Sister Naucratia Emilia Hawryluk , SSMI
1915 — 2015
Sr. Naucratia, a Sister Servant of Mary Immaculate, died in Mary Immaculate Long Term Care, Mundare, AB on Friday, May 29, 2015 in her 101st year and 85th year in religious life.
Emilia (Sr. Naucratia) was born to Josaphat and Mary Hawryluk on January 08, 1915, in Innisfree, AB. In 1904, her father had immigrated from Schnereva, Brody, in western Ukraine, homesteading in this north-western region of Alberta. In 1908, he married Mary Warawa, who immigrated from Biliawtsi, Brody, western Ukraine in 1901 with her family. The Hawryluk children Dora, Joseph and Ignace welcomed their sister, whom they called “Minnie.”
Two years after Emily’s birth in 1917 the Hawryluk family moved to Mundare, where her father opened a retail business. Poor health had made it necessary for him to leave his homestead.
Sr. Naucratia’s parents took active roles in Ss Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mundare and community affairs. Josaphat belonged to the church choir and participated in the National Hall committee, serving as president for several years. In later years, he was Mayor, as well. Their deeply rooted faith and love of God was shared with their children. Moreover, Josaphat’s sister, Solomia had entered the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in 1906, making her Novitiate in rural Mundare. The Sisters had come to Canada from Ukraine in 1902! The family was grateful for her prayerful support, kindness and that of the Sisters, whom they came to know and love.
As it was for all pioneers, life for the pioneering Sisters Servants was difficult. Sr. Augustine (Solomia’s religious name) spent her first years going from farmer to farmer, collecting whatever could be spared for the Sisters, the children boarders and orphans they cared for in their School/Orphanage. Summers were spent in rural areas, teaching catechism. She also accompanied Sisters who visited the sick and cared for them.
At the age of 15, on August 27, 1930, Emilia answered the call of Christ and made the decision to follow in the footsteps of her paternal aunt, Sr. Augustine. No doubt the witness of the Sisters in caring for the sick, and comforting those who lost a family member to disease or accident, had awakened in her heart a desire to share in this much needed mission. Little did Emilia know that she would celebrate 100 years of life as a Sister Servant. Naucratia and that she would minister to the sick not only in her beloved Mundare, but also in Manitoba, USA and in Rome.
Sister Naucratia made her first profession of vows on September 3, 1932. Her first mission to 1936 was as a Nurse’s Aid in the Mundare General Hospital, which the Sisters Servants had opened in 1928. Noting her culinary skills, from 1936 to 1938, Sister Naucratia was missioned to the Sisters’ Convent in Edmonton, where she continued to develop her creativity in the kitchen. On August 15, 1939, she made perpetual profession of vows.
Sr. Naucratia was missioned to the Sisters Servants’ Hospital in Willingdon, near Mundare, for the next six years. She continued to serve as a Nurse’s Aid, gaining valuable experience “in action”! She would return to this Hospital and mission for three years, from 1948-1951, but her leadership qualities were not lost on her Provincial Superior! Thus she was assigned for a year each to serve as the local Superior at two distant missions: Ituna, SK, a Children’s Home, and Fort William, ON (now Thunder Bay), a parish mission with numerous families to catechize and many elderly and sick to visit and support in their infirmities.
In 1951, Sr. Naucratia went to St. Boniface Nurses’ Training School to study for a Licensed Practical Nurse. She graduated in 1952 and continued her ministry in the Sisters Servants’ health care ministries: Willingdon Hospital, 1952-1953, 1962-1964; Nursing Home of Divine Providence in Philadelphia, PA, 1953-1959; Holy Family Nursing Home, Winnipeg, MB, 1959-1962, 1971-1972, 1992-1994; Mundare Hospital, 1969-1971. She was also Superior at these missions. She also served in St. Paul’s Nursing Home in Dauphin, MB, 1972-1980.
In addition to her health care mission, Sr. Naucratia served where the need was the greatest: teaching children catechism in rural Manitoba, at the Ukrainian Catholic parish in Dauphin and in Willingdon, serving as camp nurse at the Children’s Summer Camps in Alberta at Pigeon Lake and Wabumun.
Sr. Naucratia was missioned to the Sisters Servants’ Motherhouse in Rome, Italy, twice, serving as the local Superior each time and caring for the infirm Sisters, 1964-1969, 1988-1992.
The following quotation from a letter of gratitude from Superior General Sr. Frances Byblow reveals what a gift she was to her and the Sisters and guests at the Motherhouse:
There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to Sr. Naucratia for her help in the Generalate for the past four years. She arrived on the eve of the 1988 Millennium Year celebrations and immediately took to doing what needed to be done. At that time, too, she was caring for Sr. Dorothea Makuch, who had abruptly taken ill with a severe loss of memory.
It wasn’t long after when Sr. Pimena Jacyshyn suffered a stroke and again Sr. Naucratia cared for her for awhile at home and, when she was hospitalized, paid much attention to her there, organizing night vigil with her in the last weeks of her life.
Then Sr. Dominic Slawuta became afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, which occasionally leaves her quite immobile, and again Sr. Naucratia oversaw her care. And, wouldn’t you know it, she had most of her suitcases packed when Sr. Theodosia Warechka, 85 years, fell at night and fractured her upper arm! I just want to tell you that without Sr. Naucratia’s professional expertise, we would have been the losers.
All this while, Sr. Naucratia was the Superior here at Via Cassia, an international SSMI community, a mammoth responsibility. Yet I never saw Sr. Naucratia shirk her duties, faithfully present at all community prayers and get-togethers.
The first days of Advent and of the Great Fast, saw the cookie sheets in and out of the oven many times, with Christmas or Easter delights. I truly admired this dedicated Sister Servant, who, though well over 70 years in age, obligingly walked around all day serving: for example, attending to telephone calls and doorbells ringing relentlessly and demanding immediate responses. And whenever we expected guests, I knew everything would be well taken care of. In fact, I think she enjoyed guests as a normal part of life! At her farewell, many seminarians were over to wish her well and to eat her cookies, especially the gingersnaps.
I am very grateful for all this, and now the Lord is calling Sr. Naucratia back to her Canadian Province to minister there. I know she will pray and work to her utmost. May God bless her at all times.
While in Rome, Sr. Naucratia had opportunities to visit various Sister Servant missions in the following countries: Yugoslavia (present Serbia) in 1968, Poland in 1988, Munich, Germany, 1990. She visited the Sisters Servants in Sloatsburg, NY, several times. She treasured her Holy Land Pilgrimage in 1966 and was grateful for this opportunity.
From 1994-2007, Sr. Naucratia was again missioned to the Mundare Hospital, no longer on active duty on the wards, but in the Dietary Department, housekeeping, gardening and caring for the elderly, infirm Sisters. In addition, she volunteered in the Hospital Laundry. She still enjoyed baking delicious sweets for the Sisters and their guests and for her family. A true Sister Servant, she saw to it that all ran smoothly and she always had time for a chat and an uplifting word.
In January 2008, Sr. Naucratia joined the Sisters at St. Joseph’s Home in Mundare. Among these was Sr. Dominic Slawuta, whom she had cared for in Rome. Being used to serving, without counting the cost, Sr. Naucratia looked for occasions to be of help.
On February 20, 2012, Sr. Naucratia fell and broke her hip. As could be expected her recovery and healing took many months and she needed extra care, which the Sisters were not able to give her at St. Joseph’s Home.
On August 1, 2012, Sr. Naucratia was admitted to Mundare Long Term Care, where she had served in so many different ways during her lifetime. Now the time had come to serve her. This she graciously accepted.
On January 8, 2015, sixty members of her family gathered at the Long Term Facility in Mundare to celebrate her 100th birthday. Naturally, the Sisters Servants also celebrated the day. Her 85th Jubilee as a Sister Servant on August 27, 2015, will be celebrated in Heaven!
Sister Naucratia was a dedicated and prayerful community member, serving as local Superior for over thirty years on both sides of the border and in Rome. She mourned the loss of Sisters younger than she was. It seemed that she never ran out of energy! Her delight was to serve! She contributed her gifts in the Sisters’ health care ministry diligently and wholeheartedly. Having been nurtured in the faith and having witnessed the self-giving of her parents, she came to the Sisters Servants ready for anything and anywhere! She was not disappointed!
Sr. Naucratia cherished her family, her sisters and brothers with their families, for whom she prayed, and whom she counseled, supported and assisted in whatever way possible. She enjoyed their visits and all gestures of love and support, especially in the final years of suffering.
Sr. Naucratia was predeceased by her parents, sisters and brothers: Dora, Joseph, Ignace, August (Gus), Nellie, Sophie, Jerry, Methody (Todd), Alice, and Theresa. She is survived by Victoria (Vicki), Gwen, Lorraine, and Roman with their families.