February 7, 1951 – April 26, 2020
Sr. Victoria Marie (Victoria Indyk), CSSF entered eternal life April 26, 2020 at St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Livonia, MI at age 69 after 50 years of religious life.
Born Feb. 7, 1951, and baptized at St. Casimir Church in Detroit, Victoria was the second of four children of Joseph and Cecilia (Naruszewicz). She made her first Communion and was confirmed at St. Casimir Church in Detroit, where she attended both grade and high school.
Victoria was accepted into the Felician Congregation on Aug. 3, 1969, and traveled to Lodi, N.J., for novitiate. During the investiture ceremony on July 31, 1971, she received the name Sister Victoria Marie. Returning to Michigan, sister took first vows in 1973 and perpetual profession in 1978.
Sr. Victoria earned a bachelor of arts degree from Madonna (College) University, a master’s in Nursing Administration also from Madonna, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. Sister was also elected into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and was an active member of other organizations: Michigan Nurses for Life, Transcultural Nursing, Nursing Honor Society, and Kappa Iota Chapter. Sister was also the president and founder of Madonna University’s Council of Catholic Nurses.
Sr. Victoria’s ministry of nursing began at St. Mary Hospital as a nurse and nurse supervisor. Assigned to St. Francis Nursing Home, Saginaw, a 100-resident facility, sister returned to Livonia as director of nursing at the Felician Sisters’ Care Center in Livonia. For the next 23 years, sister fulfilled the roll of nurse educator and assistant professor at Madonna University.
Since April 1999, Sr. Victoria was involved with the poor at Holy Trinity Cabrini Clinic and All Saints Neighborhood Center. She assisted with the program planning committee and with many of the seasonal activities and parties. Her interest in photography resulted in the production of several PowerPoint presentations on All Saints Neighborhood Center. Sister valued her experience at the Cabrini Clinic, where she served the elderly from the streets of Detroit and viewed this time as “evangelization” to bring the message of the Gospel to those whom she served.
Following a visit to Taiwan to extract information for her doctorate dissertation, Sr. Victoria presented a poster from her trip at the International Transcultural Nursing Society Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Sister also travel to Spain for the 30th Annual Conference of the Transcultural Nursing Society. In 2008, she attended the 61st annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in National Harbor, Md., and during the conference, presented her dissertation poster: “Effect of Education on Osteoporosis Knowledge, Health Beliefs, and Self-Care Health Promotion Behavior in Postmenopausal Nulliparous Roman Catholic Women Religious.”
Sr. Victoria Marie organized and led several Haiti mission trips with nurses, nursing students and volunteers to help at the Felician Sisters’ mission in Jacmel, Haiti from 2014 to 2018. Sister helped to pack scores of suitcases and travel bags for the airport stuffed to the brim with medical items, children’s clothes, educational materials for nurses and children. She instructed the children and adults, taught the nursing students at Notre Dame University in Jacmel and worked with the Mother Angela Clinic. Sister had a passion for Christ and a passion for humanity. She loved to be with, to accompany, and to serve the poorest of the poor.
Sr. Victoria Marie was taken to St. Mary Mercy Hospital and after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), she was placed in the Intensive Care Unit on a respirator. On April 26, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. the Lord gently called her home to eternal life. Interment was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, on April 29, 2020.