Sister M. Boleslava

Lacon – Sister M. Boleslava, age 97, died on October 2, 2009.  She was born in Dolne Dubove, Slovakia. As a young lady she entered the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi in 1927. In the second year of her novitiate, she was sent to Budapest, Hungary to help our Sisters at St. Francis Hospital; the place where she learned the Hungarian language. In Slovakia-Zilina, she was then appointed as superior for the Sisters who worked in the state hospital. At that time period, she attended nursing school in Bratislava, Slovakia and earned her degree in nursing (RN).
In 1946 Sister Boleslava was asked to immigrate to the USA in order to establish our USA Province with 15 other Sisters. The Sisters (Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi) arrived at St. Bede College,  Peru , Illinois in 1946 to get acquainted with the language and culture. The Sisters helped with all domestic work for the Fathers and students of St. Bede’s College. Three Sisters and two postulants came to Lacon, Illinois in 1948 to open St. Joseph Convent where Sister Boleslava began her first term as the first Provincial Superior of the USA Province. All this with the help of The Benedictine Fathers; Reverend Stephen Kassovic and His Excellency Most Reverend Joseph Schlarman, of Peoria, Illinois.
Sister M.Boleslava organized the building and completion of St. Joseph Nursing Home in 1963-64. There was a need for a Catholic Nursing Home in the Peoria Diocese. Sister M.Boleslava was the first Administrator.
In 1956 Sr. M Boleslava sent 8 Sisters to Mountain View, Missouri to open and operate St. Francis Hospital. She led a very busy life all these years.  She also worked in Cleveland, Ohio at Villa Sancta Anna (Rest Home) and as an Activity Director while assisting in the Physical Therapy Department. Before her retirement in Lacon, she stayed active helping make things for the St. Joseph Nursing Home annual bazzar. She poured and painted lovely ceramics of various kinds; remember those beautiful Christmas trees with multicolored lights? 
In June of 1998 Sister M. Boleslava became a resident of St. Joseph Nursing Home.
Sister M. Boleslava was devoted to St. Joseph and all the work and developments of St. Joseph Nursing Home throughout the years. She always entrusted to him any needed accomplishments. She knew how to make many friends with her skill of working with her hands and her beautiful smile. It was easy for her to be with people and gain their trust. She was adept at handling business affairs at St. Joseph and she was very generous to the poor and those in dire need.  We are proud of her and grateful for all she did as a leader in our community.
Sister M. Boleslava Gazo died peacefully at St. Joseph Nursing Home, Lacon, Illinois on October 2, 2009 at 5:47 p.m. Surrounded by her Sisters and caregivers who prayed with her and sang favorite hymns to her last breath; as we held her hand, we bid her farewell and we asked for her prayers, too. We were privileged to be with her as she passed into eternity, realizing how God will be her eternal reward and give her eternal rest and peace: “Come my beloved daughter, enter into my rest.”
We thank you Lord for the gift of Sister M. Boleslava in our lives, whatever she had done for our community and the Church. May God bless her.  Farewell- your fellow Sisters, DSF (USA) Province and all your family and friends.  We will see you in heaven.
Visitation was on October 7 at St. Joseph Motherhouse chapel.
The Funeral Mass was on Thursday October 8 at St. Joseph Motherhouse Chapel at 10 a.m.

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