On December 24, 2020 Shelley Mackie formally made her commitment to join the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. The ceremony of acceptance was held at the Bethany Home Chapel in Winnipeg. Shelley’s path to this moment in her life was an unexpected journey.
Shelley grew up in rural Manitoba and feels blessed to have been surrounded by her family with deep roots of faith and love. Her mother was Ukrainian Catholic however as a family they were brought up Anglican following her father’s faith.
In 2010, Shelley’s mother invited her and her sister Cindy to get involved in the centennial celebration for Saints. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Vesna, Saskatchewan. This was the parish that their mother and family grew up in. The experience of this Ukrainian Catholic parish was so warm and welcoming that it ignited a spark in both Cindy and Shelley.
Cindy felt drawn to explore converting to the Ukrainian Catholic faith and pursed Catechism classes with Fr. Basil Malowany. It was through Father’s invitation that in 2011 Shelley decided to join her sister in enrolling in the Adult Faith Formation program in Saskatoon. Lead by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate for the Eparchy of Saskatoon, the program offered a deepening of spiritual growth and knowledge of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Shelley is grateful to Sister Marijka Konderewicz, Sister Bonita Komarnicki and Sister Georgia Shchavii for making life easier on this journey in Saskatoon. Both Shelley and Cindy graduated from the program in 2013. Throughout this experience Shelley felt pulled deeper into her faith and found that the prayer forms resonated with her. Something was stirring within her.
In 2019, Shelley travelled to Edmonton, Alberta to participate in the final vows celebration of Sister Emily Schietzsch, SSMI. It was there that Shelley realized that the stirring within her was truly a call. Thanks to the support of Sister Charlene Belay and the other Sisters that have been a part of her life over the past few years she was ready to leave her business and life in Benito, Manitoba. Shelley would also like to thank her family, Bishop Brian Bayda, CSsR., her Spiritual Director Father Warren Dungen, and Fr Gregory Hrynkiw (Hieromonk) for their continued prayers. They all certainly make her feel supported in listening to God’s call.
With an attitude of openness and complete trust in God’s will, Shelley has taken a leap of faith to begin a new phase in her life. When asked why now, when you are about to turn 50, Shelley joyfully responded, “God’s call is ageless. It is never too late to say yes to do His will. Besides the apostles were not young when they said yes.”