SASKATOON — Sister Theodosia Papirnik of the Ukrainian Sisters of St. Joseph in Saskatoon died April 14 at the age of 68.
Born in 1947 in Edmonton, she was educated at the University of Alberta, where she worked in administration before entering religious life in 1983. She professed her first vows in 1985 and was appointed provincial secretary of the community as well as administrator of St. Joseph’s Home in Saskatoon. In 1989, she received her Certificate of Health Care Administration through the University of Saskatchewan. She cared for those at St. Joseph’s Home until her death. Sister Theodosia gave tirelessly to people in Canada, Brazil, Ukraine, and all over the world. In Canada she sent gift baskets of food to neighbours, and always had a caring ear for those in need. Clothing hampers and livestock were purchased and sent to underprivileged families in Brazil. She worked to make sure the needs were met for orphans in Ukraine, and always made special efforts for global areas struck by natural disaster.
She served on several local, provincial and national boards and committees, including the organization for Chernobyl Relief Effort and subsequently the Gift of Hope, which shipped medical and personal supplies to the hospitals of post-communist Ukraine. She was a member of the board of directors of Musee Ukraina Museum in Saskatoon and was the spiritual adviser to the eparchial executive of the UCWLC.
She touched many with her words as a guest speaker, retreat leader, educator and author. She wrote a weekly spiritual vignettes column, was the editor for St. Joseph’s Home Journal, and completed several books.
Sister Theodosia received the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions, and the 2006 Nation Builder Award presented to persons who have made meritorious contributions.
Funeral services commenced with private prayers in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Home April 19, followed by monastic Parastas in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George in Saskatoon, and a nightlong reading of the Psalms in the shrine to the venerable nun martyrs Olympia and Laurentia.
The funeral liturgy was celebrated April 20 at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George, with celebrants Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan of Winnipeg and all of Canada; Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR, of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon; Bishop Emeritus Michael Wiwchar, CSsR; Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton; Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster, B.C.; and many members of the clergy. Interment was at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Edmonton.