Sister Metrodore Anne Mizun, SSMI
1921 — 2016
Sr. Metrodore died peacefully on early morning on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at Holy Family Home in Winnipeg, MB. During her last days Sisters, her Sister, Sr. Genevieve, staff, SSMI Associates, and nieces, Margaret and Ellen were at her bedside to share and pray. She was in her 95th year and 78th in religious life.
Anne (Sr. Metrodore) was born in Toronto, ON, on November 11, 1921, daughter of Leon and Magdelene (nee Drociuk). Her parents emigrated to Canada in 1913 from Peremyshliany in Western Ukraine, settling in Cooksville, ON (renamed Mississauga.) The Mizun Family were deeply religious and shared their faith with their children. They first belonged to St. Josaphat Church (now a Cathedral) and sent their children to Catholic Schools in Toronto. Their daughters stayed with the Sisters Servants. Anne also attended the Dormition parish on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where she was considered an exemplary Christian.
Hearing that the Sisters Servants were teaching in Catholic Schools in Montreal, they arranged to have their daughters Anne and Nadia stay with the Sisters and attend St. Gabriel’s School, where they taught.
In 1953, Leon and Magdelene donated a parcel of land for the construction of a church in Mississauga. Prior to this, for a time, church services were celebrated in their home. The church was built the following year and they were among the founding parishioners.
Leon and Magdelene were blessed with three vocations to Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. Their oldest child, Stephania, who was born in Ukraine, entered the Novitiate of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Mundare, AB in 1925. She took the religious name, “Naucratia.” She was a dedicated religious, loved to teach children and care for the sick. But illness led to Sister Naucratia’s death, which she accepted with deep trust in a loving God, in distant Mundare, in 1930.
Anne (Sr. Metrodore), inspired by the life of her sister, entered the Novitiate of the Sisters Servants on July 23, 1938. When she had just learned to read and write she wrote her sister, asking her to sew her a dress like she wears, because “I’m going to be a nun, too.” Apparently, Sr. Metrodore’s mother had wanted to be a nun, but could not afford the dowry required. Sr. Metrodore felt that things worked out for the better: “Had my Mother become a nun, there would have been three fewer Sisters Servants!” She made first profession of Vows on January 5, 1941, and final profession on August 08, 1947. The youngest in the family, Nadia (Sr. Genevieve), entered the Sister Servant Novitiate in 1942.
Sr. Metrodore was first missioned to Saskatoon, where she taught children and youth religion, and conducted Ukrainian School in St. George parish. She was missioned to Toronto, where she also served in a similar apostolate, while studying music. She was missioned to Mount Mary, Ancaster, where she conducted a kindergarten and nursery at the Sisters’ Children’s Home.
Sr. Metrodore served in the parish apostolate for most of her life, 54 years, in Windsor, ON, conducting a School of Music at the same time in the Sisters Home. She zealously prepared for this mission work over her lifetime. She studied at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto and of Saskatchewan, and in Windsor and Detroit. She took three years of additional studies in a private studio, taking courses in conducting and orchestration. Devoted to her Ukrainian heritage, for two summers, she attended a Seminar of Choral Conducting, sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Committee.
She served in many ways at Ss Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Church. She baked and prepared the altar bread for Holy Communion, did the church linen mending and laundry, took care of the plants and flowers, decorated the church for festive celebrations. She taught the children religion and conducted Ukrainian School. She directed the adult, youth and children’s choirs for several years and served as a cantor. She led a prayer group in the parish and was always ready to help a parishioner in spiritual need.
Sr. Metrodore was best known as the director and teacher at the School of Music at the Sisters Servants’ Home in Windsor for 54 years. She gave instruction in piano and musical theory. Sr. Metrodore did all in her power to help her students realize their potential and continued to assist them in whatever way she was able long after they had graduated from the School of Music. Her students looked to her for guidance in their personal lives and valued her advice.
One former adult piano student expressed her gratitude to Sr. Metrodore as follows: I tried to keep my perplexities to myself, but sometimes they followed me to my lessons. Sr. Metrodore became my confidant when stressful times arose. She gave me and my husband inspiration, hope and encouragement. I have witnessed her doing the same for others. At times people would knock at the convent door in pain, confusion and sadness. When they left, they smiled and felt comforted as we also had experienced. I have observed that she displays great respect for all, no matter their religion, nationality or culture. Sr. Metrodore reflects proudly on the Sisters Servants order and meeting her was a Gift from God.
Sr. Metrodore was warm and caring, compassionate to those suffering. She was grateful to her community for her opportunities to develop her talents and share them with others. She was the local superior in Windsor for over 35 years. In her later years she welcomed the “youngest” Sisters Servants to her home to help them along in their first years of religious life. She took a keen interest in the life of the Sisters Servants, participating in workshops, chapters, renewals and supporting the community with her kind words of encouragement, positive outlook, prayers and sacrifices.
Sr. Metrodore was devoted to her family, especially grateful for the witness of her parents, their life of faith, prayer, and dedication to the needs of the church by helping found a parish. She loved her siblings and reached out to them in times of sickness or other needs. Her delight was to vacation with her sister Sr. Genevieve.
In 2006 the people and parish of Windsor sadly bade “Farewell” to Sr. Metrodore, who accepted a new mission at St. Paul’s Home in Dauphin, MB. As health permitted, she visited the residents, played the organ in chapel, cared for wheel chair bound Sr. Elicia, and continued her ministry of prayer for family, friends and the local Resurrection parish to which she now belonged.
In 2008, the parish in Dauphin celebrated Sr. Metrodore’s 70th Anniversary as a Sister Servant. Recalling her past 70 years she stated: “I am deeply grateful for the graces God gave me, to do what I have up to now. I was never a strong person. No matter what the situation I would say: Somehow, with the grace of God, somehow, I’ll pull through. The only thing is, we have to have faith, we have to put ourselves into the hands of the Lord and say: OK Lord, I can’t do this alone, I need you to help me.”
Sr. Metrodore was especially grateful for her time of spiritual renewal and deepening at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. She could not find the words to thank the Superiors for her opportunity to travel to other counries and to Marian Shrines: Rome, the Holy Land, Lourdes, Fatima, England and Brazil, where she visited the Sisters Servants. She marveled at God’s many gifts to us, the glories of nature, architecture, the richness of the various cultures she encountered.
In early 2015, failing health made it necessary for Sr. Metrodore to leave Dauphin and join the Sisters Servants in Winnipeg, MB to share her life with the Sisters of Bethany Home and with the staff and residents of Holy Family Home, a personal care home of the Sisters Servants. She brought with her many precious memories. All who visited her left uplifted, assured of her prayerful support.
Sister Metrodore’s legacy to the Sisters Servants, our Church and people, is her deep faith and joy, the witness of her faithfulness to her commitment to Christ and Mary Immaculate, inspired by the example of Blessed Josaphata, and her missionary spirit. Even in her final illness, she had the taught a patient in the hospital to pray.
She was predeceased by her parents, Magdelene and Leon; brothers Jaroslaw, Athanasius, a sister Anastasia, and a second brother Athanasius, all of whom died in infancy, and by sisters Stephanie (Sister Naucratia, SSMI,) Mary, brothers Joseph and his wife Irene, Walter and his wife Toledo.
Sr. Metrodore is survived by her sister Sr. Genevieve Nadia SSMI, Yorkton, SK, and nieces and nephew Marie, John, Margaret and Ellen and great-nieces Michelle, Jamie, Geoffrey, Kimberley, Samantha, Danielle.
The funeral Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Saturday, October 01, 2016, at Bethany Home chapel by Rev. Bohdan Lukie, CSsR, main celebrant, with Monsignor Michael Buyachok and Rev. Isidore Dziadyk, OSBM, concelebrating. Present were Superior General Sr. Theresa Slota, Provincial Councillor Sr. Janice Soluk and the Sisters of Bethany Home and Holy Trinity Home, SSMI Associates, staff of Holy Family Home and a dear friend from Windsor, Michael Senkow. The eulogy was given by Provincial Councillor Sr. Janice and Michael Senkow.
Provincial Councillor Sr. Janice Souk expressed the gratitude of the Sisters: Sr. Metrodore valued the warm welcome and excellent care she received. On behalf of our Provincial Superior, Sr. Christina Syrotynsky, and all the Sisters, we are grateful for the compassionate care that was provided by the 2A staff — Sacred Heart Unit, Doctors Connelly, Taras Babick and Andrea Babick, all the Clergy, Sisters, Associates and friends who took time by her bedside over the past few weeks. Thank you to the Staff at Seven Oaks Hospital during her recent time there. Also, heartfelt gratitude to the Windsor Parish, who reached out through phone, letters and many prayers, especially Fr. Eugene, Michael and Garry.
Thank you, to all of you who came today to bid a prayerful farewell to our dear Sr. Metrodore, and for joining us in prayer, as this is the best and only gift we can now give her.
Sister Metrodore’s legacy to the Sisters Servants, our Church and people is her deep faith and joy, the witness of her faithfulness to her commitment to Christ and Mary Immaculate, inspired by the example of Blessed Josaphata, and her missionary spirit.
The pall bearers were Brian Huzel, Harry Janzen, Slawko Semerak, Michael Senkow, Eugene Slota and Steve Sumka. After the interment at Holy Family Cemetery at the SSMI plot, the Memorial Lunch reception followed at Bethany Home. Local Superior Sr. Darleane Pelechaty thanked everyone who accompanied Sr. Metrodore on her last days with us, especially her family members and the Sisters who gave the last two weeks taking time to be with Sr. Metrodore 24/7. She thanked all who had helped in the preparation for the funeral and those who came to celebrate her life and assist in various ways. She especially thanked Father Don and the assisting clergy for leading all present in prayer for her and with her at the Requiem Divine Liturgy.
Eternal memory! Rest in peace, Sr. Metrodore!