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Obituary: Sister Paula Dzurisin, OSBM

Sr. PaulaIn the early days of the community, Sister Paula would awake from sleep to prepare for morning prayer in the Monastery. On the morning of April 28, she awoke instead to a new life, a life where she was welcomed into the embrace of the Lord she served so faithfully for over 70 years.

Sr. Paula (Anna) Dzurisin was born in Pittston, Pa., the daughter of the late George and Mary (Kizlin) Dzurisin.  A member of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Parish in Pittston, Pa., she entered the Sisters of St. Basil the Great on June 23, 1947. Sr. Paula made her Final Profession of Vows on August 28, 1953 in the presence of the late Bishop Daniel Ivancho.

As with many of those who entered at the time, Sr. Paula spent a good number of years as a teacher and principal in the parish schools of the Metropolitan Province of Pittsburgh. She also taught business courses at Mount Macrina Academy.  There for only one year, the impression she made was such that her students were sure to visit her during the Alumnae reunions.

After almost a half century in the teaching ministry, Sr. Paula returned to the Monastery where she spent a year volunteering in pastoral visiting at the Manor. She was a great conversationalist, and her interest in people was mutually enriching in this ministry.

Her background in business education, however, led to her next assignment, that of managing the Card Department at the monastery for the next eight years. When it was necessary to lessen her responsibilities, Sr. Paula continued to assist in that same ministry for another eight years, graciously handing over the management to another Sister. It was only after this full life in active ministry that Sr. Paula was admitted to the Manor due to declining health.

In her vocation story, Sister wrote that her response to God’s call came only after she repeatedly would say, “No, this isn’t for me, but the call continued to haunt me.”  Having finally said “Yes” to her call, she wrote, “The lived experience of my call became like a precious container filled with love that increased the desire within me to share this love with others. This wonderful gift, my Vocation, has been, is, and will continue to be an exciting challenge for me to live my life to the fullest.”

Sr. Paula was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Rev. Monsignor George, Joseph, Michael, and John and her sisters, Sister M. Philip and Mary Wascavage.  In addition to her Sisters in community, she is survived by her brother Paul (Dorothy) and many devoted nephews and nieces.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Wed., May 2 from 3:30 p.m. to the time of the Parastas Service which will be sung at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop William C. Skurla on Thurs., May 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Monastery Chapel. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.

 

Sr. Maria Petruska, OSBM Completes Her Earthly Journey

Sr. MariaHaving fallen asleep in the Lord late in the evening of April 11, 2018, +Sister Maria Petruska (formerly Sister Juvenalia) woke to a new dawn in the heavenly kingdom. In the last years of her life, Sister was a resident at Mt. Macrina Manor, and it was from here that she took her final steps into eternity.

The daughter of the late Andrew and Mary (Ciparik) Petruska, Sister Maria, was born in the village of Ruska Nova Ves in what is now Slovakia. She entered the community from St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Mahanoy City, PA on January 15, 1942 and made her Final Profession of Vows on January 8, 1950.

Her active life in ministry was comprised of teaching from the elementary to secondary levels within the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Province. At the college level, she taught at the Fayette Campus of Penn State. Her teaching ministry on the college level then led her to seek broader experiences, taking her to Bethlehem University, to Guam, Japan and Tanzania. Her experiences of teaching in foreign countries were among her fondest memories.

Retiring from this active ministry, Sister Maria then became involved as a tutor at the Intermediate Unit I Adult Learning Center in Uniontown. Because of her teaching experience in foreign countries, Sister Maria stated that the choice to tutor for the learning center came naturally. As a native of Slovakia, she had an empathy for those lacking proficiency in English. For her, teaching English as a second language was a joy, not a job. Some of the friends she made through this work kept in contact with her over the years.

Sister Maria was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Helen and Margaret Petruska, and her brothers, Rev. Gregory Petruska and Andrew Petruska. In addition to her members in community, she is survived by her brother, Rev. Christopher Petruska and her sister Theresa (Bill) Ortmann.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Wednesday, April 18 from 3:30 p.m. to the time of the Parastas Service which will be sung at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Thursday, April 19 at 10:30 am in the Monastery Chapel by Archbishop William C. Skurla. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.

Donald R. Crawford Funeral Home, Hopwood, is in charge of arrangements.