May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Luiza (Hillaria) Wawrzyniak, CSSF

Sr. Mary Luiza (Hillaria) Wawrzyniak, CSSF, age 99, a beloved member of the Felician congregation for 80 years, died Friday, April 10, 2020, at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia. 

Born in South Bend, Ind., she attended St. Hedwig High School for one year, then entered the seminary of the Felician Sisters in Detroit. She was admitted to the postulancy in 1939 and while still in novitiate, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Final vows were professed in 1947.

A celebration of Sr. Luiza’s life will be held at a future date at the Felician Sisters convent located at 36800 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia. 
Sr. Mary Luiza (Hillaria) Wawrzyniak, CSSF

Sr. Mary Luiza attended Madonna University, then known as Presentation Junior College, in Livonia. She taught primary grades for six months at St. John Cantius, Detroit, and the following year returned to the Central Convent. Assigned to the laundry service, Sister could be seen walking down the hallway pushing her wheelchair slowly but surely to fold clothes. She could not write because of her MS, however, Sister learned the hunt and peck method on a typewriter and volunteered to send feast day and birthday cards to the sisters in the infirmary.

Assigned permanently to St. Joseph Convent in 1967, she continued to work in the laundry and hobby shop, and packed bread for the poor. She never wavered when someone asked for a favor.

Confined to a wheelchair, Sister was self-sufficient for many years and daily you could find her in the main chapel praying before the Blessed Sacrament which remained the source for her prayerfulness and faithfulness.

She was a model and mentor to postulants and novices, encouraging them when they were discouraged and reminding them to do everything for God. As a patient in the care center her gentleness and caring attitude rubbed off on many others.

Medical problems along with the multiple sclerosis gradually weakened her body. On April 10, 2020, Good Friday, Sister Mary Luiza peacefully breathed her last and journeyed to meet the Lord who gently called her home.

Interment was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, on April 14.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited slightly for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.