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In Loving Memory of
Sr. M. Petronia Budzinski

Born: February 1, 1921
Entered Relgious Life: August 22, 1934
Born Into Eternal Life: July 22, 2020

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing... the Lord hath done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2)

Leocadia Veronica Budzinski was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 1, 1921 and baptized a few days later on the 6th of February at Five Holy Martyrs Church. Leocadia was the seventh of ten children of Peter and Kathryn Budzinski, immigrants from Poland. She had six sisters and three brothers. Peter worked in a mill by a furnace for forty years to support his growing family. Kathryn was a stay-at-home mother during the day, but at night she worked as a housekeeper in an office building. These loving parents taught their children to always be good to one another and to always stick together.

Leocadia loved to play school as a child and she also enjoyed playing jump rope and hop-scotch. She first met the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago (FSC) when she was a student at St. Pancratius School. She watched how they prayed and was fascinated with their reverence. Leocadia joined these Sisters on August 22, 1934 when she was only 13 years old. Both her parents were proud that God had chosen one of their children to enter religious life. From 1934 to 1937, Leocadia completed her high school studies. She then became a postulant on February 2, 1937 and entered the novitiate on August 15, 1937 receiving the name Sister Mary Piotronia. Two years later, Sister made her First Profession of Vows on August 15, 1939 and her Final Profession on August 12, 1944. In 1960 Sister simplified her name to Sister Mary Petronia.

Sister M. Petronia began her 51 years of service in the field of education in 1938 at St. Hedwig School in Gary, Indiana where she taught third grade. She usually taught the third and fourth graders except in 1952 she was assigned to teach sixth and seventh grade and a year later the fourth and fifth grade. Sister taught at St. Hedwig for sixteen years. In 1949 Sister obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and a Certificate in Franciscan Theology in 1955 from St. Xavier College in Joliet, Illinois. She was also the local treasurer from 1949 to 1954.

In 1954 Sister Petronia was sent to St. Florian School in Chicago, Illinois where she taught the fourth grade for two years. Her next assignment was to East St. Louis, Illinois where she taught second and third grade at St. Adalbert School. Sister remained in East St. Louis from 1956 until 1961. During her time at St. Adalbert she was the assistant superior and the local secretary. In 1961 Sister moved to Hammond, Indiana where she taught second and third grade for a year at St. Mary School. During this year she had the added responsibility of being the sacristan and the local treasurer.

Sister Petronia was transferred in 1962 to Assumption School in New Chicago, Indiana to teach first and second grade. This was her first experience teaching first grade and she loved working with the younger students. In fact, first grade was her favorite grade to teach. While Sister was at Assumption School she was also principal and the local minister.

In 1968 Sister went to St. Pancratius in Chicago, Illinois and taught first grade for two years before she moved in 1970 to St. Louise De Marillac School in LaGrange Park, Illinois where she taught the first grade for seventeen years. During this time Sister was the assistant to the local minister for a year and local treasurer for four years. Sister was the local minister for seven years and sacristan for a year.

Sister Petronia loved to dance, laugh and enjoy parties. She also loved being a sister and a teacher. She taught her students a most important lesson: the joy of living a happy and fulfilling life.

In 1987 Sister came to Our Lady of Victory Convent and was the local minister for six years. At the end of her term as local minister, Sister went to volunteer four days a week in the Marketing Office of Franciscan Village from 1993 to 2011. During this time, from 1996 to 1999, Sister was also the local minister of St. Colette Community at Our Lady of Victory Convent and for two years, Sister helped the support staff in the FSC Administration building.

Finally, on January 26, 2012, after a very full life, Sister Petronia decided to retire. Sister spent the last years of her life reading, praying and enjoying the company of family and friends. Until the very end, she attended all community meetings and events, retaining her interest in life.

In the 85th year of religious life and at the age of 99, Sister M. Petronia peacefully entered into eternal life at 8:35 P.M. on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, to be with Jesus whom she loved and served with all her heart.