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Sister Mary Magdalita Wyczalek: Learning from Sisters at a young age
2017 July 11

Sister Magdalita Wyczalek

As the first of eleven children Sister Mary Magdalita Wyczalek, then known as Julia, was the leader of her siblings and neighborhood children.

“With six brothers and five sisters, we had enough people to play with, but we also enjoyed the companionship of the neighbors’ kids.”

However, it wasn’t all play for S. Magdalita. She eventually shined in the classroom at St. Michael School. Soon enough S. Magdalita became the errand girl for the convent. The superior, Sister Magdales, took her under her wing. Nevertheless, the “real model” that caused S. Magdalita to consider religious life was Sister Franzine, the cook.

“I used to watch her all the time. She taught me how to say the salutation in German and showed me the way she traced a cross on the bread before it was baked. I thought that she was the best person on earth.”

These sisters stayed with S. Magdalita even as she continued her education at Baltimore City College Evening School and in 1934, she received the bonnet in the chapel at St. Michael. She then embarked on a lifelong career in education.

She began as a 3rd grade teacher at St. John School in Bergenfield, New Jersey and went on to teach at Corpus Christi School in Baltimore, Md. After 22 years of religious life, she was named superior of the convent and principal of Our Lady of Fatima Convent in Baltimore. She helped oversee more than a dozen lay teachers and 1200 students.

“I felt that we were very appreciated by the people there,” she said. “It was a good school, and we had a good community life.”

In 1998, S. Magdalita returned to Villa Assumpta in Baltimore to make retreat and reflect on her life. Each morning she makes a holy hour and always says her rosary.

“But I also just like to talk to Jesus during the course of the day.”


Learn more about the sisters with the School Sisters of Notre Dame