CSJP, 1920 – 2008
British Columbia native and long-time Chilliwack resident, St. Joseph of Peace Sister Emilia Sosnowski (Sister Callistus), a deeply joyful, generous and prayerful woman, died October 3, 2008 in St. Joseph Hospital, Bellingham, Washington.
Emilia Sosnowski was born in Fernie, B.C. on September 6, 1920, but by the time she was a year old her homesick mother had decided to return to Poland with her children. Eight years later, the family reunited in Fernie where Emilia first encountered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
She entered the novitiate while she was still only 14, and finished high school during the novitiate before making her final vows on her 21st birthday.
Sister Emilia began her ministry as a cook and dietician, and served in the Phillipines before becoming a teacher in the 1950s. Like many Sisters at that time, she studied during the summer months to get her B. Ed. degree.
Sister Emilia taught in Mercer Island, Port Angeles, and Seattle, Washington and in Nelson and Trail, British Columbia. She served as Principal of St. Joseph School in Nelson from 1979 to 1989 and was recognized as an outstanding educator by the Nelson Diocese.
Sister Emilia retired in 1989, but her idea of retirement was to continue a very active and involved life of service. She gave two years to parish ministry in Holy Family Parish, Fernie, B.C., then moved to Chilliwack, where she lived from 1992 to 2007, volunteering with the parish, holding Bible study classes, leading prayer groups, and visiting prisoners.
In 2007 she moved to Bellingham, where she volunteered at St. Joseph Hospital, praying and talking with the families of people in surgery.
It was characteristic of Sr. Emilia’s whole life of prayer and action that even in last the week of her life she spent her time bringing hope and comfort to those in the surgery waiting room.
Sister Emilia asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, P.O. Box 248, Bellevue, WA 98009