God’s Call: Michigan Woman Responds

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

September 15, 2018

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Natalie Binversie reflects on the life of Sister Mary Louise Skutz. Read the entire reflection: Franciscan Sister Mary Louise Skutz Reflection

Sophie Mary Rose Skoezylas was born on May 10, 1925 to John Joseph and Helen Veronica (Guzior) Skoczylas in Cross Village, Michigan. She was the third youngest of nine children. She was baptized on May 17, 1925 at Holy Cross Church in Cross Village. Sophie was confirmed there on May 20, 1941.

Sophie’s parents immigrated to the United States from Poland and met in Camden, New Jersey. After they married, they worked to save money to buy 40 acres of farmland twenty four miles from the Mackinaw Bridge. This is where Sophie was born. She had four brothers and four Sisters. When she and her siblings were old enough to attend school they went to Holy Cross Grade School where the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity taught. The Franciscan Friars were the priests in the parish. Her parents chose the Catholic School over the nearby Public School because they wanted their children to learn the Catholic Faith.

After her grade school was completed, Sophie moved to Petoskey, Michigan and attended St. Francis Xavier High School where the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity taught. Sister Gabriel Kerner was the music teacher and taught Sophie to play the piano accordion. Her favorite teachers were Sister Ann Patrick Graney and Sister Margaret Krueger. These Sisters planted and nurtured the seed for Sophie’s vocation. They were easy to talk to about anything that was a concern. They helped Sophie discern her vocation through their affirmation and encouragement, through their loving care and understanding. Sophie had won the Valedictorian Scholarship to St. Mary’s Nursing College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She told the Sisters that she would check out the idea of being a Sister after nursing College. Sister Gabriel was to have told her, “Don’t give your old bones to Jesus. Go now! We have training for nursing and three hospitals you can nurse in.” Read more: Franciscan Sister Mary Louise Skutz Reflection

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