Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate
The Eastern Rite Congregation 0f the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate of Papal Right was founded in 1892 in Zhuzhyl, a thriving village in Western Ukraine. As a reflection of Christ’s special love for the poor and the suffering, the purpose of the Congregation was to serve the human and spiritual needs of their people.
This was a time of many social injustices and in a few short years the services of the Sisters rapidly expanded. The Sisters became involved in parish work. Care for the beauty of churches was one of their special concerns. They established simple, much-needed institutions to provide for education, child-care, nursing, missionary work, and pastoral care. They went into homes and onto the streets, giving their love, assistance and consolation to the needy.
In 1902, out of concern for the plight of Ukrainians searching for survival in other lands, the young Congregation, headed by its co-foundress, Sister Josaphata Hordashevska, sent four Sisters to Canada. The Sisters came to Edmonton first, but in a year’s time, transferred to Mundare, Alberta. The first Canadian headquarters and Novitiate of the Sisters Servants was located there. Under arduous conditions, they would carry on their work serving the Ukrainian immigrants suffering the many hardships of pioneer life.
The Congregation Today
Although social and economic structures may alter, basic human values never change. And so, the need for the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate continues.
In Canada today, with headquarters in Toronto, the Sisters are involved across the country in parishes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, pastoral care, catechetics, renewal and retreat ministry. Internationally, the Congregation is found in thirteen countries on three continents with its Generalate in Rome. Wherever they are, whatever their capacities, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate under the Providence of God serve God’s people in all their needs.
History of Holy Family Home
In 1956, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate purchased Winnipeg’s old Children’s Hospital with the intention to operate the premises primarily as a home for elderly Ukrainians. The home was opened a year later.
As time went on, the Sisters continued to primarily serve the Ukrainian and Slavic ethnic population, but also respected the need to provide nursing and personal care services for people throughout the community.
To meet this need, a 124 bed addition was established in 1970, providing a home for a total of 250 residents. A new 160-bed building as completed in 1978. The new buildings replaced the original 1911 hospital structure that had become outdated. After the 1997 Building “B” renovations and upgrade, the home accommodated 276 residents. Since 1972, it has been fully accredited by Accreditation Canada.
In 2019, Holy Family Home proudly opened a new building with 157 resident rooms providing a more appropriate physical environment to meet the changing health care needs of the current resident population. With the new expansion Holy Family Home is now home to 317 residents.
As a care facility, the Home endeavours to respond to the needs of the individual – physically, psychologically, spiritually and socially. To help make their lives more pleasant and less institutionalized, the residents are provided with many social and recreational activities. While the Ukrainian culture constitutes the nucleus of the Home, residents of different ethnic and religious backgrounds share in the bonds that bring them together as special members of the family of God.
The Home continues its commitment to the community with the provision of community outreach services, including Respite Care Program, the Adult Day Program and Seniors’ Tower (Life Lease).
Holy Family Home is thus recognized by the community as an institution providing care for the current resident population. But in essence, it is more than an institution. It is a Home dedicated to the practice of Christian values working in harmony with professional excellence.