Sister Juliana Mislovic
March 4, 1918 — December 2, 2011
Anna Mislovic was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on March 4, 1918, the daughter of Joseph and Catherine (nee Majda) Mislovic. On March 17, 1918, she was baptized at St. Veronica Church and later received confirmation there as well. She graduated from St. Veronica parish school in 1932. Anna then attended Notre Dame High School in Hamilton, graduating on August 1, 1936.
The 12 years of “getting to know the Sisters” of Notre Dame de Namur prompted her she wrote to enter with them. She became a Postulant in their novitiate in Reading, Ohio. As a novice she chose for her religious name Sister Juliana and continued to use that name. On January 25, 1939, she pronounced her first vows and her final vows on August 13, 1944.
Sister Juliana completed her studies for an A.B. degree at Trinity College in Washington, DC in 1941. That degree prepared her for ten years of teaching religion and various science classes. Juliana returned three times to teach at Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio: 1941 to 1943; 1963 to 1964 and 1967 to 1970. She also taught at Mount Notre Dame Academy, Reading Ohio: 1943 to 1948. Two times she went to Notre Dame High School in Chicago: 1948 to 1951 and 1961 to 1963. Sister also spent one year at Carroll High School in Dayton, Ohio from 1970 to 1971 in the Religion Department.
Teaching began fashioning her ministries into a three-tiered experience for her. Those ten years must have been very special to her. She was not only a very competent teacher but a much loved and respected one as well. Her former students thought so much of her and Sister Juliana did not forget them. She wrote many notes and cards to them just to keep in touch. Their admiration of her might well be summed up in a letter she received in 1962 from one of those former students. “I am writing you to tell you you have made your thumb print on my life. You were my senior high school teacher and I’ll never forget you. Thank you for the rosary you gave me. I still have it and treasure it. Thank you for the high standards you set and for your calmness. You have made a difference in my life. God must be very pleased with you.” Such thoughts are surely shared by many of her former students.
A second ministerial tier was as postulant and novice director lasted for 10 years. Sister Juliana's religious studies at Xavier University for which she received a MA Ed had been completed in 1952. At that time she began her role as postulant and novice director and was able to share the latest insights in theology and Scripture with the young women who had entered Notre Dame. The novices always had a special place in sister’s life long after their novitiate days were over. In a well thumbed copy of the 1972 Ohio Province Directory, Sister Juliana had listed the birthdays of every sister. Her novices were thus assured of a card or note for birthdays or other events in their lives as well as a promise of prayers. Sister Juliana listed only three special interests she had. Besides reading and recycling, “Writing letters and phone numbers of Sisters and former members were very important to her.” And that she did often!
Last but not least was the third tier of her ministries, for 26 years from 1972 to 1998. During those years her ministerial focus was one of pastoral care for the elderly. To enable herself to do that well, Sister attended a 14 week program on Multi-Service Seniors Centers at the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University in Dayton, Ohio. That program and a number of other workshops allowed her to engage in the pastoral care of the elderly in many places beginning at Mt. Carmel Hospital, at St. Joseph Cathedral and at Grant Hospital all of which were in Columbus, Ohio. Juliana also worked at St. Francis Court and the West End Emergency Center in Cincinnati. Sister Juliana had long expressed the desire to become a nurse. To do so, she studied at Columbus Technical Institute and almost completed a nursing certification as an LPN in 1977. This training also served her well and those she cared for.
During those years, Sister Juliana soon became a 24/7 sort of advocate for the poor and elderly. She responded with great compassion and answered crisis calls any hour of the day or night. It might be a plea from a battered woman or an alcoholic who wanted to know of the location of a detoxification center or someone in need of a bag of groceries. A parish van was available to her to drive the elderly to meet their various needs. Perhaps all of Juliana's care for the elderly poor and neglected would fit the words of the first reading from the second Sunday's liturgy. In the reading, Isaiah spoke of “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” Sister did.
When Sister Juliana finally moved back to Cincinnati, her return to the area was not the end of a very active life. She soon began meeting with students in the adopt-a-sister program at Mt. Notre Dame High School. There she could continue sharing with the students not so much the study of biology and physics, but rather give them an investment of her time, her talents, her energies, her love and concern for the young people she met. This ministry with the young brought all the ministries of Sister Juliana full circle, back to teaching the young. Once again the young women in the program wrote wonderful tributes to her. One thought that her monthly meetings with Sister during the year “meant becoming closer to a good friend and one ‘hip’ sister.” I enjoyed many things and events with my sister. Our visits were filled with laughter and brightened my day. Another one of her students commented “My sister has done a lot for me. She always has a smile for me and a good thing to say. She goes out of her way to do good to my companion and me.
Her Sisters remember Sister Juliana for all the goodness of God that she manifested to those with whom she taught, prayed or worked with. One last aspect of Sister’s life was a deep spirit of prayer. Juliana had great devotion to St. Julie Billiart the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1944, Sister was a participant on a pilgrimage to the sites in Julie's life. She kept a very simple journal of every day and her reactions to the days spent on the pilgrimage. She also kept 106 photos of the places she had visited. It was by no accident that many of her observations were related to the beautiful scenery that the bus drove through every day. She was not only interested in recycling but in all of God's creation. It was as if Julie had asked Sister Juliana, as she had her first sisters, to read the book of nature.
As we her sisters take leave of Sister Juliana, we may well remember the words of that former student. Juliana not only put a thumb print on her life but she also put her thumb print on the lives and the times she spent with her sisters in community. We are sad to bid farewell, and we express our prayerful sympathy to the members of her family and to all those who knew and loved her.
Sister Louanna Orth, SNDdeN
December 2, 2011