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Nazareth<br />




THE HOLY<br />




PROVI<strong>NC</strong>E<br />

// VOL 17 //<br />

// NO 3 //<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />

Hope for<br />

Every Journey<br />



PROVI<strong>NC</strong>IAL SUPERIOR<br />

Dear Friends of Nazareth,<br />

It was not long ago when we transitioned from summer<br />

to autumn, a time when the leaves change from green to<br />

a magnificent display of vibrant colors, the temperature<br />

becomes cooler, animals prepare for the long winter months,<br />

and daylight begins to decrease.<br />

Change, whether it occurs in seasons or within our lives, is<br />

inevitable. We know change can be challenging and daunting<br />

at times, but it’s also an opportunity for personal growth,<br />

new beginnings, and new life experiences. As Sisters of the<br />

Holy Family of Nazareth, one aspect that remains constant<br />

within our lives is family: the heart of our mission. Over the<br />

years, the sisters have dedicated their time and energy to<br />

various ministries to help and serve families throughout the<br />

United States. Even through unprecedented surges of change,<br />

the sisters remained steadfast and committed to responding<br />

to the call of the Church and the needs of families through<br />

education, healthcare, and social services.<br />

that our Nazareth charism and mission to families is<br />

witnessed by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth,<br />

who have volunteered and continue to volunteer in<br />

this ministry.<br />

Ministry initiatives that were rooted in our charism<br />

138 years ago have changed, opportunities for new<br />

ministries were embraced, but constant and never<br />

changing is the center of our mission — family.<br />

As we go through the change of seasons, let us offer<br />

our prayer of thanksgiving to God for the many and<br />

varied expressions of the Nazareth mission in ministry,<br />

the blessings that have shaped our today, and the<br />

fashioned works of the Church for tomorrow. May God<br />

continue to guide us and remind us we can find peace<br />

even in the midst of changes.<br />

In the Holy Family,<br />

Sister Kathleen Maciej<br />

In this issue of Nazareth Connections, you will have the<br />

opportunity to read about Holy Family Institute and<br />

the Saint Joseph Welcome Center, both located in<br />

Pennsylvania. Holy Family Institute’s Journey of Hope<br />

program provides shelter, counseling, recreation, and<br />

education to unaccompanied minors arriving in the<br />

United States, as well as the Long-Term Foster Care<br />

program launched in January 2022 to provide a safe, stable<br />

environment for those in need. Located in Pittsburgh, PA,<br />

Holy Family Institute is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters<br />

of the Holy Family of Nazareth.<br />

St. Joseph Welcome Center, Philadelphia, which is sponsored<br />

by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, provides<br />

education, support services, and programs that empower<br />

immigrants to become self-sufficient. It is within this ministry<br />


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

love with us as we strive to recognize God in ordinary experiences.<br />

Learn more about our community life, our ministries, and our mission at<br />

nazarethcsfn.org/about-us. Contact Sister Emmanuela Le, CSFN, National<br />

Vocation Director, at 682-203-967 or vocations@nazarethcsfn.org.<br />


VOLUME 17 //<br />

NUMBER 3 //<br />

WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />

Nazareth Connections is published<br />

three times a year by the Sisters of<br />

the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

in the USA.<br />

Editor:<br />

Emily Dillon<br />

Contents<br />


4 Gathering in the<br />

Windy City<br />


5 Celebrating Our Novices<br />


8 Hope for Every Journey<br />

10 Serving Affirmations<br />

13 Blessed Mary of Jesus<br />

14 Pray the Holy Family<br />

Novena<br />


16 Sr. Mary Bernard<br />

Sr. Doloretta Dawid<br />

Sr. Maria Teresa<br />


18 Stay at Home Social<br />

19 Giving Gifts of Stocks<br />

General Conference participants and<br />

Sisters from the provincialate pause for<br />

a picture outside Holy Name Cathedral,<br />

Chicago, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Sister Incarna and Sister Pia Marie with<br />

Sister Linda Joseph, Sister Yvette and<br />

Father Farrell, the celebrant of the First<br />

Friday Mass at Nazareth Academy Grade<br />

School in Philadelphia.<br />

Sister Incarna and Sister Pia Marie at<br />

Visitation Parish in Norristown, PA.<br />

Proofreaders:<br />

Sr. Angela Szczawinska<br />

Sr. Mary Ellen Gemmell<br />

Katherine Barth<br />

Sr. Lucille Madura<br />

Amanda Giarratano<br />

Province Communications Committee:<br />

Sr. Mary Ellen Gemmell<br />

Sr. Angela Szczawinska<br />

Amanda Giarratano<br />

Katherine Barth<br />

Heidi Scheuer<br />

Sr. Emmanuela Le<br />

Sr. Marcella Louise Wallowicz<br />

Sr. Michele Fisher<br />

Sr. Rebecca Sullivan<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, x144<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 // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Gathering in the<br />

Windy City<br />

On Tuesday, September 5, we welcomed the sisters from all<br />

of our provinces to our General Conference, a representative<br />

gathering of the General Administration, Provincial Superiors,<br />

and sisters invited by the superior general to discuss ways in<br />

which the Congregation can be more faithful to its charism in<br />

meeting the contemporary needs of the Church and the world,<br />

as well as ways to promote growth and address specific matters.<br />

After their arrival and settling in on their first day, our General<br />

Administration and Provincial Superiors were offered a tour of<br />

our Heritage Room and Chapel before attending a meet-andgreet<br />

dinner later where lots of history, stories, and food were<br />

shared by all.<br />

Over the next couple of days, our visitors and Provincial<br />

Council were invited on various tours, including the Novitiate<br />

by our novices, Our Lady of the Guadalupe Shrine, St. Adalbert’s<br />

Church and Cemetery, as well as Saint Josaphat Church, Holy<br />

Family Medical Center, Our Lady Guadalupe Church, and some<br />

sightseeing in downtown Chicago. During one evening, the sisters<br />

gathered in the Chapel for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament<br />

and later for Vespers.<br />

Excitement mounted as Sisters<br />

from many countries arrived at the<br />

provincialate for the General Conference,<br />

September, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Sister Marie Kielanowicz describes<br />

the Heritage Room to the General<br />

Conference participants in September,<br />

<strong>2023</strong> (Des Plaines, IL).<br />

Featured in the picture from left to right are Sister Wieslawa Hyzinska from Warsaw; Sister Anita Jach, translator; Sister Speranza Grzebielec, Councilor General; Sister<br />

Lucyna Fraczek, Treasurer General; Sister Marie Kielanowicz; Sister Julitta Tłustowska from Krakow; Sister Malgorzata Kozub from Australia; Sister Justyna Czerwinska,<br />

translator; Sister Filotea Tichonowicz from Belarus; Sister Angela Marie Mazzeo, Superior General; Sister Greta Marie Gallo from the Philippines; Sister Alina Furczyk,<br />

General Assistant; Sister Beata Wilk from Ukraine; Sister Marie Fe Mata, Councilor General; Sister Kathleen Maciej, Provincial Superior; Sister Dorota Maria Podwalska<br />

from Rome; and Sister Amabilis Sikora, Secretary General.<br />



Celebrating Our Novices on<br />

the Feast of Christ the King<br />


This year, our novices’ feast day was celebrated on the<br />

Feast of Christ the King, November 26. In 1925, Pope<br />

Pius XI instituted this feast as a reminder that Christ<br />

reigns as King forever. Christ’s kingship is rooted in the<br />

Church’s teaching on the Incarnation — Jesus is fully<br />

God and fully man. Because of this, we are all encouraged<br />

to celebrate and live out our faith in public through this<br />

solemnity. Our novices are doing just that!<br />

Nazareth Academy High School students along with<br />

Sister Boguslawa Cofala, Theology teacher at Nazareth,<br />

pause for a picture with novices Sister Mary Incarna (L)<br />

and Sister Pia Marie Shelton (R) outside of the chapel at<br />

Nazareth Academy High School, Philadelphia, during the<br />

Apostolic Experience of the novices in October <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Auxiliary Bishop Most Reverend William Waltersheid with<br />

our novices, Sisters Pia Marie and Incarna this year in<br />

Pittsburgh, PA.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />


For five weeks, Sisters Pia Marie Shelton and Mary Incarna<br />

Garcia explored the CSFN ministries in two areas of the<br />

Province, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. They began their<br />

apostolic experience with the Consecrated Life Mass<br />

celebrated by Bishop David Zubik with the Jubilarians of the<br />

Diocese of Pittsburgh, and later got to know the sisters in<br />

Holy Family Manor with a fun activity, prayers, and supper.<br />

After a blessing from Bishop Waltersheid and time spent at<br />

Holy Family Institute, the novices took off for Philadelphia.<br />

On Friday, October 6, the novices were welcomed by<br />

Nazareth Academy Grade School. They toured the school,<br />

taught the second-grade students a song about being a<br />

Saint, and assisted Sister Nahida Al Sawa in setting up the<br />

Scholastic Book Fair. After time well spent, the novices visited Nazareth Academy High School on October 18-19, where<br />

they shared their vocation stories and convent experience. They continued to venture through the campus, visit more<br />

classrooms, and sit with the students at lunch after praying a rosary offered for the families in the school community.<br />

On the weekend of October 21, Sisters Pia Marie and Incarna spent time with the sisters at Mary of Nazareth<br />

Convent. They were able to meet with Sisters Carol Mockus and Clare Marie Butt to learn about their experiences in<br />

development and transitional services respectively, as well as enjoy a dinner with two associates of the Holy Family they<br />

had originally met as affiliates at the House of Discernment in Richardson, TX. The novices spent the rest of the weekend<br />

preparing for the Fall Fest at Mount Nazareth, a special afternoon of games, crafts, homemade snacks, and sisterly<br />

camaraderie. The novices also went on a tour with Sister Marcelina Mikulska and Sister Rita Fanning to see some of the<br />


many shrines in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia<br />

and participated in a Holy Family University faculty<br />

staff dialogue on Listening is a Superpower sponsored<br />

by the university’s Interfaith Committee. More<br />

vocation stories were then shared about life in the<br />

community, ministry, and the beauty of Nazareth<br />

when Sisters Pia Marie and Incarna went back to<br />

Mount Nazareth on October 25-27.<br />

Sisters in Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia expressed<br />

how much of a joy it was to have Sisters Pia Marie<br />

and Incarna join in prayer, work, fellowship, and fun<br />

throughout their journey, and a greater blessing to<br />

have witnessed their apostolic experience within<br />

their vocational discernment. As they continue<br />

their apostolic experience through January with<br />

a few more encounters in different areas of our<br />

province, may we pray over them and celebrate the<br />

novices’ feast day on the Feast of Christ the King, a<br />

declaration of Christ’s reign and kingship. Featured in<br />

the next spring issue will be their own reflections of<br />

their apostolic experience.<br />

Our novices teaching a song about being a Saint to the<br />

second grade at Nazareth Academy Grade School.<br />

Sisters from Mary of Nazareth Convent and Mount<br />

Nazareth in Philadelphia stop for a photo during the<br />

Fall Fest, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Most Reverend David Zubik and Sisters from<br />

Pittsburgh, PA, pause for a photo after the celebration<br />

of the jubilarians of the Pittsburgh Diocese in October<br />

<strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Our novices pictured at the Grounds for Sculpture in<br />

nearby Trenton, NJ.<br />

Our novices participating in a Holy Family University<br />

faculty staff dialogue on Listening is a Superpower<br />

sponsored by the university’s Interfaith Committee.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Hope for Every<br />

Journey<br />




FROM IT?<br />

Eleven Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth were<br />

victims of the Nazi regime. The sisters were rounded up,<br />

shot, and buried in a mass grave. They gave their lives so<br />

others could live. One could only hope humanity would<br />

put an end to such horrendous crimes. Unfortunately,<br />

war, corrupt governments, violence, and extreme poverty<br />

continue around the world. Far too often children are<br />

the victims, forced to make the perilous journey to a<br />

far-off land seeking asylum, safety, and a decent life. Eighty<br />

years after the death of the sisters in Nowogródek,<br />

the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth continue<br />

to minister to children who make the journey from<br />

Central America to the United States on their own,<br />

unaccompanied by any protective adult.<br />

Since 2014, the Holy Family Institute (HFI) Journey<br />

of Hope program has provided shelter, counseling,<br />

recreation, and education to unaccompanied minors<br />

arriving in the United States with the goal of reuniting<br />

each child with their parents or relatives. This year,<br />

building on the shelter program’s eight years of success,<br />

we began a new initiative to serve even more children at<br />

a vulnerable point in their young lives.<br />

The program’s true beginning was in 2010 when<br />

12 children arrived at Holy Family Institute in January<br />

just one week after their home country of Haiti was<br />

devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. When<br />

they arrived in the United States, the children were<br />

brought to HFI, where they were cared for by<br />

staff and volunteers and provided with a safe and<br />

stable environment.<br />

Four years later, after an unprecedented surge in the<br />

number of children arriving at our southern border<br />

without parents or legal guardians, we reorganized<br />

the program to provide supportive services to these<br />

unaccompanied minors. Journey of Hope continues<br />

to offer shelter, food, clothing, counseling, recreation,<br />

and education to these children, many of whom<br />

have endured a long, perilous journey in search of a<br />

brighter future. While the plight of these children is<br />

heartbreaking, the Journey of Hope staff strives to help<br />

them feel safe, loved, and hopeful during their time<br />

in our care.<br />

Sister Linda Yankoski enjoys a moment with three<br />

children at HFI's Journey of Hope program.<br />


The Long-Term Foster Care (LTFC) program, launched in January 2022, provides a safe, stable environment for young<br />

people who require a longer stay than those served by our shelter program. This program provides care for up to 12<br />

teenage boys in a home-like environment, including comfortable housing, group meals, and dedicated case managers,<br />

clinicians, youth care workers, and interpreters.<br />

Sayed*, age 15, came to us from Afghanistan, where his family still lives. “I’m very happy to be here. I can’t express how<br />

happy I am. I am comfortable and safe here,” says Sayed. “I am only concerned about my family. I hope someday they can<br />

come to America too.”<br />

In a warm, family-like environment, the children are given a chance to work through any emotional or behavioral<br />

difficulties and are also provided with opportunities to explore their interests and grow as young men. As often as<br />

possible, the staff seek additional enrichment opportunities for the kids, from summer camps specifically for ESL (English<br />

as a second language) students to group ceramics classes at local arts centers.<br />

Sayed, who plays striker on the Avonworth junior varsity soccer team, dreams of one day playing soccer for an<br />

international team. “My dream is to play for an international soccer team, to raise the Afghan flag so that Afghans can see<br />

me and have pride in Afghanistan and in America.”<br />

Sayed and the other young men living in the home consistently show their resiliency and strength of character, enriching<br />

the lives of everyone they meet. Each child makes their mark on the program and leaves a reminder in the form of a<br />

painted handprint, many of which adorn the living room walls of the house. This program, along with the shelter program<br />

and post-release services gives Holy Family Institute and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth the opportunity to<br />

bring help, healing, and hope to a new generation of children.<br />

*Not his real name.<br />

“I’m very happy to be<br />

here. I can’t express<br />

how happy I am. I am<br />

comfortable and safe<br />

here,” says Sayed. “I am<br />

only concerned about<br />

my family. I hope<br />

someday they can come<br />

to America too.”<br />

A group moment captured from HFI's Journey of<br />

Hope program.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Serving Affirmation<br />

From her earliest days in ministry, Sister Teresa<br />

Mary Lukaszewski, or as she is commonly known<br />

“Sister Teri,” has had a special place in her heart for<br />

the poor and the marginalized. When Sister was<br />

first assigned to Nazareth Academy High School, a<br />

CSFN-sponsored ministry in Philadelphia, she was<br />

asked to take on the responsibility of moderator of<br />

the Community Service Corp or CSC in addition<br />

to teaching math. Among its numerous activities,<br />

the group did outreach to the poor and homeless<br />

of Philadelphia through St. Francis Inn, a Franciscan<br />

ministry in the Kensington neighborhood. Each<br />

month, Sister Teri and the girls would make the<br />

half-hour trip by school van to the Inn where<br />

they would assist in serving meals to the “guests”:<br />

homeless men and women seeking a hot meal, senior<br />

citizens struggling to make ends meet until their next<br />

Social Security check, and families dealing with food<br />

insecurity. More than just serving food, this ministry<br />

provided an opportunity to affirm the value of each<br />

person despite their economic circumstances and to<br />

remind them they were beloved children of God.<br />

A chance encounter with Sister Connie Trainor, SSJ<br />

during a retreat six years ago introduced Sister Teri<br />

to the Sisters of St. Joseph Welcome Center, located<br />

near the corner of Kensington and East Allegheny<br />

avenues. This ministry, sponsored by the Sisters of<br />

St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, is focused on educating<br />

and serving Philadelphia’s immigrant community.<br />

The immigrants assisted by the Center are from a<br />

wide variety of countries: the Dominican Republic,<br />

Guatemala, Costa Rica, Egypt, Chile, Venezuela,<br />

Vietnam, Poland, Morocco, Nicaragua, Albania, Haiti,<br />

Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Palestine, and<br />

Guinea. The Center offers English, computer literacy,<br />

and citizenship classes for both documented and<br />

Nazareth Academy High School in Philadelphia,<br />

PA, where the Community Service Corp reaches<br />

beyond the classroom and into neighborhoods where<br />

those in need receive help. For Nazareth students,<br />

service is a year-round experience, and Sister Teresa<br />

Mary Lukaszewski is one of many Sisters who has<br />

moderated the CSC.<br />


undocumented immigrants. Although not trained as an ESL<br />

instructor, Sister Teri commented that the skills needed in<br />

teaching high school students were readily transferrable to<br />

educating the Center’s clients. Sister also has experience in<br />

ministering to persons for whom English is a second language<br />

at Nazareth Academy through her responsibility in addressing<br />

the needs of the international students.<br />

Sister Teri noted a command of English is essential for<br />

immigrants to find a better job. The Center has a computer<br />

lab to assist clients in gaining computer and job training skills,<br />

which also are crucial to employment and job advancement.<br />

The computer lab was funded through a grant from our<br />

Nazareth Family Foundation. Prior to the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, Sister Camille Kwiatek, CSFN served as a volunteer<br />

at the Center, teaching ESL classes. The Nazareth presence is<br />

evident and vibrant in this ministry and will continue to be so.<br />

After serving eight years as director of the Welcome Center,<br />

Sister Kathleen McShane, SSJ recently stepped down from<br />

her position. Ms. Olivia Sharkey, a graduate of Nazareth<br />

Academy High School, assumed leadership as the new<br />

Executive Director.<br />

The Center is an oasis of trust and the demand for the<br />

services provided by the Center is great. Forty literacy<br />

classes and 20 citizenship classes are being offered this fall.<br />

These include both in-person and online classes. Despite a<br />

full day at Nazareth Academy High School teaching math in<br />

the Academic Enrichment Program among other duties, Sister<br />

Teri brings equal energy and enthusiasm to this ministry. Sister<br />

commented that in working with the immigrant population,<br />

she “receives more than she gives.” Initially Sister Teri taught<br />

only on Tuesday evenings but presently teaches on Tuesday and<br />

Thursday evenings via Zoom. The online option benefits those<br />

clients who are fearful of traveling by night to the povertystricken<br />

area where the Welcome Center is located or who<br />

are hampered by employment or family obligations.<br />

Adjacent to the Welcome Center is Mother of Mercy House<br />

(MOMH), another ministry to the marginalized population<br />

in the Kensington neighborhood. Initially founded by two<br />

archdiocesan priests and an Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister,<br />

the mission of MOMH is to “share the mercy of God with<br />

our neighbors through prayer and sacraments, counseling<br />

and support, food and clothing assistance, family programs,<br />

and most of all, by being a simple, safe, secure, and steadfast<br />

Christian presence in our community.”<br />

Sister Teresa Mary with Tasha Williams, the<br />

former Development Director of the Welcome<br />

Center.<br />

Sister Teresa Mary with Sister Kathy McShane,<br />

SSJ, former Director of the Welcome Center.<br />

Sister Teresa Mary at the Welcome Center.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Our Nazareth Congregation has played a supportive role<br />

in this ministry, particularly in addressing food insecurities.<br />

Each month, our retired sisters at Mount Nazareth in<br />

Philadelphia prepare 50 bag lunches for distribution by<br />

the MOMH staff. Included with each lunch is a note of<br />

encouragement written in English and in Spanish, given the<br />

large Hispanic client population in the area. The sisters at<br />

Delaney Hall (Holy Family University) regularly provide nonperishable<br />

food items for the MOMH food pantry. For the<br />

past four years, the university’s Family Center has provided<br />

$100 Walmart gift cards monthly to seven immigrant families<br />

to supplement their needs.<br />

Sister Teresa Mary during a class at the<br />

Welcome Center.<br />

Teachers of ELL and Citizenship classes<br />

volunteering at the Welcome Center; Sister Camile<br />

CSFN is on the far left in the first row.<br />


Blessed Mary of Jesus<br />

the Good Shepherd<br />

FRA<strong>NC</strong>ES SIEDLISKA, 1842-1902<br />

We celebrate our Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd’s birthday on<br />

November 12 and her feast day on November 21. Our Mother Foundress of the<br />

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Frances Siedliska, started the Congregation<br />

in 1875 in Rome, Italy. Though born into a family of privilege and wealth in mid-<br />

19th-century Poland, Frances hungered for a deep spiritual life that expressed<br />

itself in the radical commitment of vowed religious life.<br />

As she traveled through Europe seeking cures for her physical ailments, she<br />

eventually recognized and accepted God’s invitation to found a new congregation<br />

and traveled to Rome in 1873 to seek the blessing of Pope Pius IX. Frances<br />

established her first community in Rome to emphasize her commitment to the universal Church. Strong was her desire<br />

to bring the love of Christ to any and all; she transcended ethnic boundaries, welcoming women of many nationalities<br />

into the Congregation and serving God’s People in many different countries.<br />

Our charism, as expressed by our Foundress, is born of a deep contemplation of the Trinity and its human manifestation,<br />

the Holy Family of Nazareth. Like Mary and Joseph, faithfully living their daily lives in the presence of the Word made<br />

Flesh, our Foundress understood that simple ordinary life, lived in love, can be a profound encounter with God.<br />

Rooted in Christ in cooperation with the Church, our Congregation strives in the diversity of its ministries to build<br />

communities of love and hope. We recognize the family as the place where values are nurtured and persons are formed.<br />

In the spirit of Frances Siedliska, we work throughout the world to embrace the needs of the human family as our own.<br />

Frances took the religious name of Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd. She was beatified on April 23, 1989 in Rome. At<br />

this time, just fewer than 1,100 sisters in 14 countries live with her animating spirit as their inspiration and motivation.<br />



O most blessed Trinity, we praise and thank you<br />

for the example your servant, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd,<br />

has given us by imitating the life and virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth.<br />

Grant us the grace we ask through her intercession for your greater glory,<br />

for the sanctification of souls and for the extension of your kingdom on earth.<br />

Amen.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Pray the Holy Family<br />

Novena with Us<br />

This year, the Feast of the Holy Family will be celebrated on Sunday, December 31. Since 1989, our friends, benefactors,<br />

and family have joined us in praying the special Holy Family Novena, written by Sister Cathy Fedewa, CSFN, for the nine<br />

days leading up to this feast.<br />

Each day of the prayer focuses on a different aspect or form of family life, some of them non-traditional. “For all families...<br />

for new families... for families in pain... for persons without families... for our brothers and sisters throughout the world,”<br />

Sister Cathy explains. “When I was thinking about this prayer, all of those different aspects of family life came to me.”<br />

That year, the sisters in Pittsburgh received ecclesiastical permission from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to print the novena;<br />

they sent it to friends and family on their mailing list and invited them to join the sisters in praying the novena. Eventually,<br />

the custom spread across what is now the U.S. province of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth — and beyond.<br />

We invite you to join in spirit with this worldwide time of prayer and to use this novena at any time of the year. If you<br />

would like to share this novena with relatives and friends so they may pray it with us, copies in English, Polish, or Spanish<br />

can be downloaded from our website at nazarethcsfn.org/prayer/holy-family-novena. You may also order copies of the<br />

novena booklet at nazarethcsfn.org/donate/request-holy-family-novena.<br />

We also invite you to visit our YouTube channel (@nazarethcsfn) to watch the Holy Family Novena video series featuring<br />

our sisters reading the novena.<br />


More than 80 friends participated in a mass and<br />

enjoyed breakfast at our annual Morning with the<br />

Sisters, held at our convent in Grand Prairie, TX. We<br />

love that the only purpose of this event is to celebrate<br />

our friendships with so many wonderful people!<br />


NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Sister<br />

M. Mary<br />

Bernard<br />

June 20,<br />

1943 –<br />

September<br />

23, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Ursula<br />

Veronica<br />

Wiecezak, the oldest of three<br />

children born to Stanley and Frances<br />

Wiecezak, came into the world on<br />

Father’s Day, June 20, 1943, and was<br />

baptized on July 11, 1943 at her home<br />

parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa in<br />

Brooklyn, NY.<br />

Ursula's first encounter with the<br />

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

was in kindergarten at Our Lady of<br />

Czestochowa School, South Brooklyn.<br />

Ursula graduated from Our Lady of<br />

Czestochowa School on January 27,<br />

1957, and continued her education<br />

at Bishop McDonnell Memorial High<br />

School the following day. Hers was to<br />

be the last of the accelerated classes<br />

in the Brooklyn Diocese. On June<br />

26, 1960, Ursula graduated having<br />

completed the four-year curriculum in<br />

three-and-a-half years.<br />

Ursula entered the Congregation<br />

of the Sisters of the Holy Family of<br />

Nazareth in the Immaculate Heart<br />

of Mary Province on September 8,<br />

1960. Her postulancy was completed<br />

in Torresdale and Meadowbrook, PA.<br />

She was received into the novitiate<br />

in Torresdale on August 10, 1961,<br />

and received the name Sister Mary<br />

Bernard. Sister professed her first<br />

vows in Torresdale on August 12,<br />

1963, and perpetual vows on August<br />

11, 1968, in Monroe, CT. Following<br />

the community custom of adding a<br />

mystery to her religious name, she<br />

chose “the Word Incarnate” focusing<br />

on the divinity and humanity of Jesus.<br />

Sister Mary Bernard continued<br />

her studies at Holy Family College<br />

(presently Holy Family University) in<br />

Torresdale, PA, earning a bachelor’s<br />

degree in history. She went on to<br />

attain a master’s degree in social<br />

science at Marywood University<br />

in Scranton, PA. Her ministerial life<br />

centered on elementary, secondary,<br />

and university education. Sister<br />

taught in schools in Paterson and<br />

Lincoln Park, NJ; Utica, Glen Head,<br />

and Elmhurst, NY; Stratford, Trumbull,<br />

and Fairfield, CT; and Worcester,<br />

MA. She ministered in childcare at<br />

Little Flower Children’s Home in<br />

Wading River, NY, and was principal<br />

at Our Lady of Poland School in<br />

Southampton, NY.<br />

Sister Mary Bernard loved to travel<br />

and was a prolific writer, having<br />

shared her talents reporting on<br />

parish and school activities as a<br />

freelance journalist. She had a love<br />

for life, a love for her Congregation, a<br />

special love for the needy, and a love<br />

for God’s people who she served<br />

tirelessly for countless years. Sister<br />

was admitted to St. Vincent’s Medical<br />

Center on September 22 for what<br />

would be her last earthly adventure.<br />

God called Sister home in the early<br />

morning hours of Saturday,<br />

September 23.<br />

The sisters and family members<br />

of Sister Mary Bernard gathered<br />

September 26, <strong>2023</strong>, in the chapel of<br />

Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent<br />

in Monroe, CT, where she was laid to<br />

rest at Holy Family Cemetery.<br />

Sister M.<br />

Doloretta<br />

Dawid<br />

November<br />

14, 1938 –<br />

September<br />

12, <strong>2023</strong><br />

On the<br />

morning<br />

of November 14, 1938, Doloretta<br />

Dorothy Dawid was born to Vincent<br />

Joseph Dawid and Pelagia Mary<br />

(Kwapich) Dawid, lovingly known<br />

as Dave and Pearl, in Brooklyn, NY.<br />

This little infant was the second child,<br />

following a brother, Raymond. As it was<br />

said, the birth was a difficult one for<br />

both mother and child, but the Lord<br />

already had His plan. On December 25,<br />

1938, the day of her baptism, she was<br />

given the name Doloretta Dorothy.<br />

What a glorious day to be born into<br />

the family of God on the same day as<br />

the birth of Jesus!<br />

Sister Doloretta attended Saint Agatha’s<br />

Elementary School in Brooklyn. Upon<br />

her graduation from Saint Agatha’s,<br />

she made a decision at a young age<br />

to follow the Lord. She attended<br />

Nazareth Academy, Philadelphia, as an<br />

aspirant. On December 8, 1954 (the<br />

Marian Year), Sister Doloretta became<br />

a postulant in the Congregation of the<br />

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

Immaculate Conception Province. She<br />

began her Novitiate on August 16,<br />

1955, and received the name of Sister<br />

M. Clarita. On August 15, 1957, the<br />

feast of the Assumption of Our Lady,<br />

Sister Clarita pronounced her first<br />

vows, and her final vows on August 11,<br />

1963. At the time of her profession of<br />

perpetual vows, she chose the mystery<br />

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.<br />

Shortly after, Sister returned to her<br />

Baptismal name Sister Doloretta.<br />

Sister served in the teaching ministry<br />


in the Congregation. Throughout her<br />

many years instructing pupils, Sister<br />

was fortunate to meet students of<br />

all levels of education: elementary,<br />

secondary, and university. During<br />

these years, one sentence comprised<br />

her philosophy: “Teaching is a work<br />

of Heart.” Sister put her whole heart<br />

into the schools in which she taught<br />

in Pennsylvania: St. John Cantius in<br />

Bridesburg, Sacred Hearts of Jesus<br />

and Mary in Scranton, Nativity BVM<br />

in Pottsville, Nazareth Academy High<br />

School, and Holy Family University<br />

in Philadelphia.<br />

Sister Doloretta always had a<br />

devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows<br />

because of her name and tried often<br />

to say the rosary of the Seven Dolors.<br />

On Saturday evenings, she enjoyed<br />

watching movies about the lives of the<br />

Saints on EWTN, her favorite being<br />

the life of St. Josephine Bakhita. She<br />

loved to read and one of her favorite<br />

hobbies was writing poetry. She<br />

wrote mainly about family, nature, and<br />

spirituality. Some of her poems have<br />

been published in Folio Holy Family<br />

University’s literary magazine.<br />

Sister<br />

M. Maria<br />

Teresa<br />

April 21,<br />

1930 – July<br />

27, <strong>2023</strong><br />

Sister Maria<br />

Teresa<br />

(Stanisława Jasionowicz) came into<br />

this world as the third of four children<br />

of Leon and Helena (nee Wojton) in<br />

Jezupol, once Poland’s Stanisławów<br />

district but now today’s Ukraine.<br />

Her Grandpa Franciszek, who taught<br />

not only the truths of faith but also<br />

demanded faithfulness to prayer, left<br />

an indelible impression on the soul of<br />

Sister Maria Teresa.<br />

In August 1939 during the outbreak<br />

of World War II, Stanisława’s father<br />

was drafted into the army. Stanisława’s<br />

mother stayed in the Soviet Union<br />

for two years before falling ill and left<br />

to seek out various hospitals. After<br />

years of traveling, Stanisława and<br />

her siblings eventually reached the<br />

education camp in Isphahan where<br />

they found their mother again. She<br />

then managed to leave Russia on the<br />

last transport in fall1943, traveling<br />

through Iraq, Egypt, and Syria before<br />

staying in Lebanon for three years.<br />

It was during this time that she was<br />

“looking at many contemplative<br />

orders and meditating on the passing<br />

of time” and heard Jesus’s call:<br />

“Follow me.”<br />

When the war ended, Jezupol no<br />

longer existed, so Stanisława's family<br />

chose to go to England. It was<br />

there at a Polish girls’ school that<br />

Stanisława followed Jesus's voice<br />

into the Congregation of the Sisters<br />

of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The<br />

sisters, who opened a facility and<br />

their own school for refugee youth<br />

and Polish children, invited Stanisława<br />

to the convent in Pitsford. Upon<br />

her visit there, she read the book<br />

Life of Franciszka Siedliska by Sardi<br />

before making the decision to join.<br />

Stanisława took her final secondary<br />

school examination in Polish and<br />

English, and after graduating on<br />

October 24, 1950, she joined the<br />

community of the Sisters of the Holy<br />

Family of Nazareth in Pitsford. At the<br />

investiture ceremony, she was given<br />

the name Maria Teresa.<br />

In Rome, Sister Maria Teresa<br />

professed her perpetual vows in the<br />

presence of Archbishop Józef Gawlina<br />

on July 24, 1959, experiencing the<br />

period of the Second Vatican Council,<br />

the beatification of the Foundress of<br />

the Congregation in 1989 and the<br />

beatification of 11 Nazareth Sisters —<br />

Martyrs of Nowogródek — in 2000.<br />

She took part in the general chapters<br />

of her religious family and worked<br />

on the postconciliar revision of the<br />

Constitution of the Congregation.<br />

From Rome, Sister Maria Teresa went<br />

all over the world, first sent by her<br />

superiors and later guided by her own<br />

intuition and decisions of her own<br />

general council.<br />

Sister Maria Teresa took part in<br />

international symposia and congresses<br />

and was often invited to bring the<br />

world closer to the ordeal of the<br />

war years and the complex problems<br />

of the post-war years. Shortly after<br />

being elected Superior General of the<br />

Congregation on July 27, 1992, she<br />

became a member of the Executive of<br />

the International Union of Superiors<br />

General, the first Nazareth sister in<br />

history to hold this office.<br />

Having known Sister Maria Teresa<br />

Jasionowicz through her visits as<br />

Superior General and General<br />

Counselor, the entire congregation<br />

was invited to unite in prayer via<br />

Zoom for the Mass of Christian Burial<br />

on August 2, <strong>2023</strong>. May she rest in<br />

peace where she was laid to rest at<br />

Bagneaux Cemetery in Paris.<br />

Donations in memory of a<br />

deceased sister may be mailed<br />

to Development Office, Sisters<br />

of the Holy Family of Nazareth<br />

- USA, Inc., 310 N. River Road,<br />

Des Plaines, IL 60016. Please<br />

include a note with the name<br />

of the sister in whose memory<br />

you are giving. Donations<br />

may also be made online at:<br />

nazarethcsfn.org/donate<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />



Stay-at-Home Social:<br />

Everyday People<br />

This year marked the fourth year in what has become<br />

an annual tradition for our sisters, our stay-at-home<br />

virtual social broadcast online for all of our friends<br />

and benefactors to enjoy! On Wednesday, October 25,<br />

sisters, family, and friends from all over the world joined<br />

together for a 38-minute video program presented<br />

via Facebook.<br />

Our program began with a prayer from Sister Barbara<br />

Jean Wojnicki, who greeted the audience warmly. Next<br />

was the first of many moments of our sisters sharing<br />

little pieces of themselves to help our friends to see<br />

them as the everyday people they truly are, beginning<br />

with a greeting in as many languages as they know!<br />

Throughout the program, these vignettes of our sisters<br />

answering fun questions — such as, “Do you like<br />

pineapple on your pizza?” — gave viewers an insight into<br />

the reality of life among the sisters, who navigate through<br />

their lives like any other.<br />

Also featured in this year’s virtual social were testimonies<br />

shared by three of our sisters, Sister Angela Szczawinska,<br />

Sister Daniela Bronka, and Sister Janice Fulmer. Each<br />

sister shared stories of the paths their vocations have<br />

taken them on, from crossing oceans to begin anew on<br />

a new shore or visiting with our sisters abroad, and in<br />

so many different ministries ranging from education to<br />

spirituality and more. We were so pleased these sisters<br />

so kindly shared their experiences and helped our dear<br />

Nazareth family understand the life of a CSFN sister just<br />

a little bit better.<br />

The presentation also included salutes to the past as<br />

well as the present with our Provincial Archivist, Sister<br />

Rebecca Sullivan, sharing information and stories about<br />

some of the artifacts in the archive collection, reminding<br />

us that even the most innocuous object can hold within<br />

it a vital piece of history.<br />

Thank you once again to all of our generous donors,<br />

sponsors, volunteers, and sisters! We are already planning<br />

something special for next year’s stay-at-home social! If<br />

you missed the livestream video presentation or wish<br />

to share the social with your friends and family, visit the<br />

videos section on our Facebook page or our YouTube<br />

channel. If you would still like to donate to our social,<br />

go to our website and click “Donate” — note that your<br />

donation is for the social in the comment section.<br />

Send a gift in the mail or call our National<br />

Development Office at (847) 298-6760.<br />

MANY, MANY<br />

THANKS TO OUR <strong>2023</strong><br />


INTECH Construction<br />

Holy Family University<br />

WSFS Bank<br />

Terence & Patricia Delaney<br />

St. Rose of Lima Parish<br />

Nazareth Academy Grade School<br />

Nazareth Hospital<br />

Rev. Msgr. Albin Grous<br />

Margaret M. Jankowski<br />

Brad and Katherine Barth<br />


Giving Gifts of Stocks<br />

Makes “Cents” for<br />

You and Our Sisters<br />

Looking to give towards a cause you believe in and<br />

make your charitable dollars do the most good?<br />

Consider making a gift of publicly held stock or<br />

mutual fund shares (that you have had for at least<br />

one year) to the Sisters of the Holy Family of<br />

Nazareth – USA, Inc. These gifts not only help you<br />

claim the full market value of the shares you chose<br />

to donate, but also allow you to avoid taxes on<br />

capital gains, which we see as a double benefit for<br />

you, the donor.<br />

Consider the following example: John and Sue Smith<br />

own 100 shares of XYZ Corporation stock, which<br />

they purchased three years ago for $1,000. The fair<br />

market value of those 100 shares is now $2,000.<br />

If the Smiths donate the 100 shares of XYZ Corp.<br />

stock to the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth,<br />

they can claim the entire $2,000 as a charitable<br />

deduction on their 2022 taxes, and they do not have<br />

to pay capital gains taxes on the $1,000 profit.<br />

To take advantage of this double benefit, it is<br />

necessary to donate the shares of stock. If you<br />

sell the shares yourself and then donate the<br />

cash proceeds, you will be liable for capital gains<br />

taxes. Please note, if you are unable to take the full<br />

deduction in one year, you can carry it forward for<br />

up to five years.<br />

While gifts of cash are always greatly appreciated, a<br />

gift of stocks or mutual fund shares can benefit you<br />

and our sisters. We ask you to keep this in mind if<br />

you are considering a gift to the Sisters of the Holy<br />

Family of Nazareth – USA, Inc. As always, we are<br />

deeply grateful for your support of our sisters and<br />

their ministries.<br />


Mail: Send donations to the Development Office,<br />

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

Website: www.nazarethcsfn.org — click on “Donate” to use a credit card or checking account.<br />

Facebook: www.facebook.com/csfn.usa — click on “Donate”<br />

Call: 847-298-6760, ext. 237, our Development Office<br />

Text-2-Give: Text the word REGISTER to 847-994-4483. You will then be asked to provide contact and<br />

credit card information.<br />

NAZARETH CONNECTIONS // WINTER <strong>2023</strong><br />


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 />

Des Plaines, IL<br />

Permit No. 340<br />

SPRING FEST 2024<br />

We invite you to renew friendships and acquaintances and make<br />

new ones at our 2024 Spring Fest sponsored by the Spring Fest<br />

Committee and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, to<br />

be held on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at the Meridian Banquet and<br />

Conference Center in Rolling Meadows, IL.<br />

Enjoy a unique and exciting afternoon with an opportunity to try<br />

your luck at our choose-your-prize raffle, silent auction, and splitthe-pot<br />

raffle. CSFN Creations will provide lovely, handcrafted<br />

items for sale. A delicious luncheon will be served with a cash<br />

bar available.<br />

All proceeds from this event assist the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in their family outreach and will enable them<br />

to continue their mission through their daily ministries of service to, with, and for families.<br />

We look forward to seeing you soon!<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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