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† Sr. Maria Seraphina MAZILIAUSKAITE sscc (Hawaii)

   Sister Maria Seraphina was born on July 10, 1907 in Mergutrakiai, Lithuania, the second of five children of deeply religious parents, Vincas and Marijona Maziliauskas.  She was named after her mother,  Marijona, and was baptized ten days later.  She was 7 years old when World War I broke out.  All Lithuanian men, including her father,  were drafted into the Russian army.  Sadly, he was mortally wounded in battle somewhere in Russia, never to be seen again by his family.   During this time of upheaval,  mother and her 5 young children were forced to leave their homeland and sent to Minska (Russia) where many other Lithuanian families had been exiled.  They remained in Russia until the war ended in 1918, then returned home. 

    The example of her parents’ deep faith greatly influenced Marijona and her sibblings.   

   In her own words Sister Seraphina wrote “…I read the book of Father Damien’s life and had the inspiration to become a missionary.  My wish came true when I entered Sacred Hearts Congregation in 1932 in Holland.”  It did not take long for Sister M. Seraphina’s wish to become reality.  For she tells us: “I made my profession in 1935 and remained in France for two years.  In March of 1937, I was sent to Hawaii as a missionary, so my wish to be a missionary was fulfilled.”

   Sr. Maria Seraphina’s first assignment after arriving in Honolulu, was to teach Second Grade at our Fort Street School--later moved to Sacred Hearts Convent, Nuuanu.  Nine years later, on August 29, 1946, Sister became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.  In 1951, Sr. Seraphina was asked to be part of the pioneering community in Lihue, Kauai,  staffing  Immaculate Conception School in collaboration with our brothers who were the pastors of that parish.  In addition to teaching Second Grade there, her great joy was to prepare both her pupils and public school students for their First Holy Communion.  She remained on Kauai for 21 years and in 1972, when the community withdrew from Immaculate Conception, Sister was reassigned to Nuuanu.  In 1978, she moved to Regina Pacis where, in semi-retirement, she helped with community chores, spent more time in prayer, and worked diligently making pot holders for the missions.   As her health began to decline, the last obedience Sister received was to become a member of  Malia o ka Malu community. 

    To summarize, we will remember these special qualities of Sr. Maria Seraphina:

  1.  she was the last of our remarkable European missionaries who never returned home.
  2. she was a prolific letter writer.  Her Lithuanian friends were scattered across the globe and she kept in touch with them conscientiously. 
  3. she was photogenic and always looked beautiful in any photos taken of her.  It was her sweet smile that stood out.
  4. She was always pleasant, discreet and a wonderful member of her community.

   Your kind prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of our Sister Maria Seraphina Maziliauskaite.   May the Sacred Hearts welcome her into Their eternal home.   

    United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

ReginaMary Jenkins, SS.CC.
Provincial, Pacific-USA