Sister M. Michaeline Pakrosnis was born on March 26,1930, in Scranton, PA. The Pakrosnis family belonged to St. Joseph Parish, where Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas lived when she came to the United States to serve as housekeeper for her brother priest. Her father, Adam, worked in a factory and her mother, Mary, took care of their two children, Sister Michaeline and her younger brother, Michael. She and her brother remained very close for the rest of Sister Michaeline’s life.
Sister Michaeline attended the St. Joseph Parish school for the first three years. After receiving First Communion, she transferred to U. S. Grant grammar school and attended North Scranton Junior High.
Sister Michaeline had been feeling the stirrings of a call to religious life. A friend of hers had entered the Felician Sisters, and when Sister Michaeline talked to her about her desire to do the same, her friend suggested that she talk to the Sisters of St. Casimir. In reflecting on this part of her life, Sister Michaeline wrote, “I went to talk with Sister Celeste about my desire, and she said, ‘Come.’ On the way home, I stopped in church and prayed to the Blessed Mother that, if this was God’s will, I would go. And I’m still here.”
After graduation from junior high, Sister Michaeline asked to enter the Sisters of St. Casimir. Her pastor wrote a letter of recommendation, saying that “she was of stable character and of excellent moral quality.” In February of 1948, Sister Michaeline was accepted. She professed her first vows on August 15, 1951, and she had the joy of celebrating her Silver Jubilee in 1976, Golden Jubilee in 2001 and Diamond (60 years) Jubilee in 2011.
Sister Michaeline is a beautiful example of using her God-given talents to enrich the lives of others. Her ministry assignments were always in homemaking and the preparation of meals. Throughout her years of service, she was missioned to many places where the Sisters taught in parish schools: Emerson, Nebraska; Roswell and Clovis, New Mexico; Aberdeen, Maryland; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Northbrook, Waukegan, and Chicago, Illinois. The places where she served the longest were at Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, PA, and the Sisters of St. Casimir Motherhouse. At the Villa, Sister Michaeline worked in the dietary department that served the high school, St. Joseph Home for the Aged, and the Sisters’ convent. She was there during much of 1951 to 1973. Sister Michaeline enjoyed making home-made cookies for the girls at Villa and seeing how happy and grateful they were for such a gift. For the Sisters and the staff of Villa, she was always a person who was easy to approach, always had a smile, and was always kind.
Sister Michaeline was missioned to the Motherhouse in Chicago in 1973 and remained there until her retirement in 2007. She helped in the preparation of meals for the many Sisters who lived there. There were always events to prepare for, guests coming for dinner, and meetings to cater.
Sister Michaeline’s brother, Michael, and his wife, Gayle, would often take Sister Michaeline on vacations with them or take her to visit her friends in Scranton. Michael said that he always wanted to taste one of her delicious meals and asked her if she would make a meal for them. She kindly told him that she was on vacation.
At the time of her Diamond (60 year) Jubilee, Sister Michaeline wrote: “The past 60 years have been filled with many blessings. Throughout my life I was aware of the Lord’s presence, and this brought comfort to me. I was blessed with good health and so I could serve others. I remember that Jesus cares for me and loves me, and I, in turn, express my gratitude to hm by being a kind and loving person.”
A special thank you to Michael and Gayle and all of Sister Michaeline’s family for their love and care for her, and a thank you to Sister Janine, Sister Theresa Dabulis, Pat O’Leary, and the Sisters for their visits, love, and presence with Sister Michaeline, especially during these last months. May Sister Michaeline now enjoy the fullness of life with God forever.