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SISTERS OF<br />

THE HOLY<br />

FAMILY OF<br />

NAZARETH //<br />

VOL. 16 //<br />

NO 1 //<br />

SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

Nazareth<br />

CONNECTIONS<br />

FAMILY IS THE HEART OF OUR MISSION<br />

Finding Nazareth<br />

in Ukraine<br />

STORY BEGINS ON PAGE 6


MESSAGE FROM THE PROVI<strong>NC</strong>IAL SUPERIOR<br />

Dear Friends of Nazareth,<br />

As we celebrate Holy Week, I recall<br />

two key figures from the Way of the<br />

Cross, a devotion Catholics have<br />

observed for over a thousand years:<br />

Veronica, and Simon of Cyrene.<br />

As tradition holds, Veronica<br />

witnessed a mission of mercy.<br />

Overcome with compassion, she<br />

courageously approached the<br />

bleeding, suffering Jesus to offer<br />

a moment of tender respite,<br />

acknowledging His dignity and<br />

tending to His bleeding face with<br />

her veil. This courageous act of<br />

mercy was rewarded in that, as the<br />

tradition holds, after receiving her<br />

veil back from Jesus, an imprint of<br />

His face remained.<br />

Simon, an innocent bystander in<br />

town for the Passover with his sons,<br />

was pulled from the crowd to help<br />

a physically struggling Jesus. Having<br />

no relation to Jesus but being in the<br />

same place at the same time, he<br />

found himself in this situation and<br />

assisted in carrying the burden of a<br />

complete stranger. His reward was<br />

that of walking skin to skin, feeling<br />

the brokenness of our Lord, and<br />

alleviating the weight of the unjust<br />

burden placed upon Him.<br />

Both of these figures saw the<br />

struggle of a tortured Christ. Both<br />

courageously accepted their role<br />

and offered mercy, strength, and<br />

compassion.<br />

In this issue of Nazareth Connections,<br />

I see the themes of individuals who<br />

courageously respond in compassion<br />

to those in need. I see the dedicated<br />

witness of our sisters in education<br />

and healthcare, who led and continue<br />

to lead their schools and healthcare<br />

facilities during some of the most<br />

trying, current times. I see the heroic<br />

witness of our sisters who have<br />

gone before us and their courage<br />

and tenacity to preach the love and<br />

mercy of Jesus Christ. I see the<br />

compassionate witness of our sisters<br />

who every day reecho through words<br />

and prayers the inherent dignity<br />

and identity of every human being<br />

as a child of God. I see the mercy<br />

in our Nazareth Volunteer Corps,<br />

which continues to serve our local<br />

communities’ needs actively, and the<br />

faithful love of our staff, benefactors,<br />

and friends who have tended to the<br />

needs of our sisters.<br />

Most notably, however, I see the<br />

heroic witness of our sisters working<br />

and living in Ukraine and those<br />

serving in Poland. The cross with<br />

which they endure and assist at any<br />

given moment is that of a modernday<br />

Veronica and Simon. From their<br />

courage, mercy, and compassion, they<br />

have been impressed with the face of<br />

a suffering Christ.<br />

As Lent comes to an end, I invite you<br />

to reflect on the figures of Veronica<br />

and Simon, and ask God to open our<br />

eyes, hearts, and actions so that we<br />

may courageously show compassion<br />

to the suffering Christ in our lives.<br />

May you have a blessed and<br />

joyous Easter.<br />

In the Holy Family,<br />

Sr. Kathleen Maciej<br />

HOW ARE YOU CALLED TO LOVE?<br />

We invite you to pray with us, to listen to God’s call with us, and to love with<br />

us as we strive to recognize God in ordinary experiences. Learn more about<br />

our community life, our ministries, and our mission at nazarethcsfn.org/join-us.<br />

Or contact Sr. Emmanuela Le, CSFN, National Vocation Director,<br />

at 972-641-4496 ext. 111 or vocations@nazarethcsfn.org.<br />

2


4<br />

VOLUME 16 //<br />

NO 1 //<br />

SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

12<br />

Nazareth Connections is published<br />

three times a year by the Sisters<br />

of the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

in the USA.<br />

6<br />

Editor:<br />

Rachel Neubauer<br />

Proofreaders:<br />

Sr. Mary Ellen Gemmell<br />

Sr. Lucille Madura<br />

Amanda Giarratano<br />

Contents<br />

SERVICE CORPS<br />

4-5 Coming Together<br />

in Service<br />

MISSION<br />

6-9 Finding Nazareth<br />

in Ukraine<br />

MINISTRY<br />

10 2020 Golden Apple<br />

Award<br />

11 A “True Connelly<br />

Moment”<br />

12-13 My Today’s<br />

Unknown Is in God’s Hand<br />

REFLECTION<br />

14-16 Divine Mercy<br />

IN MEMORIAM<br />

17 Sr. M. Consolata Pylilo<br />

DEVELOPMENT<br />

18 Oktoberfest in the<br />

Spring<br />

19 Prayer Remembrance<br />

Program<br />

14<br />

ON THE COVER:<br />

One of the Nazareth Sisters<br />

serving in Ukraine stops to take<br />

a bite to eat.<br />

Editorial Board:<br />

Sr. Angela Szczawinska<br />

Sr. Barbara Frances Samp<br />

Sr. Carol Szott<br />

Sr. Jude Carroll<br />

Sr. Kathleen Ann Stadler<br />

Sr. Lucille Madura<br />

Sr. Marcelina Mikulska<br />

Sr. Marcella Louise Wallowicz<br />

Sr. Mary Louise Swift<br />

Sr. Teresilla Kolodziejczyk<br />

Katherine Barth<br />

Design/Print:<br />

McDaniels Marketing<br />

Questions, comments, suggestions?<br />

Please contact:<br />

Communications Department<br />

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

310 N. River Road<br />

Des Plaines, IL 60016<br />

847-298-6760, ext. 144<br />

communications@nazarethcsfn.org<br />

nazarethcsfn.org<br />

facebook.com/csfn.usa<br />

twitter.com/csfn_usa<br />

instagram.com/csfn.usa<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

3


SERVICE CORPS<br />

Coming Together in Service<br />

Spreading the love of Nazareth has<br />

a way of bringing people together.<br />

The Holy Family Service Corps, a<br />

program created by the Holy Family<br />

Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, sees this<br />

firsthand every day.<br />

Designed with the idea of bringing<br />

young people together to volunteer<br />

in educational and social service<br />

programs in the Greater Pittsburgh<br />

region, the Service Corps has seen<br />

young men and women of differing<br />

backgrounds and faiths come<br />

together with the shared mission<br />

of reaching out with the love of<br />

Nazareth in their hearts.<br />

“The Service Corps has seen young men and women<br />

of differing backgrounds and faiths come together<br />

with the shared mission of reaching out with the<br />

love of Nazareth in their hearts.”<br />

The Service Corps is a program that<br />

allows young people “to serve in<br />

the way they feel called to serve,”<br />

as director Lynn Guerra puts it.<br />

The Corps members often use their<br />

talents and education to reach out<br />

to members of their community who<br />

need a helping hand.<br />

Lynn has been involved with the<br />

Service Corps since 2016. At the<br />

time of its inception, it was simply<br />

a service organization, but with<br />

time and dedication, it has grown<br />

so much more. Today, the Service<br />

Corps offers the Nazareth Year<br />

program, in which a participant<br />

4


experiences 11 months of service<br />

opportunities, academic mentorship,<br />

and job coaching. Participants accept<br />

an assignment where their talents<br />

can best be utilized, such as positions<br />

at Holy Family Manor or Nazareth<br />

Prep. The program also offers<br />

Holy Family Teaching Fellows and<br />

Holy Family Social Service Fellows<br />

tracks. This allows students working<br />

towards earning tuition-free master’s<br />

degrees at Duquesne University or<br />

Carlow University in education or<br />

social service to become involved<br />

in real-world experience in these<br />

fields. Some participants even find a<br />

career home in Nazareth once their<br />

program has finished.<br />

During their term of service, the<br />

students live together and enjoy<br />

fellowship, gathering for prayer at<br />

least once weekly, sharing a dinner<br />

prepared by each student in turn,<br />

and engaging in a weekly community<br />

night activity. When time allows,<br />

they enjoy weekend activities such<br />

as group bike rides and sledding trips.<br />

Though the program is governed by<br />

the Holy Family Institute, students<br />

from all walks of life are invited<br />

to apply, bringing into the Service<br />

Corps people from varying<br />

backgrounds and faiths. Together,<br />

they find a sense of community in<br />

their shared call to service.<br />

Though the pandemic years have<br />

seen a slowing of applicants to the<br />

program, Lynn is confident that<br />

the coming academic year will see<br />

an upswing in participation. Many<br />

students returned home from campus<br />

due to safety concerns. University<br />

career fairs were often put on hold,<br />

but have slowly been returning,<br />

leading to many new opportunities<br />

for the Nazareth family to grow.<br />

Lynn’s hope for the future is that<br />

five new participants embark on the<br />

spiritual journey of service that the<br />

Service Corps can provide.<br />

Members of the 2021-<strong>2022</strong> Holy Family<br />

Service Corps (HFSC) team.<br />

Lunch with Mother Mary Ann as HFSC<br />

retreats with the Benedictine Sisters in<br />

Greensburg, PA.<br />

Artwork project led by Sr. Michele<br />

Vincent Fisher, CSFN showing how the<br />

members have grown.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

5


6<br />

MISSION


Finding Nazareth<br />

in Ukraine<br />

Editor’s Note: The following<br />

article uses excerpts from the<br />

General Administration letters<br />

on the War in Ukraine (1 & 2)<br />

found on nazarethfamily.org and<br />

interviews conducted by Sr. Angela<br />

Sczawinska, CSFN.<br />

It’s 8:00 p.m. Kyiv time, and the<br />

Sisters of the Holy Family of<br />

Nazareth log into their phones and<br />

computers to begin their evening<br />

rosary. Awaiting them on the<br />

other side of the screen are over a<br />

hundred of their fellow sisters, family<br />

members, friends, and acquaintances<br />

from Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Italy,<br />

France, and USA (and several others<br />

depending on the day), joining them<br />

in prayer for their evening rosary. “It<br />

[praying the rosary in community]<br />

gives me strength,” said one sister<br />

living and serving in Ukraine. “The<br />

notion that every day there are<br />

missiles flying over our home, yet<br />

there are so many people willing to<br />

help, and so many people who pray<br />

for us,” she added.<br />

Nazareth Sisters stop to pray as they<br />

seek safe shelter in a nearby basement.<br />

“Our situation is quite dynamic. We<br />

do not know what the next day or<br />

the next night will bring. Therefore,<br />

we try to live from hour to hour,”<br />

said another sister living in Ukraine.<br />

continued on next page...<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

7


At night, the sisters sleep in the<br />

basements of monasteries and<br />

churches, for they feel it is safer.<br />

Many of the Nazareth sisters living<br />

and working in Ukraine spend their<br />

days tending to the growing needs<br />

of families, children, and refugees as<br />

they cooperate with humanitarian<br />

efforts. One sister who helps with<br />

humanitarian efforts commented on<br />

the value she finds from her work<br />

bringing food and supplies to hungry<br />

children at orphanages, boarding<br />

houses, and hospitals. “It greatly<br />

fortifies me,” she said.<br />

When the invasion of Ukraine began,<br />

one of the Nazareth sister’s convents<br />

was forced to evacuate. These sisters<br />

are currently working alongside<br />

the sisters in Poland assisting with<br />

“I realized I have grown stronger in the realization<br />

that this is my country, for which I am willing to<br />

work hard in order to help bring back peace and help<br />

those who need it now.”<br />

the needs of a growing number of<br />

refugees. Some sisters help with<br />

translations and finding housing, some<br />

help in orphanages, some distribute<br />

goods, and others help with a<br />

listening ear and an open heart.<br />

As an international congregation,<br />

the Sisters of the Holy Family of<br />

Nazareth continue to offer support.<br />

As General Superior Sr. Angela<br />

Mazzeo relayed, “Our first and most<br />

powerful response to this crisis has<br />

been prayer. In every country where<br />

our sisters are present, there are<br />

intense prayers being offered for<br />

the end of war, even as far away<br />

as Australia and the Philippines.<br />

Many are praying the Rosary; many<br />

Masses are being celebrated. Holy<br />

Hours and all-night prayer vigils are<br />

being held, and sisters gather daily<br />

with co-workers and students to<br />

pray for peace.”<br />

Some of the Nazareth communities<br />

have even offered their homes to<br />

refugees. Others who are unable to<br />

8


open their housing are purchasing<br />

items such as food and bedding for<br />

those who have fled. Many of the<br />

sisters are volunteering in refugee<br />

housing centers. Some have begun<br />

language classes, while others have<br />

opened their classrooms in schools<br />

for new students. Some sisters are<br />

helping mothers of families whose<br />

husbands remain behind to defend<br />

their country to find employment<br />

and permanent residences.<br />

In the United States, many schools<br />

and places of employment served<br />

by the Nazareth sisters have held<br />

fundraisers to raise money for the<br />

sisters’ Ukrainian Relief Fund, which<br />

supports the growing needs of the<br />

sisters in Ukraine and Poland and<br />

their outreach to Ukrainian refugees.<br />

One of the sisters living in Ukraine<br />

commented, “You asked what this<br />

situation means to me. I realized I<br />

have grown stronger in the realization<br />

that this is my country, for which I<br />

am willing to work hard in order to<br />

help bring back peace and help those<br />

who need it now… I am grateful for<br />

the openness of the people, not only<br />

Ukrainians but also those who love<br />

Ukraine and sympathize with Ukraine<br />

in pain.” She closes her comment<br />

with this story that highlights the<br />

steadfast spirit and faith of the<br />

Ukrainian people. “The alarms go off,<br />

sometimes more often, sometimes<br />

less often. I was just at Mass when<br />

the alarm rang. It was in the middle of<br />

that Mass, right after the homily. The<br />

priest announced that it is an alarm,<br />

and whoever wishes can leave and go<br />

to the shelter. Nobody left. Everyone<br />

stayed in the church.”<br />

A Nazareth Sister driving to bring<br />

supplies to families in need.<br />

Nazareth Sisters serving in Ukraine<br />

eating dinner in community while<br />

seeking shelter in a parish basement.<br />

A Nazareth Sister working with<br />

volunteers to collect food and supplies<br />

for people in need.<br />

A Nazareth Sister adding kindling to<br />

keep the basement warm.<br />

We invite you to continue joining us in praying for peace and<br />

safety for all those in Ukraine and those helping the refugees. If<br />

you wish to donate to the sisters’ Ukrainian Relief Fund, please<br />

visit our Facebook page or view the details on the back cover of<br />

this publication.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

9


MINISTRY<br />

2020 Golden<br />

Apple Award<br />

2020 Golden Apple Award<br />

10<br />

Sr. Daniela Bronka, principal of St.<br />

Bede School in Pittsburgh, PA, was<br />

honored to be recognized with<br />

the 2020 Golden Apple award,<br />

which recognizes excellence and<br />

commitment to values within<br />

leadership and teaching in the<br />

parochial school system. Due to<br />

health and safety concerns that<br />

caused a delay in the presentation of<br />

the award in 2020, Sr. Daniela was<br />

recently able to accept the inscribed<br />

Golden Apple as a tangible reminder<br />

of her hard work!<br />

Sr. Daniela has been the principal<br />

of St. Bede since 2018, having<br />

previously served as the principal<br />

at St. Bernard School in Pittsburgh.<br />

She firmly believes learning is a<br />

lifelong experience — even for<br />

school administrators! In 2019, Sr.<br />

Daniela began attending the National<br />

Institute for School Leaders to learn<br />

about new trends in education and<br />

how best to implement them at<br />

St. Bede to benefit the faculty and<br />

students alike.<br />

“I think the most important thing is<br />

to approach each student individually<br />

and be prepared to develop new ways<br />

that help students be active learners.<br />

What may work for one student may<br />

not necessarily work for another,”<br />

Sr. Daniela stated. “Knowing the<br />

students that we teach is what is<br />

most important.”<br />

Sr. Daniela finds inspiration from the<br />

many Nazareth Sisters who have<br />

worked in education, such as Sr. John<br />

Domalik, Sr. Mary Ellen Gemmell, Sr.<br />

Mary Joan Jacobs, Sr. Jeanette Lawlor,<br />

Sr. Mary Anthony Lovezzola, and Sr.<br />

Francesca Onley, as well as Mother<br />

Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus<br />

the Good Shepherd. “All that I do is<br />

what our Mother Foundress wanted:<br />

serve the families. Being a principal<br />

is not just running the school but<br />

also recognizing the spiritual aspect.<br />

I am always open to our families<br />

and assist them whenever they<br />

need me. Sometimes, it’s just simple<br />

conversation, sometimes it is a prayer<br />

request, and sometimes it is helping<br />

out those in need,” she commented.<br />

Being awarded the Golden Apple is<br />

an incredible recognition. However,<br />

for Sr. Daniela, the highest honor<br />

comes from the families she serves.<br />

“The biggest reward is the kids.<br />

Simple smiles or a hug in the hallway,<br />

or a wave. I love when they come<br />

to the office just to say hello!<br />

COVID brought a lot of challenges<br />

for everyone, including faculty and<br />

students. We know that we are all<br />

in this together and we are working<br />

hard for our children. They are the<br />

reason I love what I do,” she said.


A “True Connelly<br />

Moment”<br />

THE NEXT GENERATION<br />

by Sr. Maria Annette Mallen<br />

On my way into work the other<br />

morning, I came across this<br />

“Blest” moment. Joe Connelly’s<br />

granddaughter was pitching in to help<br />

open an electronic gate access to the<br />

campus of Holy Family University.<br />

We already know that Joe and his<br />

three sons, Joseph Jr., Brian, and<br />

Dylan, have a work ethic beyond<br />

belief. Now it looks like Joe and Dylan<br />

have passed it on. This little lady is<br />

eager to work hard.<br />

Joe, of Landscaping Maintenance<br />

& Snowplowing Inc., has been a<br />

dedicated supporter of the Sisters of<br />

the Holy Family of Nazareth for many<br />

years. He has supported many of our<br />

CSFN socials, our family and friends<br />

events, golf outings for Holy Family<br />

University, and so much more. When<br />

I saw the “next generation” (Victoria)<br />

so determined to pitch in, it brought<br />

a smile to my face. We love your<br />

dedication, example, and nurturing<br />

of the next generation, Joe. May God<br />

bless you abundantly!<br />

Jonathan Cuniak, Regional<br />

Administrator of Pittsburgh East<br />

Regional Catholic Schools, Rev.<br />

Thomas J. Burk, Pastor of St. Mary<br />

Magdalene Parish, Sr. Daniela Bronka,<br />

CSFN, Michelle Peduto, Director of<br />

Catholic Schools, and Rev. Matthew<br />

Hawkins, Parochial Vicar of St. Mary<br />

Magdalene Parish stop to take a photo<br />

during the presentation of Sr. Daniela’s<br />

Golden Apple award ceremony.<br />

Joe Connelly taking a break with his<br />

granddaughter Victoria.<br />

Joe Connelly with his granddaughter<br />

Victoria, son Dylan, and Dylan’s<br />

wife, Taylor.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

11


Healing Rosary<br />

My for Today’s Families<br />

Unknown Is in<br />

God’s Hand<br />

by Sr. M. Marcelina Mikulska,<br />

CSFN, M.S.<br />

Where is God amidst the<br />

anxieties in my life? What is His<br />

plan? Where do I need healing?<br />

Am I serving God or my own<br />

ego, my pleasures, my fears?<br />

We have been created in the image<br />

of God, the Imago Dei, to develop,<br />

mature, grow, and love; yet how often<br />

do we ask ourselves these questions?<br />

God reveals Himself to us every day.<br />

In the Vatican II document, Gaudium<br />

et Spes, we read, “In reality it is only<br />

in the mystery of the Word made<br />

flesh that the mystery of man truly<br />

becomes clear. Christ, the new<br />

Adam, in the very revelation of the<br />

mystery of the Father and of His<br />

love, fully reveals man to himself and<br />

brings to light His most high calling”<br />

(Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes 22).<br />

Viennese psychiatrist and well-known<br />

existentialist Viktor Frankl defined<br />

self-transcendence as being a human<br />

who directs his sight toward someone<br />

or something that is more than the<br />

self. “The essentially self-transcendent<br />

quality of human existence renders<br />

man a being reaching out beyond<br />

himself” (Frankl, 1997). As Christians,<br />

we know there is a Someone who is<br />

more than we. What a challenge and<br />

privilege, all at once!<br />

But even with this knowledge you<br />

may still say, “I am fearful of who<br />

is in charge of what is unknown<br />

to me.”<br />

Whatever happens to you today or<br />

during this upcoming year — be they<br />

persecutions, suffering, terrorism,<br />

enslavement, mandates, coercion,<br />

lockdowns, death, and whatever else<br />

may come — all of this does not<br />

change your identity and the deepest<br />

longing for God. Jesus is the King of<br />

Peace. He comes with His grace and<br />

love and calls us His beloved child.<br />

We are willed. We are fearfully and<br />

wonderfully made. We belong to the<br />

most royal family. “God has revealed<br />

His innermost secret: God Himself is<br />

an eternal exchange of love, Father,<br />

Son, and Holy Spirit; and He has<br />

destined us to share in that exchange”<br />

(CCC 221). Our hope lies in the belief<br />

that God’s promise is true no matter<br />

what. He comes once in mercy as the<br />

meek Lamb, and the second time in<br />

justice as the Lion of Judah to protect<br />

and avenge His little ones.<br />

12


The uncertainty of our times can be<br />

scary, and rightly so. However, our<br />

God is King of Peace, Emmanuel,<br />

and our Savior. Our God is with us!<br />

God comes with the power to help a<br />

human being safeguard his or her own<br />

dignity. He upholds us in His loving<br />

He also is leading you “in joy by the<br />

light of His glory, with His mercy and<br />

justice for company” (Bar 5: 9).<br />

Staying on the side of truth, especially<br />

in today’s world, is not an easy task.<br />

However, it is one that holds such<br />

great worth. There may be times<br />

“May Your Will be done. You know better than I what<br />

is good for me. Perhaps my current desires and plans<br />

are not even good for me. Your plan for my future is<br />

well organized and edifyingly scheduled.”<br />

and gentle hands at all times. He looks<br />

after us and brings hope. With God,<br />

we are prepared sufficiently for every<br />

contingency. This hope requires great<br />

submission to trust and surrender<br />

— leave all of your worries, even the<br />

most realistic and frightening, in God’s<br />

strong Hand.<br />

I pray, may Your Will be done. You<br />

know better than I what is good for<br />

me. Perhaps my current desires and<br />

plans are not even good for me. Your<br />

plan for my future is well organized<br />

and edifyingly scheduled.<br />

You cannot afford to be complacent<br />

about your life. As God led Israel,<br />

when we are called names and feel<br />

humiliated. There may also be times<br />

when others believe us to be inferior.<br />

Moments filled with long stretches<br />

of malleable hardships, loneliness,<br />

and sadness do affect our lives. And<br />

yet, even in the midst of these grim<br />

situations, God is present. He carries<br />

us through those most broken of<br />

times because the only way out<br />

of suffering is to go through it, to<br />

experience it with Divine Assistance.<br />

At times our suffering may feel like<br />

we are wearing the crown of thorns<br />

that pierces through our skin. There<br />

is tremendous suffering and hurt, and<br />

it seems that there is no one who<br />

can fully understand the weight of the<br />

cross we carry. Nevertheless, Christ<br />

knows and invites us to recognize His<br />

example and find rest in complete<br />

dependence on God.<br />

No one can destroy our soul and<br />

identity. Though the journey of waiting<br />

and suffering may be difficult, we are<br />

people of hope and know in faith<br />

that with God, even the impossible<br />

becomes possible. As the Scripture<br />

says, “But those who hope in the<br />

Lord will renew their strength; they<br />

will soar on wings like eagles; they<br />

will run and not grow weary, they<br />

will walk and not be faint” (Isiah 40,<br />

31). Life’s journey of the unknown,<br />

of suffering, and waiting happens to<br />

us all, but as People of God may we<br />

be filled with His grace to build a<br />

defense against fear and doubt and<br />

fill it with anticipation, faith, hope,<br />

and confidence.<br />

May the Holy Family whose example<br />

and model witness such hope, faith,<br />

and great reliance on God, give us<br />

strength and encouragement in the<br />

midst of these times.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

13


14<br />

REFLECTION


Divine Mercy<br />

Editor’s Note: The article below<br />

on Sr. M. Estelle Pryszynski (1914-<br />

2011) was written from the previous<br />

interviews conducted by Sr. Gemma<br />

Pepera, CSFN (December 1, 2011) and<br />

Sr. Rose Mary Modzelewski, CSFN<br />

(1938-2019) (February 2003: “A Brief<br />

Account: The Journey of the Message<br />

of the Devotion to the Mercy of God).<br />

We invite you to join us in praying<br />

the Divine Mercy Novena beginning<br />

Good Friday, April 15.<br />

A native of Pittsburg, PA, Sr. M.<br />

Estelle Pryszynski entered the Sisters<br />

of the Holy Family of Nazareth on<br />

August 31, 1930, days shy of her 16th<br />

birthday. Spending her novitiate with<br />

the Nazareth sisters in Italy, she<br />

then traveled as a young Temporary<br />

Professed Sister to Poland for<br />

studies, where she was a student in<br />

Warsaw for a year-and-a-half. She<br />

next went to Vilnius, Lithuania, for<br />

three years, where she completed her<br />

studies in mathematics, physics, Latin,<br />

and Polish.<br />

When the war broke out in 1939,<br />

Sr. Estelle and the other American<br />

sisters studying and living in the area,<br />

concerned for their safety, asked for<br />

a transfer to Paris or Rome. It was<br />

1940 when Sr. Estelle, stationed in<br />

Vilnius (then part of Nazi-occupied<br />

Poland), was granted a transfer and<br />

preparing to leave for Paris.<br />

During this time, Sr. Estelle visited<br />

the Ostra Brama gate to the city. The<br />

Ostra Brama is an important Catholic<br />

pilgrimage site as the icon of Our<br />

Lady of the Gate of Dawn is housed<br />

in the chapel, and because Divine<br />

Mercy Sunday had first been observed<br />

there in 1935. Fr. Michael Sopocko<br />

displayed the image of Divine Mercy<br />

over the famous gate and preached<br />

the message of mercy to those<br />

gathered in the chapel. By 1940, the<br />

image of Divine Mercy safely found<br />

its home in the chapel.<br />

Sr. Estelle was a former student of<br />

Fr. Sopocko and it was during that<br />

time he shared with her the message<br />

of Divine Mercy communicated to<br />

St. Faustina. It just so happened<br />

Sr. Estelle ran into Fr. Sopocko<br />

while visiting the Ostra Brama. She<br />

informed him of her plans to flee,<br />

and at that moment, Fr. Sopocko<br />

asked of her a favor that would<br />

require great courage. Fr. Sopocko,<br />

the spiritual director of Sr. Faustina<br />

Kowalska of the Sisters of Our Lady<br />

of Mercy, knew of the miraculous<br />

vision Sr. Faustina had received of<br />

Jesus. Speaking a series of messages<br />

to her, He was dressed in white with<br />

rays of white and red light emanating<br />

from His heart. This vision of Jesus<br />

would become known as the Divine<br />

Mercy image. However, news of this<br />

important apparition had not yet<br />

reached Rome. Fr. Sopocko asked<br />

Sr. Estelle to change her plans and<br />

instead travel through Nazi-held<br />

territories to deliver the story of<br />

Sr. Faustina to Vatican officials.<br />

Sr. Estelle agreed to adjust her plans.<br />

So, Fr. Sopocko wrote the story of<br />

Sr. Faustina in a piece of silk, which<br />

Sr. Estelle sewed into the lining of her<br />

habit before beginning her trip. This<br />

journey was not without danger as<br />

it was a three-day trip through Nazi<br />

territory. Her superiors informed<br />

Sr. Estelle to make contact with<br />

the Red Cross at every stop her<br />

train made so that her last location<br />

would be known should she not<br />

1939 Passport photo of Sr. M Estelle<br />

Pryszynski.<br />

Sr. M. Estelle Pryszynski.<br />

Fr. Sopocko.<br />

continued on next page...<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

15


each Rome. By the grace of God,<br />

she arrived in Rome and was able to<br />

share the message she had smuggled<br />

with Mother Lauretta Lubowidzka,<br />

CSFN, who in turn delivered it to<br />

the Vatican. Only one other attempt<br />

to send the story of Sr. Faustina to<br />

the Vatican had been made, and it is<br />

not known if the messenger, a priest,<br />

ever made it to Rome. Had Sr. Estelle<br />

declined to change her plans out of<br />

fear or been discovered carrying the<br />

message hidden in her habit, the<br />

world may never have known the<br />

gift of Divine Mercy!<br />

In April 2000, Sr. Faustina Kowalska<br />

was canonized as St. Faustina, and<br />

Pope John Paul II officially recognized<br />

the second Sunday of Easter as the<br />

Sunday of the Divine Mercy. To this<br />

day, our sisters remain grateful that<br />

Sr. Estelle was able to play even a<br />

small part in bringing the light of this<br />

heavenly apparition to the Vatican<br />

and paving the way for St. Faustina!<br />

Sisters at the Gate of Dawn.<br />

St. Faustina’s vision of the<br />

Divine Mercy, painted by<br />

Eugeniusz Kazimirowski.<br />

St. Faustina.<br />

16


In Memoriam<br />

Sr. M. Consolata Pylilo<br />

April 29, 1922 - January 24, <strong>2022</strong><br />

The angels, music, and Puerto Rico<br />

— these three components sum up<br />

what filled the life of Sr. Consolata of<br />

the Angels and led her to praise her<br />

Divine Majesty without ceasing.<br />

She was born Sophia Pylilo on April<br />

29, 1922, to Augustine and Stefania<br />

Pylilo in Brooklyn, New York. She<br />

was the youngest of seven children<br />

baptized and educated at Saints Cyril<br />

and Methodius Parish. When Sophia<br />

was 4 years old, her older sister<br />

entered the Sisters of the Holy Family<br />

of Nazareth. As she later recalled, “I<br />

began to know as early as third grade<br />

that I wanted to be a sister.”<br />

vows in 1942 and perpetual vows<br />

in 1948 where she added the<br />

mystery to her name “of the Angels.”<br />

All ceremonies took place in the<br />

Immaculate Conception Chapel in<br />

Torresdale, PA.<br />

The “Angels” guided her to be a<br />

pioneer in Puerto Rico, where she<br />

was one of the first five Sisters to<br />

serve at Colegio Espiritu Santo in<br />

1944. Knowing no Spanish at the time,<br />

she learned quickly. She received a BS<br />

from Marywood College, an MA from<br />

Villanova University, and a diploma<br />

from the University of Madrid in<br />

Spain. In 1967, Spanish was added to<br />

her permanent teaching certification,<br />

for which she was especially proud.<br />

While in Puerto Rico, Sister began a<br />

choir that sang for school activities<br />

and Masses, while her adult choir<br />

sang for Sunday Masses. God gifted<br />

her with a love for music, whether<br />

she was singing or playing the<br />

guitar. Many of her students from<br />

Colegio Espiritu Santo, who are now<br />

grandparents, kept in touch with her<br />

for more than 50 years.<br />

Various other teaching assignments<br />

led her to St. John Cantius, Nazareth<br />

Academy High School, and Holy<br />

Family College in Philadelphia, Sacred<br />

Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Scranton,<br />

PA, Nativity BVM High School in<br />

Pottsville, PA, and Queen of Peace<br />

in Ardsley, PA.<br />

In 2014, Sister Consolata of the<br />

Angels celebrated her Diamond<br />

Jubilee of religious life. At that time,<br />

she remarked that throughout 75<br />

years, “I have always been grateful to<br />

God for my vocation to religious life.”<br />

Her gratitude extended to her family,<br />

especially her mother, for the strong<br />

influence they had in her early life and<br />

the community for the great care she<br />

received in her later years.<br />

In 1998, Sister Consolata retired<br />

to Mount Nazareth. Visiting with the<br />

sisters on the second floor, joining in<br />

song with favorite hymns, and praying<br />

in the Chapel were her favorite<br />

daily activities.<br />

On January 24, <strong>2022</strong>, the heavenly<br />

music, provided no doubt by the<br />

Angels, gently led Sister Consolata<br />

from Mount Nazareth to her<br />

eternal home.<br />

Sophia adored the soon to be Sister<br />

Rosaline and desired to follow in<br />

her footsteps. After eighth grade she<br />

entered Nazareth Academy High<br />

School in Philadelphia, PA. She became<br />

a postulant in 1939 and a novice<br />

in 1940 receiving the name Sister<br />

Consolata. Sister made temporary<br />

Donations in memory of a deceased sister may be mailed to<br />

Development Office, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

— USA, Inc., 310 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Please<br />

include a note with the name of the Sister in whose memory you<br />

are giving. Donations may also be made online at<br />

nazarethcsfn.org/support-us/donate.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

17


DEVELOPMENT<br />

Oktoberfest in Spring<br />

Thank you to Sr. Clare Marie Kozicki and her committee for all the hard<br />

work they did organizing this year’s Oktoberfest in Spring fundraiser.<br />

Some 200 sisters and friends gathered for delicious food, raffles, and a<br />

silent auction.<br />

For our sisters, finally being able to gather face-to-face with their friends<br />

and benefactors was the best part of the afternoon. They are grateful that so<br />

many would take time out of their busy schedules to attend our Oktoberfest<br />

in Spring fundraiser.<br />

Many thanks to our sponsors, without whom<br />

this event would not have been so successful:<br />

• Mrs. Maureen A. Magnuson<br />

• Mr. and Mrs. Gregory C. Reichle<br />

• Mr. Stanley J. Gradowski, Jr.<br />

• Meyer Dental Group PC<br />

• Maryville Academy<br />

• St. Emily Parish<br />

• Bredemann Toyota in Park Ridge<br />

• Dr. Michael P. Zygmunt, MD<br />

• Mr. Gunther A. Dorth<br />

• Cruz-Sojka Funeral Home<br />

• United Lithograph, Inc.<br />

• Ms. Maria Bradley<br />

• Mrs. Joanne B. Johnson<br />

• Knights of Columbus Council #6481<br />

• Ivan Carlson & Associates, Inc.<br />

• Indestructo Party Rental Co.<br />

• Meridian Banquet &<br />

Conference Center<br />

• Haring & Associates<br />

• Anonymous Benefactors<br />

18


We Invite You to<br />

Participate in Our Prayer<br />

Remembrance Program.<br />

When a relative, friend, or loved one passes away, celebrates a birthday or<br />

anniversary, or is experiencing ill health, you can express your sentiments,<br />

honor them in a meaningful way, and offer a gift to the Sisters of the Holy<br />

Family of Nazareth. Those you choose to honor will share in the spiritual works<br />

and prayer of the sisters and be remembered during daily liturgy and a special<br />

Mass each month. Their name will also be placed in the Prayer Remembrance<br />

book located in the chapel at our Provincialate House. Contributions to the<br />

Prayer Remembrance Program are used to help care for our elderly and<br />

infirmed sisters, as well as those who continue to minister for and with families.<br />

If you would like to participate in the Prayer Remembrance Program, order<br />

from our website (nazarethcsfn.org/donate/request-spiritual-greeting-cards) or<br />

call us at 847-298-6760 x. 143, email us at csfn_development@nazarethcsfn.org,<br />

or write us at Development Office, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth —<br />

USA, Inc., 310 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016-1211. We will send you as<br />

many greeting cards as you would like, so you can send them to your relatives<br />

or friends, as well as a convenient reply envelope for your contribution.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // SPRING <strong>2022</strong><br />

19


310 N River Rd.<br />

Des Plaines, IL 60016<br />

www.nazarethcsfn.org<br />

Non-profit<br />

Organization<br />

U.S. Postage<br />

Paid<br />

Rockford, IL<br />

Permit No. 2495<br />

UKRAINIAN RELIEF FUND<br />

The Ukrainian Relief Fund was established to support the needs of our CSFN<br />

sisters in Ukraine and Poland and their outreach to Ukrainian refugees. If you<br />

would like to donate to help the sisters in Poland and Ukraine with their work<br />

to the refugees, you may do so by:<br />

1. Visiting nazarethcsfn.org. Click on “Donate,” fill out the form, and in<br />

“Message Box” note: Donation for Sisters in Ukraine<br />

2. Sending a check made payable to: Sisters of the Holy Family of<br />

Nazareth — USA, Inc.<br />

Include Memo: Donation for Sisters in Ukraine<br />

Mail to:<br />

Attn: Treasurer<br />

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth — USA, Inc.<br />

310 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016<br />

We thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration and generosity!<br />

or<br />

We, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, are called to extend the Kingdom of God’s love among ourselves and<br />

others by living the spirit of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph whose lives were centered in the love of God and one another.<br />

We witness to this love through dedicated service to the Church, especially in ministry to the family.

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