Sister Aloysia still finds purpose in helping others, something she’s been doing for nearly 90 years.
Turning 105 hasn’t dampened her call to serve in whatever way she’s able, even as a resident at the Mundare Mary Immaculate Care Centre.
“I pray for the residents here every day, I can still be helpful,” says the nun, who celebrated her birthday on Feb. 17. “They’re always ready to help me too if I need anything.”
Most of her days are spent in quiet reflection, either praying in her room or in the chapel. “I pray the rosary, and have spiritual readings I enjoy.”
Sister Aloysia was born Nancy Safranovich in 1913 in Chipman, Alberta. Her parents emigrated from Ukraine and settled in Canada, where Nancy and her four brothers and seven sisters were born and raised. She was just 15 when she entered the community of Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, choosing Aloysia (pronounced al-oh-WEES-ee-ah) for her religious name.
“I always felt called to be a nun, and I am satisfied I entered at 15,” says Sister Aloysia. “I was the only one of my siblings that went into religious life. It’s been a long time since I left my family.”
Sept. 2, 2018, will mark her 90th anniversary—an incredible milestone and a testament to a lifelong commitment to serving others.
That dedication includes 42 years of teaching English, French and Ukrainian to students in grades 2 to 8 in France, the United States and Canada, says Sister Laura Prokop, guardian and caregiver for the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Mundare. Sister Aloysia served as a principal in communities in Pennsylvania and New York states.
“It’s amazing to think it will soon be 90 years. Imagine that,” laughs Sister Aloysia.
Sister Aloysia doesn’t think too much about how she’s been
able to have such a long life.
“I had a simple life: I made wherever I was sent my home,” she says. “I was always happy with the places I lived, and I enjoyed what I did. I was always satisfied with the work I was given to do. I think that’s why I’ve lived so long.”
She aims to live life with “love and friendliness, peace and harmony, and God’s grace.” And she hopes that is how people see her and will remember her.
“I thank God for everything I have. Life has been good for me and I have no regrets. It’s God’s blessing for me. I am at peace.”
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