Sister Thomas (Dorothea) Hrynewich, S.S.M.I. – Joy, Peace & Love Found in Serving

The call to follow Our Lord, Jesus Christ is as complicated as it is simple. I came from <img src=”/images/Sr.%20Thomas%20Dorothea%20Hrynewich3.JPG” border=”0″ width=”334″ height=”500″ align=”right” style=”width: 220px; height: 314px” /><br />a good Catholic family. I am the oldest of four children born, June 2, 1924, to Tessie and Michael Hrynewich. My grandparents (Theodore and Rosalie Kulczycki) and parents were very active in the parish and attended church services regularly, which meant that we children did also. We attended catechism lessons given by the parish priest, Reverend Kopachuk. When the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate arrived in our parish in 1940, their enormous impact on the parish and on my family was plainly seen.<br /><br />I was a senior in Ambridge High when I had this thought of being close to God and serving others. The feeling of wanting to serve the church by teaching our Ukrainian people, of being close to Jesus and spend more time in prayer really bothered me. In order to get rid of this thought, (because I was having grand time with the &quot;teenage gang&quot; I was hanging our with), I prayed a number of novenas to rid myself of this thought. However, to no avail, the more I prayed against the thought, the stronger it got. Then, during a Great Fast mission given by Father Markiw, OSBM, I finally gave in and decided to belong to our Lord. Since my sister Irene and I were always at the convent helping the sisters, they thought we were interested in joining. One day Sister Lawrence said she was writing to the Provincial Superior in Canada and wondered if she could ask the Provincial Superior to accept us to the novitiate. I quickly answered, &quot;Sure.&quot; My sister said, &quot;No,&quot; and scolded me for not asking my mother first. At first, mother said I could not go. It was too far away, and she did not think I knew what I wanted. After much discussion and my constant crying at home, my mother finally gave in. I found out that the day before my announcing I was going to the convent, my dad made the remark that &quot;God gave them such good children, if He wanted one he would give one of them to Him.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=”/images/DSC_0554.JPG” border=”0″ width=”495″ height=”365″ align=”left” style=”width: 355px; height: 242px” />I entered the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate on June 21, 1942. After the blessing of the buildings and property in Sloatsburg, New York, I traveled 3,000 miles to Mundare, Alberta, Canada, with Sister Athanasia (one of the first seven girls to enter the Community). After two and a half years in the novitiate, I pronounced my first vows and was missioner to Detroit, Michigan. I then taught at St. Mary’s Villa Academy in Sloatsburg, NY and St. Mary’s Academy in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. My studies took me to University of Detroit; Fordham University in New York; St. Paul’s University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; Regina Mundi in Rome, Italy and Catholic University of America in Washington. I spent six years in Rome, Italy, studying and in the General Curia. During the days of the &quot;Iron Curtain,&quot; I was privileged to accompany our Superior General to Germany, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia to visit our Sisters there. (My Mother used to laugh and say that I joined to see the world!) <p>I returned to the United States as Provincial Superior, serving a five-year term. I was the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Archeparchy of Philadelphia for twenty-five years. My mission today has me in Minersville, PA, at St. Nicholas School as the Principal.</p><p>All this was great but, the joy, peace, and love that are found in the complete surrender to God and serving others as Our Lord Jesus did is the most satisfying. </p><p>&nbsp;</p>

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