Born: May 28, 1926
Died: November 20, 2021
Years in the Congregation: 77
Sister Mary Julianne Maciuszek was one of five children born to Jacob and Rose (Gron) Maciuszek.Born in Chicago, Sister was baptized at St. Ann Parish and later attended elementary school at St.Casimir Parish.
As a youngster, Sister Julianne was always helpful to her mother and to the Sisters at school. She had a natural astuteness for the needs of others and rolled up her sleeves to help without being asked.
Serious by nature she began thinking about her future life at a very early age. She was attracted to quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in Church and she was inspired by the dedicated lives of the Resurrection Sisters at St. Casimir Grade School. The peace-filled, prayerful life, devoted entirely to God appealed to her nature and so it was not too surprising when she discerned God calling her to religious life.
Her brother Frank, and her sisters Mary, Eleanore, and Helen all supported her in her decision to enter religious life and they remained close to her for the rest of their lives.
With the blessing of her parents Julianne entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection on December 10, 1944 and professed her first vows on August 15, 1946.
Sister Julianne completed her Bachelor’s degree in education in New York and then began her ministry in education as a teacher for seventeen years at St. Casimir in Chicago, St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago, St. Bede in Fox Lake, Queen of the Rosary in Elk Grove, St. Peter’s in Fullerton, Nebraska, and St. Hedwig’s in South Bend, Indiana. Then from 1966 to 1969 Sister Julianne served as principal at St. Thecla in Chicago. She had a reputation for being a serious and devoted teacher with high expectations for her students. She challenged her students to develop their God-given talents and to follow their dreams.
In 1971 she began new ministries in health care at Resurrection Medical Center. From 1971 to 1974 Sister served as a patient visitor and then from 1974 to 1990 she was the supervisor of the admissions office and then from 1990 to 1992 Sister worked in Medical Records. It was here in healthcare ministry that her deep understanding of human suffering and compassion for others shone forth. As a patient visitor she took time to sit with dying patients, hold their hands and pray with them. She helped patients and their families find comfort and hope in the promise of the Risen Christ that, those who believe in Him shall never die.
When Sister managed the admissions office, the physicians always knew they could turn to her with special requests for their patients and she always managed to arrange for their patient’s special needs. Her kindness impacted many lives.
After her service in health care ministry Sister served in community leadership as a superior of the Queen of the Resurrection House of Prayer, the retirement home for the sisters.
Sister’s last ministry was serving as portress at the Provincial Home.
Then in December of 2012 at the age of 86 Sister Mary Julianne retired from active ministry and dedicated the rest of her years to prayer.
Sister Julianne had a special gift of being able to develop and maintain friendships with people who had different approaches and ideas. While sticking to her own beliefs she was able to see beyond differences and be respectful of others .
Sister valued community life and enjoyed being with her sisters and nurturing friendships.
All of her life, even when she was extremely busy serving others, she always found time for quiet reflection and prayer. She had a deep love for Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament and she slipped away to visit Him in chapel for at least a few minutes several times throughout the day.
Sister Julianne’s favorite saint was the Virgin Mary and one of her favorite devotions was the Rosary. She tried to model her life after the example of Mary, by always saying “yes” to God, treasuring Jesus, and observing and caring about the needs of others.
Sister Mary Julianne treasured her family and her brother and sisters treasured her. Even after the deaths of her siblings her nieces and nephew brought great joy to her life with their frequent visits.
The last several years of her life Sister Mary Julianne suffered with dementia. But, even in this state she was peaceful and pleasant. The staff who cared for her often said: “We all love her, there is a holy glow in her face. She is gentle, she is holy.” So even when she could not speak with words, her peaceful gentle spirit reflected the love and presence of God.
On Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 6:24 a.m., Sister Mary Julianne quietly entered eternal life.
Her Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Province (Chicago Province) are grateful for the gift Sister Mary Julianne has been to all of us. May God grant her eternal rest, peace and joy as she now shares in the Resurrection.
With love, respect and gratitude,
Written by: Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki, C.R.