Sister Christine Vladimiroff, OSB
January 12, 1940 - September 25, 2014
God of the harvest, loving God,
our sister, Christine, who has served your people
and who has served you in your people,
has now come to you.
Bright, strong and accomplished,
she used her uncommon gifts uncommonly well.
She taught us to do the right thing
in the right way at the right time
with grace, with courage.
She taught for the good of those she served:
students, refugees, the poor, the hungry
and, always and above all, her community.
She taught that life is to be lived to the hilt
for the sake of the reign of God
and always with joy.
She knew how to laugh
and she laughed in good times
and she laughed in hard times,
all the while making them good times.
We are grateful for her and to her
as she teaches us this last lesson.
Peace, Christine, and joy.
Sister Christine Vladimiroff, OSB, 74, died at Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Erie, PA, on Thursday, September 25, 2014, after a long illness.
A native of Erie, she was the eldest child of the late John and Agnes Olszewski Vladimiroff. She received her early education at St. Ann’s parish school and St. Benedict Academy in Erie, PA. She entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in 1957 and pronounced her perpetual monastic vows in 1962. In 2009 she celebrated her golden jubilee.
Sister Christine was a born teacher whose studies began at Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA, culminated in the Doctor of Philosophy degree awarded by the Universidad Internacional, Mexico City, Mexico and included post-graduate study at several universities, among them Fordham, Georgetown, Edinboro, St. Bonaventure and Gannon.
She taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, and was, as well, an administrator at those levels. This experience led to her appointment, first, as multicultural coordinator (1981) and later as secretary of education for the Diocese of Cleveland (1983), a position she held until 1991.
Concern for the hungry, springing from her care for her students, gave rise to Sister Christine’s appointment as president and CEO of the Second Harvest National Food Bank Network, Chicago, IL, in 1991. She remained in that position until her religious community elected her prioress in 1998.
After completing her term of office in 2010, Sister Christine became the executive director of St. Benedict Education Center where a variety of programs provide the job and language skills that participants, often refugees, need to build for themselves prosperous and peaceful lives.
Beyond her community, Sister Christine served as president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses (2009-2013), The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (president: 2004-2005; leadership team: 2003-2006) and was a delegate to the International Organization of Benedictine women, Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum.
In addition to numerous professional memberships and affiliations throughout her many years of ministry and service, Sister Christine received various types of recognition: Hunger Hero (Bread for the World, 2004); Distinguished Pennsylvanian (Gannon University, 2001); Archbishop Oscar Romero Award (Mercyhurst University, 1999); Leadership Award, Second Harvest National Network (1998); Distinguished Alumna, Sister Carolyn Hermann Award for Outstanding Community Service (Mercyhurst University, 1997); Catholic Woman of Achievement Award (College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ, 1997); Adrian Dominican Educational Leadership Award (Barry University, Miami, FL, 1990). Most recently, Sister Christine was honored as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania (Governor’s Award, 2013).
Bright, strong and accomplished, Sister Christine used her uncommon gifts uncommonly well. She taught by example to do the right thing in the right way at the right time with grace, with courage. She taught for the good of those she served: students, refugees, the poor, the hungry and, always and above all, her community. She taught that life is to be lived fully for the sake of the reign of God and always with joy.
Sister Christine is survived by her Benedictine community, and by her sisters: Elaine Retzlaff (Klaus) and her family, of Binghamton, NY and Joan Psillas (Thomas) and her family of Milford, Michigan.
Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511. Click here to offer an online memorial.