The Pastor's Column

Fr. Maina

Welcome, Sr. Nadiya Levchenko, SSpS
Religious Education Coordinator

This week, I wish to introduce and welcome Sr. Nadiya Levchenko, SSpS to St. Catherine Labouré. Sr. Nadiya takes over as Coordinator of the ministry of Religious Education. I am grateful to the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit for allowing Sr. Nadiya to serve in our parish. Currently, Sr. Nadiya is conducting summer mission appeals in the East Coast states but will return at the beginning of July to begin her new role here. Following is Sr. Nadiya’s self-introduction:

My name is Sr. Nadiya Levchenko, SSpS. I belong to the International Congregation of Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, working in over 50 countries worldwide. I was born and raised in Ukraine where I completed my High School education and earned a certificate from Informational System Software, Networks and Programming. Because of an economic crisis, at age 18 I moved to Poland where I worked as a graphic designer, entered University, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Theology, and helped my family to survive that difficult period of our history.

In September 2003, I entered the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, and on July 6, 2006, I pronounced my First Vows. My missionary experience started shortly after this. In February 2008, I was asked to go to Siberia to take care of “House of Hope,” an after-school club for troubled children. As a director of the Center, I was responsible for coordinating activities for children, parents, and volunteers. Besides that, I served as a catechist in the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary, ethical educator in a TB hospital for children, and team member in the Diocesan Catechetical Office.

In August 2009, as a part of my junior formation and cross-cultural mission experience, I moved to Slovakia, where I served as:

  • Member of the Vazec Diocesan team for youth work, responsible for preparing and presenting youth courses, retreats and recollections.
  • Teacher of video and graphic design in the after-school program of the Catholic school in Kezmarok.
  • Catechist and animator in the Center for Gypsies in Krizova Ves and in Lubica parish.
  • Graphic designer for Catholic organizations in Slovakia.
  • Community Treasurer

In July 2011, I was honored to participate in the International Tertianship Program as a preparation for my Final Vows in Cebu City, Philippines. Together with five companions from Ghana, Papua New Guinea and China, I had formation topics with some ministries outside. My apostolate was with street children at a center for homeless persons.

After completing the Tertianship, I pronounced my Final Vows in Poland on August 12, 2012, and received a mission mandate for Siberia. During the next three years I enjoyed being a Director of the Diocesan Catechetical Office, responsible for:

  • The formation of catechists
  • Creating and managing catechetical online courses, ongoing formation; workshops and 3-day meetings
  • Preparing and leadering retreats
  • Creating, translating and publishing catechetical materials
  • Supervising catechists in parishes
  • Examinations, financial management, project development and the coordination of Russian Catechetical Commission under the bishop’s authority.

In June 2015, I was asked to help within our Rome Community’s Congregational Generalate House. And in November 2016, I received a mission mandate to the USA. From the beginning my service was in the Communication Department of our US Province. I served also in the Communion Liturgy Service at Presence Maryhaven Nursing Home here in Glenview; volunteering and managing in a food pantry in Wheeling, and volunteering at the Holy Spirit Life Learning Center as an instructor of computer and Zumba classes. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Holy Spirit Life Learning Center and a member of Community Liturgy Committee.

I love my Congregation where I have belonged for the last 15 years, and I also love all the duties I have had. Sometimes people ask which country or work I love the most. I cannot answer on this question, because all of them were unique and precious. I have a lot of good memories and I strongly believe that together we can make our world a better place to live.

I am the only Catholic in my family, converted from atheism in the age of 15 because of missionaries working in my city. In that time, I came to understand the importance of missionary work. But it took me another 8 years to stop fighting with my vocation and to accept it from the hand of God. I am passionate about people, the human mind, cultures, and languages. I like books, sports, music, travel, dance, art, and technology. I appreciate sincerity and honesty, trying also to be true to myself and others.