Need a teacher? Call Sister Mary Consilia Piskurich.
Need a cook? Call Sister Mary Consilia Piskurich.
Need a maintenance person? Call Sister Mary Consilia Piskurich.
Need a vocations director? Call Sister Mary Consilia Piskurich.
Need a librarian? Call Sister Consilia.
Need a director of retreats? Call Sister Consilia.
Need a local coordinator? Call Sister Consilia.
Need someone to work in a parish? Call Sister Consilia.
Need a yearbook editor? Call Sister Consilia.
Need a delegate for the General Assembly? Call Sister Consilia.
Need a sister to help renewal after Vatican II? Call Sister Consilia.
Sister Mary Consilia (Sophie) Piskurich was born on December 31, 1919 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania into a large family. She had 10 brothers and sisters. Some were blood-related and some were step-siblings. They never thought of each other as step-siblings, but as related by blood and love. Her family was devoutly Catholic. This helped nurture her vocation from very early on in life.
Consilia went to school at Saint Rochus School in Johnstown, which was staffed by Adorers. She really admired and loved her teachers. Consilia knew from early on that she wanted to be a sister just like her teachers and made the decision to leave her family in the eighth grade and become an aspirant at Saint Joseph Convent in Columbia, Pennsylvania. In 1938, she entered the novitiate where she received the name Mary Consilia. It truly delighted her heart when some years later, her sister, Sister Marian Piskurich, followed her to the community.
Consilia did not serve in just one ministry with great dedication and commitment. She had wide variety of ministries during her vowed life. Her first ministry was education, following in the footsteps of her beloved teachers. She served at all levels from elementary to college, with her favorite subjects being English, French, and art. Her creativity and humor helped many students learn and love to learn. Consilia also used her teaching skills as a librarian and yearbook editor.
During the 1940s, when the motherhouse maintenance man, Uncle Louie, served in the war, Consilia was asked to fill in as maintenance person, even firing up the furnace in winter. When the new motherhouse opened, she was often asked to help the cook sisters since she had great skill in the kitchen.
For a time, she also served as vocations director for the province and retreat director for summer retreats for lay women. Her sisters saw that she was able to do many things and elected her as provincial councilor. Her last ministry was local coordinator for the sisters in health care.
Second Vatican Council
Many sisters still remember Consilia for her active work in the renewal process following the Second Vatican Council. She served time on many committees including the Provincial Assembly Planning and Agenda Committee. She helped the Sisters be open and focus on their roots from Saint Maria de Mattias. She then became a delegate to the General Assembly in Rome due to her active involvement in the process. Sister Consilia Piskurich loved her time as a delegate in Rome and truly regretted that she could not be in Rome for the canonization of Maria de Mattias, due to health reasons.
Sister Consilia is a great pioneer and reminder for us still today. If we are open to requests for help and serve with a gentle spirit, our provident God will help us serve where the need is.