Sr. Władysława Sitarz SAC, Poland
* 18.03.1931 † 27.04.2019
Sr. M. Władysława Sitarz, daughter of Władysław and Helena Rusin, was born on 18 March 1931 in Żarnówek near Maków Podhalański. On 22 March she was baptized in the parish church in Maków Podhalański (Diocese of Cracow), and in 1942 she received the sacrament of confirmation in Żarnówek. She joined the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) on 15 September 1950 in Lidzbark Warmiński, and there, on August 15, 1951, she received the religious habit. She made her first profession of religious vows on August 5, 1953 in Suchary, and perpetual vows on August 5, 1959, also in Suchary.
Sister did all her studies at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1976 she graduated and obtained a Master of Theology, and in 1980, a Doctorate in Theology. The title of her doctoral dissertation was: Formation of the laity according to the apostolic ideas of St. Vincent Pallotti. Method of the Cenacle Community. Sr. Władysława was a precursor of this specific method of apostolic work. The Cenacle Community is a way of working with the laity and at the same time a concrete contribution to the work of shaping the members of the UAC responsible for the Church. It is a response to the charismatic heritage of our Founder and an expression of concern for the dissemination of the idea of the apostolate of the laity, which was enshrined in the Provincial Directives of the Polish Province (see DP 6).
In the Congregation, over the years, Sister Władysława performed various ministries.
She worked as a clerk, housemother in the Social Welfare Home, catechist, councillor to the Provincial Superior, provincial secretary and formator of the junior Sisters. She especially loved the youth and worked with them for many years in the spirit of the Cenacle Communities. From 1980 to 1986, Sr Wladyslawa served in Rome as Vicar General in the General Council. Then for the next nine years she was the Provincial Superior of the Polish Province of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate.
For many years after her ministry as superior, Sr. Władysława actively involved in the apostolate, wrote many artciles, and contributed to the development of the work of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate. Living by the charism of St. Vincent Pallotti, she worked for the salvation of every person and deeply experienced all the affairs of the Congregation.
Sr Władysława did not leave a will in the strict sense, but she left us – the Pallottine Sisters – much more, she left us a testimony of her own life.
She was a Pallottine Sister:
– Who loved the Triune God and was completely devoted to Him. She loved the Church and had a lively relationship with her, which she saw as the Cenacle.When she served as Provincial Superior, she gave the Sisters the latest Papal Encyclicals with her own handwritten dedication, taking care that we were always at the heart of the Church, attentive to her voice and preaching.
– A tireless apostle following the example of Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father,
– She loved our Pallottine charism and wanted to inflame love for the charism in all of us.
Over Sr. Władysława’s bed there was an image of Our Lady of Divine Love, Queen of the Apostles and of St. Vincent Pallotti,
She was a Pallottine who always looked to Mary, Queen of the Apostles:
– She was with Mary and the Apostles in prayer in the Cenacle, waiting for Pentecost, and then with them to leave the Cenacle and preach the Gospel to the world.
– She listened to God’s voice and always said FIAT …
In the room of Sr. Władysława, each day of the calendar was marked by her FIAT…
She was a Pallottine who always looked for God and placed everything and everyone in the Holy Eucharist … She spent a lot of time in prayer, adoring the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and continuing in prayer at the Hour of Mercy. She was sensitive, understanding each Sister with a deep, pure, loving gaze. She loved people and trusted them, always looking for what is good in them. She loved her family and our Motherland. In her room she had photos of her closest family – parents, grandfather and siblings and an emblem of our Motherland that is the image of a white eagle with a crown on its head against a red background.…
Sr. Władysława was a Pallottine sister who loved our congregation. She prayed zealously and perseveringly for unity, fidelity and apostolic zeal for each Sister, so that we would love and fulfill our Pallottine charism according to the gifts given us by God. As Provincial Superior, she emphasized the importance of a good education for the Sisters, so she sent many Sisters for study. She often stated that the greatest capital of the Congregation is the gift of every Sister who opens her heart to the imitation of Jesus Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father.
Sr. Władysława, suffering from a serious illness and peacefully went to the Father’s House on April 27, 2019, on Saturday, a day dedicated to Mary, whom she loved so much, and on the eve of the Feast of Divine Mercy, in the presence of her Sisters who surrounded her by their prayer.
She died during a General Meeting of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate, where all the Major Superiors of our entire Congregation (from Germany, England, Switzerland, USA, South Africa, Belize, India, Rwanda, Tanzania, Poland and Cameroon), had gathered in Poland with the General Superior, Sr. Izabela Swierad and her Counilors. This was a very eloquent sign – our Pallottine Cenacle, from which flows the prayers of Sister Władysława, and from which we will soon go to different parts of the world …
I express my gratitude to the community of Gdańsk where Sr. Władysława spent the last years of her life. Many thanks to every Sister who supported Sr. Władysława in any way: remembered her, visited her, took care of her…I cannot miss to thank personally Sr. Kazimiera Kaczykowska, Community Superior and the nurses – Sr. Jadwiga Małecka and Sr. Dolores Deko, as well as Sr. Scholastica Czarnecka, who especially supported and served the late Sr. Władysława, especially during her illness …
We thank the Holy Trinity, Mary Queen of Apostles, St Vincent Pallotti and you, our dear Sister Władysława for the witness of your life: for your love and fidelity to God, and for the Pallottine religious community to which you were called by God. We thank you for your extraordinary love for the Pallottine charism and for inspiring us to love this charism. Even in sickness and suffering, you repeated: Everything for the infinite glory of God, the destruction of sin and for the salvation of souls.
Sister Władysława, you have always been full of gratitude… to the end. We trust that the Merciful God has welcomed you into His Kingdom, where you will always be with those whom you love so much: Mary – the Queen of Apostles, St Vincent Pallotti and your closest brothers and sisters.…
I would like to end with words Sr. Władysława, who wrote on January 1, 2014: „I adore the Love of the Holy Trinity for the gift of my vocation to the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate. I love the Trinity for the gift of the charism of St Vincent Pallotti, and the gift of the Cenacle of Pentecost! Indeed, in the environment of the Trinity together with the Motherly Heart of the Immaculate Mary, Queen of Apostles and with the Holy Heart burning in the fire of Love, I can grow in the freedom of God’s child and in the flames of the Holy Spirit to the freedom of God’s children. In every moment of my life, every day I can get to know the creative thought of God about me.Walking along the path of God’s plan for me, I can achieve the perfect love of God and people, I can achieve personal holiness, eternal salvation !!! My further happiness is that I can share this happiness with every person created in the image and likeness of God, with all those who wish to walk the path of salvation and with all holy souls!
I adore the Holy Trinity for the gift of my parents and siblings, for the gift of life and for the gift of Holy Baptism, for the environment in which I grew up towards becoming fully human, Christian, and to spiritual and apostolic maturity. I adore the Holy Trinity for the religious persons who helped me to grow in the charism of St. Vincent Pallotti. I would like to extend my special gratitude to the Provincial Superiors – Mother Zygmunta Bielawa and Sr. M. Elżbieta Hebel as well as Sr. M. Fides Misiewicz. These are the Sisters who helped me to enter the secrets of the charism of St.Vincent Pallotti. I would like to give thanks to all my Sisters, living and deceased, as well as priests with whom I cooperated at various stages of my life. I invite everyone to stay in the Cenacle of Pentecost! For my shortcomings and mistakes – I apologize!”
Sr. Władysława was buried on 2nd May 2019 in Cemetary of Gdansk, in the same grave beside her blood sister, Sr. Weneranda Sitarz, who died in 2006. Holy Mass was presided over by the bishop Zbigniew Zielinski. The Pallottine fathers took part in the funeral – along with Fr. Zenon Hanas the Provincial, the Pallottine Sisters gathered at the Central Assembly and numerous members sisters of the Polish Province, as well as the family and lay friends of Sr.Władysława. This is a very eloquent sign – such a Pallottine Cenacle, in which we prayed together for the late Sr. Władysława, and from here the sisters departed to various parts of the world. We trust that Sr. Władysława already enjoys being with God face to face.
Sr. Iwona Nadziejko, SAC
Gdańsk, 2 May 2019