At 100, Sr. Victoria Mazur keeps her mind and body active.

WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER

At 100, Sr. Victoria Mazur keeps her mind and body active.

September 22, 2014
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Sister Victoria Mazur, when she was much younger, met a man who claimed that God talked to him. The man told her that she was going to live to be an old woman. His prediction was correct.

Mazur, a Sister of Our Lady of the Cross (Notre Dame de la Croix), celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 28.

"Despite her age, she's as with it as anybody. She remembers people, and she remembers names. She still goes to Mass every day," said Janet MacLellan, a longtime friend.

Mazur still goes to Adoration every Saturday evening. On Thursday nights, she plays bridge with other women at St. Andrew's Centre where she has been living for almost 30 years.

In a video shown at her 100th birthday party, she said, "I go pray, and then I go play."

The women she plays cards and bingo with described Mazur as alert, independent and having an excellent memory.

In a brief interview, Mazur showed that she still cares about the needs of the world and the needs of the Church.

"The Church is trying to correct a lot of things that are hard to correct," she said. "The pope and the bishops want us to look after the poor, especially today when there are no jobs. Today, machines do all the work so people have fewer jobs – that's terrible."

Every year her niece sends her large parcels full of gifts for Christmas and her birthday. All Mazur requested this year for her birthday was a $100 bill. In answer to her request, she received two of them.

Born near Estevan, Sask., in 1914, Mazur has had an eventful life. Attending boarding school in Forget, Sask., she was approached by two nuns about joining their order. After some discernment, Mazur, then 18, decided to join.

While she did not speak French, her first assignment was at a French school. Most of her work involved educating students in boarding schools throughout Saskatchewan. During the summer months, she cared for the sick and elderly in their homes – tasks that are part of her order's charism.

Mazur taught for seven years at a private school in Federal Way, Wash., a city between Seattle and Tacoma. Although she knew next to nothing about basketball, she was asked to coach the girls' team there. She surprised everyone by leading the team to a championship.

She spent 1979 working in France. Later, she cared for an elderly couple in Oakland, Calif.

STILL INDEPENDENT

A resident of St. Andrew's Centre since 1985, Mazur has never lost her independence, often travelling to various church services around the city.

She recently had surgery on her legs, and the recovery process has been painful. But she still gets around with the use of a walker, and does her own grocery shopping.

MacLellan told a story from when Mazur was 88 years old. Mazur knocked on the door of the abortion clinic, and asked to speak to them about their work. When they refused to speak with her, she told them, "You can't be very proud of your work."

Reflecting on the incident recently, Mazur said, "The Church doesn't believe in abortion. The babies need looking after."

Later this year she will move to Trinity Manor at Stonebridge, a non-denominational seniors' residence in Saskatoon.