I retired from the school and started working in a home for children called "Bethel House." It is a home for children whose parents are imprisoned or otherwise unable to care for their children. I am so happy to serve others. To be a Sister is a grace of God. It is a gift received and we must return it to others—for free. To be a teacher is also a grace of God, and to work with young people is to be close to God's family. Ascuncion Costantini Chapter was very different this time. It really was more spirtiual and reflective. We were helping one another, and we have a vision of our needs and those of other Sisters. Mother Maria is the greatest example for us of a visionary woman. She dreamed of Sisters working together. She is a saint for us. In Argentina, I work in a nursing home as the director where there are 30 residents. More than four years ago, Bishop Frasia asked me to work there. A priest named Father Modesto, a modern-day saint, established the home for the elderly, for those who had no one to care for them and who are very poor. I also play the guitar at many of the Masses in our parish church, Mater de Misericordia, Mother of Mercy parish. It is my way to share my talents. Elenisa Buzas Sister Elenisa cherished her time with the Sisters at Franciscan Village where she stayed during Chapter. Although she was not a delegate, the visit was filled with joy and love while strengthening the Sister connections.

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

w w w. ssc 2601. com


Sisters of St. Casimir Celebrate 111th Anniversary and Creation of the Legacy Rooms by Sister Margaret Petcavage

One hundred and eleven years ago, at Marywood in Scranton, PA, a young woman and her two companions professed their love for God and their commitment to a life of service to their brothers and sisters. A new Congregation was founded—the Sisters of St. Casimir. The young woman was Casimira Kaupas, now Venerable Mother Maria. The seed planted in the heart of Mother Maria continued to A view of the Legacy space panel depicting the Visitors at the Legacy space blessing included grow and blossom into Lithuanian heritage of the Sisters of St. Casimir. Maria's grand nieces, Josephine Brazen a tree that bore fruit in the lives of Mother (middle), and Theresa Burger (right). many people by over 500 Sisters of St. Casimir, who were missioned in Msgr. Michael Boland, CEO within the Motherhouse, now 14 states and 3 cities in Argentina; all and President of the Archdiocese known as St. Casimir Center. within the ministries of education, of Chicago Catholic Charities, had The SSC congregation has health care, pastoral work and much suggested a space to enshrine and contracted with EWTN to cremore, including the establishment of preserve the memory and ministry ate a documentary about the life a congregation of the Sisters of St. of Mother Maria and her Sisters in of Mother Maria. When comCasimir in Mother Maria’s home- their historic Chicago Motherhouse. pleted, this story of responding to land, Lithuania. Today the Sisters’ legacy contin- God’s call will be memorialized in On August 25, this story of ues through the people of Catholic an EWTN series known as “They love and dedication was celebrated Charities as they minister to so many Might Be Saints." with a Mass of Thanksgiving followed by the blessing of the newly created Legacy rooms, which includes the office/bedroom of Mother Maria. The founding and the unfolding life story of the Sisters of St. Casimir congregation is gracefully and meaningfully displayed in pictures and words. A committee of SSCs and three talented laywomen created a space that not only captures the key moments of the SSC congregation’s story, but also inspires those who walk through Sr. Regina Dubickas welcoming friends and guests on August 25, 2018, at the entrance to those rooms to hear the call in their the Legacy rooms. Standing to the left of Sr. Regina, Sr. Margaret Petcavage, vice postulator own lives to make the world a better for the cause of Mother Maria, Monsignor Edmond Putrimas, Sr. Lawrence Puishys, and a crowded room of guests. EWTN filmed the Mass and the Blessing of the Legacy Rooms. and holier place. w w w. ssc 2601. com

S ist er s

of

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

9


Legacy Rooms

Monsignor Michael M. Boland, at altar center, and Monsignor Edmond Putrimas (fourth from the right), along with priest friends of the Sisters, celebrated Founders' Day Mass and the Blessing of the Legacy rooms at the St Casimir Center.

Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas, SJ, from Kaunas, Lithuania, visited the Legacy rooms on October 6, and enjoyed a guided tour by Sr. Regina Dubickas (left) and Sr. Margaret Zalot.

A recreation of Mother Maria's room behind a glass wall left exactly as it was on the third floor of the east building.

Villa Joseph Marie Service Days in Chicago

Fall 2018 service days VJM students, and VJM Director of Development, Jennifer Drayer–McDonald, front row left, and VJM President, Tom Kardish, front row second from right, in Chicago at the "Bean" exploring the sites and sounds of the city.

10

S ist er s

of

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

w w w. ssc 2601. com


Villa Joseph Marie Service Days in Chicago

VJM September 2018 group of students with Sister Margaret Zalot near the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial in Marquette Park. Erin Devine, sixth from the left, had the opportunity to be a student group leader in September, and she was also a member of the April 2018 service days group.

by Erin Devine, Class of 2019 The VJM service days in Chicago are definitely times to remember. A group of Villa juniors and seniors send in applications to Campus Ministry and are chosen for this 3–day journey of reflection and prayer. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as the student leader for this experience. On the second day of the trip, we were able to spend the whole day with the Sisters of St. Casimir. It is a day I will never forget! All of the Sisters were so welcoming and made us feel right at home. I didn’t even want to leave! My group and I greatly enjoyed talking and interacting with the Sisters. I especially loved sewing with Sister Elizabeth Ann, learning more about Villa’s history with Sister Margaret, hearing a joke from Sister Delphine, and talking to Sister Lorraine Therese about her experience with Mother Maria. We even had the opportunity to visit the new Legacy space and take in all that rich history, wisdom, and beauty the Sisters have to pass on to w w w. ssc 2601. com

the world. These Sisters touched my heart and I will be forever changed by the marks they left on me. In addition, my group got to experience many other service sites. First, we visited SWOP (Southwest Organizing Project), which helps immigrant families avoid foreclosure on their homes and builds new houses to help those who cannot buy homes at market prices. We also had a chance to visit Harmony, Hope, and Healing, which is a service site that helps men and women suffering and recovering from addictions through the power of music. This sight truly impacted me. I saw how the music was really able to touch their lives and help them regain their balance. Participating in a drum circle to represent how we all march to our own beat, yet are all part of one community, and ringing a choir chime along to a tune that translated to “never give up” really inspired me to want to go out into the world and give people second chances. Finally, we went to Mercy Home, a safe place for boys and girls to re-

S ist er s

of

cover if their families are not stable at times. This site has inspired me to hopefully participate in a year of service once I graduate college. I want to spread the compassion that I have for others in progressive ways, and I saw that through the people who worked at Mercy Home. Mother Maria Kaupas was ahead of her time; she created a legacy that will last forever. I have been inspired to use the newfound courage that was awakened in me on this trip to help others and to continue to spread Mother Maria’s message. Villa really promotes her message; it is a community where everyone can feel welcome and safe. Her motto of “Always More, Always Better, and Always with Love” has created a foundation at Villa that has really been able to grow and flourish into a phrase that is imprinted on the very soul of every Villa student. I know that I have been changed by Mother Maria’s calling, and I hope that one day I can pass on the inspiration and love that the Sisters showed me to someone who will be able to make the world an even better place.

S t. C a si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

11


At Journey’s End — Eternal Days Beginning Sister M. Evelyn Vichuras, SSC nOVember 1, 1921 – June 25, 2018 Sister M. Evelyn Vichuras was born in Gary, IN, on November 1, 1921, to Michael and Theresa Vichuras. She was the youngest of six children, two of whom became priests: Father Ignatius (Diocese of Gary) and Father Michael (Diocese of Fort Wayne). Sister Evelyn was taught by Sisters of St. Casimir at St. Casimir Elementary School in Gary and attended Catholic Central High School (now Bishop Noll Institute) in Hammond, IN. After high school, she was given three options – accepting a scholarship to St. Francis College (Chicago), entering nurse’s training at Mercy Hospital in Gary, or choosing religious life. Even though her mother had died when Sister Evelyn was a sophomore in high school, her father and family were there to support her in whatever she chose, which was to enter the congregation of the Sisters of St. Casimir. When Sister Evelyn came to the convent in 1939, Mother Maria received her into the community. This was a highlight of her life. Sister Evelyn made her first vows in 1942. She celebrated jubilees in 1967, 1992, 2002, and 2017. After one year as an elementary teacher at Our Lady of Vilna School in Chicago and at SS. Peter and Paul School in Rockford, IL, and two years at Nativity BVM School in Chicago, Sister Evelyn began pursuing her nursing degree and never turned back from that ministry. She became a registered nurse (RN diploma from St. Therese School of Nursing in Waukegan, IL, and a BS in Nursing from DePaul University). She also obtained a Master’s in Nursing Administration from DePaul University and a Master’s in Administration from the University of Notre Dame. With this preparation provided by the community, Sister Evelyn was able to accept assignments and challenges, knowing that she was prepared to implement the plan which God had destined for her. Other than a year as night supervisor in a hospital in Osmond, Nebraska, and three years as supervisor on the surgical floor at Loretto Hospital in Chicago, the next fifty plus years were at Holy Cross Hospital, Chicago, 12

S iST er S

OF

where Sister Evelyn served in many roles: Director of Nursing (27 years), Home Health Care Supervisor, and Quality Management Coordinator for Ancillary Services. Under Sister Evelyn’s leadership, state licensures and Joint Commission accreditations for the Home Care Program and other departments were approved. She was inducted into the National Honor Society of Nursing/ Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. When there was a shortage of nurses, Sister Evelyn went to the Philippines to recruit nurses for Holy Cross Hospital, helping them with all the work visa issues, finding lodging for them, and assisting with all that was needed to become comfortable in this new country. When Sister Evelyn celebrated her 60th Diamond Jubilee, she reflected: “My ministry assignments have all been great experiences. More than fifty years as a religious have been in the health care field. The three options I started out with all came to fruition. My life as a religious has been rewarded a hundredfold here, and I can imagine what the Divine Planner has in store for me in the life hereafter.” In 2007 Sister Evelyn and the Sisters who lived at the hospital moved to the Motherhouse, then moved again in 2014 to Franciscan Village after the Motherhouse was transferred to Catholic Charities. Reflecting upon her 75th Diamond Jubilee last August, Sister Evelyn wrote: “I became aware of an unexpected feeling within myself. I was getting excited and my heart was beating fast when I realized that I was soon to celebrate 75 years of serving God and His Church. I was overwhelmed, thinking of God’s goodness to me. It was the happiest day of my life.” Sister Evelyn will be remembered for her kind and loving ways – always greeting people with “And how are you doing?” Sister Andreata Naudziunas recalled that she was a good friend and good leader, always the Pied Piper of their profession class – she organized and they all followed. Sister Evelyn also loved to sing and took great joy in being in the choir; she especially enjoyed singingwith the Sisters at the hospital’s daily early Masses. The Sisters are grateful to Sister Evelyn for sharing her joys, smiles, and life with them. May she rest in peace.

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm


At Journey’s End — Eternal Days Beginning Sister M. Michaeline Pakrosnis, SSC march 26,1930 – SepTember 7, 2018 Sister M. Michaeline Pakrosnis was born on March 26, 1930, in Scranton, PA. The Pakrosnis family belonged to St. Joseph Parish, where Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas lived when she came to the United States to serve as housekeeper for her brother priest. Her father, Adam, worked in a factory and her mother, Mary, took care of their two children, Sister Michaeline and her younger brother, Michael. She and her brother remained very close for the rest of Sister Michaeline’s life. Sister Michaeline attended the St. Joseph Parish school for the first three years. After receiving First Communion, she transferred to U. S. Grant grammar school and attended North Scranton Junior High. Sister Michaeline had been feeling the stirrings of a call to religious life. A friend of hers had entered the Felician Sisters, and when Sister Michaeline talked to her about her desire to do the same, her friend suggested that she talk to the Sisters of St. Casimir. In reflecting on this part of her life, Sister Michaeline wrote, “I went to talk with Sister Celeste about my desire, and she said, ‘Come.’ On the way home, I stopped in church and prayed to the Blessed Mother that, if this was God’s will, I would go. And I’m still here.” After graduation from junior high, Sister Michaeline asked to enter the Sisters of St. Casimir. Her pastor wrote a letter of recommendation, saying that “she was of stable character and of excellent moral quality.” In February of 1948, Sister Michaeline was accepted. She professed her first vows on August 15, 1951, and she had the joy of celebrating her Silver Jubilee in 1976, Golden Jubilee in 2001 and Diamond (60 years) Jubilee in 2011. Sister Michaeline is a beautiful example of using her God-given talents to enrich the lives of others. Her ministry assignments were always in homemaking and the preparation of meals. Throughout her years of service, she was missioned to many places where the Sisters taught in parish schools: Emerson, Nebraska; Roswell and Clovis, New Mexico; Aberdeen, Maryland; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Northbrook, Waukegan, and Chicago, W W W. SSc 2601. cOm

S iST er S

OF

Illinois. The places where she served the longest were at Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, PA, and the Sisters of St. Casimir Motherhouse. At the Villa, Sister Michaeline worked in the dietary department that served the high school, St. Joseph Home for the Aged, and the Sisters’ convent. She was there during much of 1951 to 1973. Sister Michaeline enjoyed making home-made cookies for the girls at Villa and seeing how happy and grateful they were for such a gift. For the Sisters and the staff of Villa, she was always a person who was easy to approach, always had a smile, and was always kind. Sister Michaeline was missioned to the Motherhouse in Chicago in 1973 and remained there until her retirement in 2007. She helped in the preparation of meals for the many Sisters who lived there. There were always events to prepare for, guests coming for dinner, and meetings to cater. Sister Michaeline’s brother, Michael, and his wife, Gayle, would often take Sister Michaeline on vacations with them or take her to visit her friends in Scranton. Michael said that he always wanted to taste one of her delicious meals and asked her if she would make a meal for them. She kindly told him that she was on vacation. At the time of her Diamond (60 year) Jubilee, Sister Michaeline wrote: “The past 60 years have been filled with many blessings. Throughout my life I was aware of the Lord’s presence, and this brought comfort to me. I was blessed with good health and so I could serve others. I remember that Jesus cares for me and loves me, and I, in turn, express my gratitude to him by being a kind and loving person.” A special thank you to Michael and Gayle and all of Sister Michaeline’s family for their love and care for her, and a thank you to Sister Janine, Sister Theresa Dabulis, Pat O’Leary, and the Sisters for their visits, love, and presence with Sister Michaeline, especially during these last months. May Sister Michaeline now enjoy the fullness of life with God forever.

God descends and says to us, "Behold, let us go up together." And so, we do not go alone, for God journeys with us, and immediately the going becomes less difficult, for we can do all things with God. – Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

13


At Journey’s End — Eternal Days Beginning Sister Jeanne Moceyunas , SSC December 30, 1935 – SepTember 20, 2018 Sister Jeanne Moceyunas was born on December 30, 1935, to Lithuanian immigrants Peter and Sally Moceyunas in Pittston, PA. She was the middle child between brothers Algird and Vito. Sister Jeanne attended schools in Port Pittston and took some night classes at King’s College. After high school, she worked for about two years in a doctor’s office and then got a job in a bank as a bookkeeper. Throughout the years after high school, Sister Jeanne enjoyed being with her friends and going out on dates. She had an aunt in the Sisters of St. Casimir community, and it is likely that her visits with Sister Alexa and the letters they wrote to each other nurtured the seed of her desire for religious life. In 1956, at the age of 21, Sister Jeanne entered the Sisters of St. Casimir. She already had it in her heart to be a missionary. On August 15, 1959, Sister Jeanne made her first profession of vows and celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1984 and her Golden Jubilee in 2009. She would have celebrated her Diamond (60 years) Jubilee in 2019. In the community, Sister Jeanne received a B.S. degree from Marywood University in Scranton, PA. Many of her additional studies took place in South America and focused on adult catechetics and theology. She began her ministry as a teacher at Nativity BVM school in Chicago, IL (1960-1962), St. Rita school in Carrizozo, NM (1962-1963), St. George school in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood (1963-1964), and Sts. Peter and Paul school in Chicago, IL (1964-1966). Meanwhile, the mission in Argentina begun in 1940 was growing. Sister Jeanne volunteered to join the group of Sisters. In 1966, she began to prepare for her new assignment by studying to help her with learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. As part of her preparation, Sister Jeanne studied at the Language Institute in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Other experiences included going to Peru to learn about and experience the missionary work of the Maryknoll Sisters and to Santiago, Chile, where she stayed with the Precious Blood Sisters. Sister Jeanne was missioned to Rosario, Argentina, in 1968 and 14

S iST er S

OF

remained there 12 years. In 1980-1981, Sister Jeanne came back to the United States and spent a year at the Motherhouse and Villa Joseph Marie in Holland, PA. She was then missioned to the St. Casimir novitiate in Cordoba from 1981- 1988, after which she continued in Cordoba until the present time, serving as catechetical coordinator and teacher in the parish and school. As coordinator of the parish communion program and the post-communion program, she led weekly encounters with the children. One of the ministries Sister Jeanne loved was her visits and her work with the people in a poor area where she was the only woman religious who ministered there. She advocated for the people, meeting with the women and those who ran the cooperative. Together with Claretian seminarians, she provided opportunities for evangelization of adults. Sister Jeanne was also dedicated to the Associate relationship and invited people to learn more about the charism and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Casimir and their Foundress, Mother Maria Kaupas. Sister Jeanne not only served as superior of some of the local communities in which she lived, but also served as the regional superior of the Sisters of St. Casimir in Argentina from 2000 until her passing. Sister Jeanne died while in surgery for a serious heart condition. Her death was sudden and unexpected and a very difficult reality for all to accept. Before going to surgery, which the doctor had said would be high risk, she told Sister Joyce, “I am not afraid.” Sister Jeanne will be greatly missed by the community and the people with whom she shared life intimately, with every ounce of her energy and talents, and giving of herself to the very last days of her life. Sister Asuncion Costantini, in the name of all the Sisters of St. Casimir in Argentina, shared the following reflection: Sister Jeanne lived in Argentina for 51 years. Sister Jeanne’s spirit was youthful in spite of her age. She was an organizer, committed up to her last days. She was open to the Argentine culture, loved our music, participated in groups of folk dancing and regional art. On her Jubilee card, Sister Jeanne chose the words, “Wherever love takes me.” On the afternoon of September 20, 2018, love took her home.

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm


At Journey’s End — Eternal Days Beginning Sister M. Rosalinda Grigonis , SSC SepTember 15, 1922 – OcTOber 9, 2018 Sister Rosalinda was born in Gary, IN, on September 15, 1922, to Anna and Casimir Grigonis. She was the youngest of nine children. She once described herself as a very energetic, redheaded Tom Boy who raced the neighborhood streets on skates. This energy did not subside as she became a teenager. One afternoon she and her high school friend, who would later become Sister Evelyn Vichuras, went out for a bike ride, and before they realized it, they were in Chicago. Since they had come that far, they had the idea to see where the Sisters of St. Casimir lived. They continued pedaling on, finally reaching Marquette Road. Not knowing where to go, they knew it had to be near. And moving on, when to their astonishing eyes, there it was, the Motherhouse with the green tower. They pedaled back to Gary. Only years later they told their parents where they were that fine day! Sister Rosalinda recalled her vocation story most recently in 2016 when she celebrated her 75th diamond jubilee as a Sister of St. Casimir. She said her parents and the Sisters of St. Casimir who were at their parish played a big part in her decision to enter religious life. Her parents were good, God-loving, hard-working people who experienced the Great Depression. They were loyal parishioners of St. Casimir Church in Gary, IN, who, despite their financial struggles, helped to build the new St. Casimir church and school. For Sister Rosalinda, God brought people and events into her life for the evolution of God’s life in her. Finally, on St. Anne’s Feast Day, July 26, 1938, Mother Maria Kaupas received Sister Rosalinda as a Postulant of the Sisters of St. Casimir. She was privileged to know Mother Maria during the last years of her life. Sister Rosalinda saw first-hand Mother Maria’s sanctity, wisdom, and knowledge, and she learned from her. As Sister Rosalinda reflected on her life at the time of her diamond jubilee, she wrote:

W W W. SSc 2601. cOm

S iST er S

OF

“Wherever I went, my personal Mother Maria motto guided me: Silently let us fulfill God’s will, Silently let us alleviate our neighbor’s burden." Sister Rosalinda received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Marywood College and her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from DePaul University. She spent four summers completing coursework funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. All her studies prepared Sister Rosalinda well for her ministry. Sister Rosalinda’s assignments included 30 years ministering in elementary schools in kindergarten through 8th grade. Sister Rosalinda taught at Our Lady of Vilna School (Chicago, IL), Providence of God School (Chicago, IL), Saints Peter and Paul School (Rockford, IL), Immaculate Conception School (Chicago, IL), Holy Cross School (Mt. Carmel, PA), St. Anthony School (Cicero, IL), Our Lady of Guadalupe School (Clovis NM), Nativity BVM School (Chicago, IL), Saints Peter and Paul School (Chicago, IL), St. George School (Chicago, IL), St. Joseph School (South Chicago, IL), and St. Mary School (Clarendon Hills, IL). Sister Rosalinda also spent six years as principal at Saints Peter and Paul School in Chicago’s West Pullman neighborhood. In 1971 she began her 11 years of ministry at Maria High School as math teacher and later as assistant principal. In 1989 she began serving as assistant to the general treasurer. In addition to touching the hearts and minds of many young people over the years, Sister Rosalinda had a wonderful way of reaching out to her co-workers and her Sisters in community. She shared with them little words of wisdom that were just the right words at the right time. Sister Rosalinda took her ministry of prayer and presence to heart as she went about letting her Sisters and others know that she was praying for them and that whatever message she enclosed in any card she sent would be just the right words for those who received the card. In the evening of October 9, 2018, Sister Rosalinda peacefully went home to God after loving and serving God for 77 years as a Sister of St. Casimir. The Sisters are grateful to Sister Rosalinda for sharing her winning smiles, her kind words, and her life with them. May she rest in peace.

S T. c a Si mir "Journeys" — Fa l l 2018

15


Journeys

Non-Profit Organization US POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 42 So. Suburban, IL

Sisters of St. Casimir 2601 W. Marquette Road Chicago, IL 60629 JOURNEYS is published by The Sisters of St. Casimir This publication is sent free of charge to relatives, friends and benefactors of the Sisters of St. Casimir. We thank you for the voluntary donations that you send to help us. Editor: Daina Cyvas, Communications and Project Coordinator dcyvas@ssc2601.com Adviser: Sister Margaret Zalot, SSC Contact us: 773.776.1324 www.ssc2601.com Please send us your email so you can be alerted to occasional news in-between the Journeys mailings. Kindly let us know if you no longer wish to receive this mailing.

Dates to Remember December 1, 2018

Mother Maria Mass 9:30 a.m.

January 5, 2019

Mother Maria Mass, 9:30 a.m.

March 2, 2019

Mother Maria Mass 9:30 a.m. Honoring St. Casimir

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 31, 2019

Mother Maria Mass, 9:30 a.m. Commemorating Mother Maria's 139th anniversary of birth

February 2, 2019

March 8 - 14, 2019

SSC Auxiliary Games Day (St. Casimir Center) Doors open 12:00 p.m. Bingo 2:00 p.m.

April 6, 2019

Mother Maria Mass 9:30 a.m. Commemorating the 79th anniversary of Mother Maria's death

April 13, 2019 SCA-MHS Reunion at Palos Country Club 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact information: 773.925.8686 alumnae@mariakaupascenter.org

Profile for Sisters of Saint Casimir

FALL 2018 JOURNEYS  

FALL 2018 JOURNEYS  

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded