Sister Teresa Korycka, SSMI, 80

“Sincere thanks to the donors of the Retirement Fund for Religious. I hope we meet, if not in this world, then in the next,” says Sister Teresa, 80, of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in Catonsville, MD.

Born in wartime Poland in 1943, Sister Teresa grew up amidst challenges. She was one of six siblings and remembers a close-knit community that stood strong during tough times. War memories etched resilience into her heart: neighbors shared bread, and unity was paramount.

Despite Poland’s Communist stranglehold on education, Sr. Teresa’s faith remained unwavering.

Religion was pushed out of schools, but home was her spiritual haven. When she moved to the US in 1968, she continued her education at Felician College, Mt. Providence Junior College. Then, she earned a Master of Education at Townson State College in Maryland.

Her mother was her spiritual foundation, and she taught Sister Teresa the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and true forgiveness. At eight years of age, a Capuchin monastery visit opened her eyes to the profound love of religious service. And by 14, after visiting her cousin at the Sisters Servant of Mary motherhouse, Sister Teresa knew her path.

Her vows in 1963 marked the start of decades dedicated to education. She enriched lives at Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate Day Nursery for 30 years, later teaching at St. Mark’s School in Catonsville. Retirement doesn’t slow her down; she volunteers at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home, blending teaching with pastoral care.

She recalls the joy in children’s eyes as they grasped reading and writing. Outside the classroom, she found fulfillment in comforting the sick and dying.

For Sister Teresa, the Holy Mass, rosary, and Chaplet of Divine Mercy are spiritual anchors. Her advice for a fulfilling life? “Root yourself in positivity, release regrets, and always trust in divine providence.'”

In her journey, Sister Teresa exemplifies unwavering faith amidst life’s challenges.