Sister Mary Juanita Nowak, CSSF, 78, a Felician Sister for 60 years, died at Blessed Mary Angela Convent, Buffalo, NY, on May 6, 2020. The former Barbara Nowak was born on February 2, 1942 in Buffalo, and was a member of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish. She entered the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters on June 28, 1959 and professed perpetual vows on August 5, 1967.
After graduating from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy, Buffalo, she furthered her education at Villa Maria College of Buffalo where she earned an Associate in Applied Science degree. She also held a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Medaille (Mount St. Joseph Teachers) College, Buffalo, an Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing from Trocaire College, Buffalo, a Certificate for Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and a Specialist Certificate for Practitioners from State University of New York at Buffalo, a Certificate for Parish Nursing and a New York State Registered Professional Nurse License.
As a Felician Sister Juanita was an elementary grade teacher for eight years. She also spent a year teaching General Science at Villa Maria Academy where she returned several times to instruct the students in Health courses. Though she felt she made a positive difference in the lives of her students, she pursued studies toward a nursing degree.
In August 1973, Sister Juanita was named Director of Nursing at Villa Maria Infirmary. For three years, she also worked as general duty nurse in the medical-surgical unit at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. In order to be of more service to the sisters, she pursued studies and became a staff nurse practitioner in 1980. She served as Director of Nursing for 30 years.
Sister Juanita accepted the challenge of extending her nursing experience to that of parish nurse in January 2003 when she ministered at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Kenmore for three years. She later returned to assist as Outreach Director for eight years. Between these ministries, she assisted at Response to Love Center, St. Francis Residence Convent and as sacristan at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent.
Because of health issues, Sister Juanita became a patient in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in September 2013. In addition to praying for others, she was involved in MIDS data entry, hospitality and correspondence.
In all her experiences, it gave her deep satisfaction to be available to others - to which she believed God called her initially.
Sister Juanita is survived by her brother, Daniel, a niece and a nephew. She was predeceased by her parents, the late John and Mary (Tatko) Nowak.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated for Sister Juanita at a future date and interment will take place at St. Stanislaus Cemetery on Friday, May 8, 2020.