Sister Judith Thaddeus Piszyk, OSBM
Sister Judith Thaddeus Piszyk, OSBM, was drawn to religious life by the example of the nuns who taught her at St. Nicholas School in Chicago.
The Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great impressed her with their commitment to children. Sister Judith Thaddeus knew she wanted to do something worthwhile with her life; she decided she too wanted to “live in such a life of dedication.”
Sister Judith Thaddeus, now 87, worked for more than 50 years as a teacher.
From 1948 to 1999, she taught in classrooms across North America — New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada. Then, from 1999 to 2003, Sister Judith worked in pastoral ministry with the elderly in Florida.
For the next seven years after that, she worked as the Bishop’s Secretary in the Chancery in the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of St. Josephat in Parma, Ohio. She said it was her favorite time in ministry.
“Not only was I able to help the Bishop, but it also allowed me to minister spiritually to lay people in ways I had not had the opportunity before. We had a vibrant healing ministry. It was especially rewarding to be able to spend hours in prayer, spiritual direction and praying for healing among the people of God,” she wrote.
“I got an appreciation of how hungry souls are for a deeper knowledge of their faith; their dedication to a life of prayer, and their longing for guidance in their desire for a closer walk with God.”
In 2010, Sister Judith Thaddeus finally “retired” to the Order’s Motherhouse in Fox Chase, Pennsylvania. But even in retirement, Sister still faithfully serves God’s people and she prepares children to receive the Sacraments.
“Sister Judith is a woman of great faith and character. She has a deep spirituality, but also a cheerfulness and a sense of humor that brims over and brings a smile to the faces of other people,” notes Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM.
Sister Dorothy Ann shared that Sister Judith Thaddeus is also a poet; she has written hundreds of poems over the last several years that she shares with the community on feast days and special occasions.
Recently, the treasurer of the province stepped down after 23 years of service; during the reception the Sisters had, Sister Judith Thaddeus brought the house down with a poem that incorporated multiple references to episodes in the Bible – especially the Gospels – that dealt with finances.
“Needless to say, Sister Judith Thaddeus is a beloved figure.”
For her part, Sister Judith Thaddeus said her greatest joy in living her vocation is the time she spends in prayer, living among women who share the same goals to which she has dedicated her own life — “and the peace which monastic life affords me and the wonderful children and people whom I have had the grace to serve during these years.”
“My ‘pearl of wisdom’ would be that with prayer, one should always desire to be in the Will of God,” Sister Judith Thaddeus says, “accepting all that life holds for us, knowing that with St. Paul we can realize ‘all things work out for those who love God.’”
The Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great received a grant from SOAR! in 2015 for a new hot water heater and boiler.