REGINA — She was born Feb. 16, 1916, and celebrated 100 years of life well lived with friends and members of her RNDM community Feb. 16 at Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home in Regina.
She was a teacher for many years in Regina and she has also travelled the world in service to her community. Sister Victoria Seibel RNDM (more familiarly known as the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions; RNDM is the French acronym), will be remembered by many of her students as a math teacher in Regina Catholic schools. She chatted with the PM between bites of cake and ice cream and related some of the events in her life. Her memory is clear.
She was born on a farm just east of Regina, the middle child in a family of seven. She entered the convent in Regina in 1937 when she was 21 years old, and thus began a vocation that now extends over 77 years.
“I was in Rome for 11 years looking after the finances for the whole congregation,” she recalled.
She didn’t have any formal training as an accountant but she had a natural gift, said Sister Imelda Grimes, RNDM. “She was the bursar for the entire congregation and was a great help to all the bursars showing them how to keep their finances in order.”
And she travelled the world. “I went to New Zealand, Australia, England, France, Italy. I was in all those places. India, Vietnam too, helping them to straighten up their books so they all would be done the same way.”
Much of that was done prior to Vatican II when many religious wore habits. It made travelling a little more challenging. “I couldn’t wear my habit when I was in Vietnam. They knew we had arrived and they made sure they knew exactly where I was.” She described her travels as “fascinating.” Asked if there was a highlight in any of those travels, she didn’t hesitate; “I’d go back to Italy.”
“She also helped looking after orphans and young children,” said Sister Claire Himbeault, RNDM. “Sometimes if a mother died in childbirth or had a very young child, the father would bring them to the Academy (Sacred Heart Academy) because they couldn’t look after them and she would care for them.”
Sister Anna Aulie, RNDM, remembers when she was doing some studying in Rome Siebel loved to tour people around. “She knew absolutely everything and she would tell you everything.”
Seibel enjoyed telling one story about wearing the habit and being caught in a Regina rainstorm. “You know, it had a lot of starch and the rain melted the starch and by the time I got home my black habit was streaked white.” She laughed at the memory.