It is with sadness that the Sisters of St. Joseph announce the death of Sister Joyce Bialek on November 16, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, North Bay, Ontario.
Sister Joyce Elizabeth Bialek was born to Rose Panek and Karol Bialek in Sapton, Manitoba, April 2, 1928, the last of ten children, three of whom died in infancy. She is predeceased by her sisters; Frances (Joe Winzinowich) Mary (Bill Czastkiewicz) Caroline (Joe Sabatonski) Stella (Mike Kawa) and her brothers; William “Bill” (Jean Bailey). She is survived by her brother Walter (Adeline) and many nieces and nephews. Sister Joyce attended a two-room Public school in Sapton, Manitoba grades 1-8 and then helped at home until age 16. She then moved to Sudbury to live with Stella her sister.
Following two years of work, Joyce entered from Christ the King Parish, Sudbury, Ontario, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, on September 7, 1946 and received the name Sister M. Regina. Following her Novitiate, Sister Joyce completed grade thirteen, and then attended North Bay Teachers’ College 1950-1951 and was then assigned to teach in Port Arthur at St. Theresa’s and St. Martin’s Schools. Over a twenty year period (1952-1972), Sister Joyce taught at St. Martin’s School (Fort William) St. Rita’s and Sacred Heart Schools North Bay, and St. Joseph’s College, North Bay, Ontario. As was the experience of many Sister teachers, Sister Joyce studied throughout the school year and summer. She received her B.A. Degree from the University of Ottawa in 1963 and acquired her high school teaching certificate in 1967. In 1968, Sister Joyce was first elected to the Congregation’s Leadership team. It was here that she served first as a member of the team 1968 -1974, while teaching Geography at St. Joseph’s College, North Bay. She served as Congregational Leader from 1974 – 1982.
Following a much deserved sabbatical, Joyce completed secretarial and business studies. She then served in administration at Mount St. Joseph High School, Sault Ste. Marie 1984-1987, and at Marymount College Sudbury. Joyce returned to St. Joseph’s Motherhouse in in 1988 where she served as Administrator until 1990. Sister Joyce returned to Sudbury where she volunteered at the Sudbury General Hospital of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, in the Gift Shop and as an operating room volunteer, offering support and her gentle, caring presence to patients, anxious family members and personnel. Sister Joyce returned to reside at the Motherhouse in 2009, where once again she celebrated the gift of creation, the grandeur of sunsets on Lake Nipissing, and the quiet of sacred space. Joyce, a humble woman, gifted ‘all’ with the invitation to quietly discover their inner freedom, peace, truth and life path, empowering each one to have a deep appreciation of what the ‘Creator’ had gifted them with.
She possessed a deep love and respect for creation in all forms: the rising of the sun to its setting; the song of a bird; the beauty of a single flower; the curiosity, interest and success of students, be they young or old.
The body of Sister Joyce will be received at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 20th, 2018. Evening prayer and visitation will be held in the Holy Family Chapel, 7:00 p.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in the Sacred Heart Chapel. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, North Bay, Ontario. Sister Joyce rest in peace. In lieu of flowers, donations to the works of the Sisters of St. Joseph would be appreciated.