At 103 years old, Sister Vivian Ivantic, OSB, remains committed to serving where there is need.
When asked what drew her to the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago, Sister Vivian Ivantic enthusiastically recalls her first grade teacher, Sister Adelaide. “There were well over 50 students in the classroom, and Sister Adelaide was a wonderful, hard-working teacher. I wanted to be like her. I never gave up wanting to be a Sister.”
In 1932 – a year after she finished high school – Sister Vivian entered the Benedictines, “a community I love.” She notes, “We are called to serve where there is need, and all the Sisters have tried to answer that call with their lives.”
It’s been over 80 years since she entered the order. She made her first profession in 1934. Sister Vivian has consistently met the call to serve where there is need. She taught both elementary and high school students in Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. She also served as a librarian in both Chicago, Illinois and in Colorado. “I always did my best in caring for and educating the children.”
In 1977, Sister Vivian was called to become the archivist for the order. “For me,” Sister says, “one of the greatest joys in being the archivist was interviewing the older Sisters. I learned who they were, where they came from, and what they did in community in the past. But more importantly, I discovered these women’s dedication to this particular life defines not just who we were, but who we still are in terms of our commitment to helping all God’s children.”
When asked to offer a “pearl of wisdom” that she’d like to share with others, Sister Vivian tenderly expressed, “It’s so important for us to remember that we are God’s children. God made all of us. And we need to love each other.”
In 2016, the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago received a SOAR! grant to purchase furniture and physical therapy equipment for their infirmary.