December 1, 2020


Sister Eugenia Mary Stefaniuk died peacefully on November 26, 2020, at Bethany Home, Winnipeg, living with purpose till her last breath. Mary was born to Nicholas and Tatianna (nee Ben) on August 11, 1935, in Melville SK, and grew up in Kelliher, SK, the only girl with five brothers.

Her parents were loving and faith-filled, praying together as a family, with a special devotion to the Mother of God. Living near the local hospital, run by Roman Catholic Sisters, Mary would often go with the Sisters on friendly walks. She would have joined those Sisters; however, she was told that there were Ukrainian Sisters in Ituna SK. In June 1957, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Ancaster ON. She made her first profession in 1960 and final profession in 1965, taking the name Sister Eugenia.

Sister Eugenia's main apostolate was in health care. At St. Boniface Hospital she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Later she became a Registered Nurse, recommended by teachers who noticed her giftedness, in particular her bedside manner. Her education also included Hospital Administration, where she took courses from the University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba. In later years, she became certified for Clinical Geriatrics and Total Quality Management.
In her 63 years as a Sister Servant, Sister Eugenia generously served her people. She was missioned in the hospitals and nursing homes operated by the Sisters Servants in Alberta and Manitoba: the Mary Immaculate Hospitals in Willingdon and Mundare, St. Paul's Home in Dauphin, and Holy Family Home in Winnipeg. In each of these, she served alternately as a Registered Nurse or as Administrator, and often as both. For several years, she administrated both branches of the Mary Immaculate Hospitals in Willingdon and Mundare. In 2005, with Alberta's hospital closures, she oversaw Willingdon Hospital closure in a gentle, pastoral manner, easing the grieving for all those involved. Soon after, she was asked to represent our Congregation on the board of the Alberta Catholic Health Corporation.

Sister Eugenia held various responsible positions in her religious community as Provincial Councilor, 1981-1993; local superior in Mundare and Willingdon, while concurrently administrating the Health Care facilities there; nursing at Holy Family Home while being local superior at Bethany Home in Winnipeg.

As full as her apostolate was, Sister Eugenia kept her focus on the One to Whom she gave her life. Faithful to her prayer life and community, she shared her faith through Catechetical teaching in Mundare, Lamont and Dauphin parishes. Enriching her spirituality, she took courses in Catechetical ministry and Scripture studies.
She enjoyed opportunities to travel to Ukraine, the Holy Land, various Marian Apparitions, and throughout parts of Canada and the USA. These times were enriching and rejuvenating for her.

Sister Eugenia cared for her family. Being the only daughter, she felt a responsibility for her aging parents. Her family assured her that they would take this responsibility so she would be free to respond to her call. After she entered, she found time for caring visits with both her parents and her youngest brother, who had a heart condition. She always enjoyed visits with her extended family. As her brothers passed, she remained in close connection with their children as a loving aunt.

Sister Eugenia loved her Community deeply. She encouraged Sisters and was grateful for their support through phone calls and letters, particularly in her illness. Sisters felt free to be themselves with her.

Sister Eugenia was predeceased by her parents and by her brothers, Fred (Shirley), Peter, Adam, Johnny and Tony. She leaves numerous nieces and nephews to mourn her passing. Unable to attend her funeral, they offer these sentiments: "Though Sister has left us in body, she will never be forgotten living on in our memories and hearts as we cherish the special moments spent with her. God, family and friends were her life's purpose."

A special thank you to her Caregivers at Bethany Home.

May the memory of Sister Eugenia be eternal-Вічна її пам'ять! Charitable donations may be made in her memory to SSMI Lubov Foundation-Holy Family Home.

[Obituary source: Cropo Funeral Chapel]

Due to the Covid-19 health-safety restrictions, a very small funeral was held at the chapel of the Sister Servants at their Bethany Home location in Winnipeg. Interment took place at Sisters' section at Holy Family Cemetery.

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