On Saturday 29th September, the feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Sister Helen Tereba, Halina Dołęga and Angela Marie Mazzeo joined all the Sisters in the Ukraine Region to celebrate 25 years of the presence and service of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Ukraine. It was exactly on this day in 1993 that the first foundation was established. Sisters from the Krakow, Warsaw and Belarus Provinces came to share in the praising and thanking of God on this joyous occasion. Representatives from local religious orders, parishioners and family and friends of the Sisters also joined in the celebrations. The Jubilee celebration was held at the Mary, Mother of the Church Parish run by the Capuchin Fathers in Kiev, a parish in which the Sisters minister. The commemoration of the 25 years began with a presentation of the history of the Congregation’s presence in Ukraine, and was followed by a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by the Most Reverend Bishop Edward Kawa and concelebrated by fourteen priests. Sincere words of gratitude for the presence and ministry of the Sisters in Ukraine were expressed firstly by Bishop Kawa during his homily and subsequently by the various speakers. Words of gratitude for our Congregation’s particular charism to families re-echoed over and over again.
A particularly moving moment during the celebration was the address of Fr. Marcin Jankiewicz who was the first to invite the Sisters to Ukraine. Father Marcin thanked the Sisters for accepting the invitation to ministry in Ukraine and as a sign of his gratitude presented a special embroidered “rushnyk” (traditional Ukrainian towel) to Sr. Aneta Tobiasz, Regional Superior, and a unique icon of the Holy Family which included the image of St John the Baptist…symbolizing evangelization. In thanking all present, Sister Aneta expressed sincere words of gratitude to the Bishop, priests and Sisters who formed part of the history of the Region over the past twenty-five years and for sharing in this joyful celebration.