Sister Silva Zuzek, MMS, the daughter of the late Francis and Ivanka Zuzek of Ljubwana, Yugoslavia, died October 2, 2017, in Philadelphia. She was 86 years old.
Sister Silva grew up in Ljubwana, starting her basic schooling there and completing it in the refugee camps in Italy during World War II. She then moved with her family to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she earned a bachelor's degree in pharmacy. Raised in a devout Catholic family, she and three of her sisters would become nuns while three of her brothers became priests. After graduating from college, she joined the Medical Mission Sisters in 1963. She made her First Profession of Vows in 1966 and was missioned to Fort Portal, Uganda, where she was in charge of the pharmacy in Virika Hospital for five years. She next was in mission in Berekum, Ghana, managing the pharmacy at Holy Family Hospital for eight years before returning to the United States in the early 1980's.
Fluent in Spanish, Sister worked for a year in pastoral ministry with the Hispanic population at St. Steven's parish in Philadelphia. Afterwards, she took a course in Pastoral Ministry at St. Louis University before moving on to serve at a daycare center for the elderly and at a recovery center for youth.
In 1987, Sister returned to her previous role in pharmacy management, this time at Phalombe Hospital in Malawi. She stayed there four years, returning to the U.S. in 1991 to give pastoral assistance to Salvadoran refugees at the St. Johns Hospice Kitchen and at Assumption Parish and St. Malachy's Parish in Philadelphia. Together with three volunteers, she brought Communion to homebound parishioners. She also taught catechism weekly and made frequent visits to a nearby Protestant nursing home.
Sister served in a variety of roles at our North American Headquarters in Philadelphia for many years, assisting on the switchboard, delivering mail, doing bookkeeping and other household tasks and volunteering at our Thrift Shop. "I find it a real place of healing," she said of her work in the Thrift Shop. "There are many opportunities to let the cause be known and to minister to people's needs."
Sister celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2016.
Sister Silva's Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the Medical Mission Sisters Chapel, 8400 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA.
Gifts in Sister Silva's memory are appreciated by the Community.
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