Blog Archives

Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Emily Shietzsch, SSMI

The Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate are a very important part of Unity; after all, it was Sr. Marie Bielski, SSMI who came up with the idea! As a result, we are so blessed to have some of the SSMI with us for our Unity weekend. One such lady is none other than Sr. Emily Schietzsch.


Sr. Emily will be giving a session on vocations entitled, “Our Christian Vocation: To Boldly Go With God Where We Have Never Gone Before.” Sr. Emily did a session on Vocations in Pinawa in 2012, but her session touched so many hearts that the Core Team knew they just had to have her again for this Unity! I also think this is the point where I’m supposed to mention that Sr. Emily is a minor Trekkie, so that may or may not come up in her session. As for her professional bio, she writes the following:

I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I joined the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate in September of 2010 and currently reside in the Provincial House in Toronto. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theology. I enjoy alpine skiing, walking and serving the disabled, the need and the frail.

A true sister, through and through! I’d love to hear what she has to say about finding our way to what God intends for us, wouldn’t you?


Joyanne 😀


Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI

As I was saying, we have some fabulous speakers lined up for our long weekend during Unity 2014. First up in the Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI.


Sr. Zoe will be doing a talk on ethical issues related to reproductive technology. In her own words she says:

The musical “Mamma Mia” presents some modern challenges of mothers, fathers, and daughters!  Sophie hopes to successfully identify her father so that he can walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.  The theology of marriage as presented in the Vatican II document Gaudium et spes embraces the essence of marriage as the mutual love and communion of the spouses.  While this ideal guides our exploration of the ethical issues related to human reproduction, the Catholic tradition also reinforces the importance of a well-informed conscience as a guide for action when we find ourselves in ethically challenging situations. 

Turns out Sr. Zoe is no stranger when it comes to things medical or theological. Check out her credentials!

Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from the University of Toronto, a Master’s in Theological Studies, and a Licentiate and Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.   She is presently a professor of Pastoral Theology at Newman College in Edmonton, AB.  

Now that’s what I call a strong woman of faith!

God bless,

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator

Core Team Spotlight: Beth Mayko

As we’re gearing up for Unity 2014, I thought I’d ask the Core Team some questions about the final stretch towards Unity planning, what they look forward to and where you can find them during this fantastically wonderful event. First up, Beth!


Now, Beth, tell the audience where you fit in with the Unity 2014 Planning Team.
I am Millie’s third in command on the Unity committee. Basically a little bit of everything and lots of delegating!

Wow, third in command, eh? That’s got to be a lot of responsibility. No doubt you’re quite busy seeing that everything gets done right and lickety-split. Though I’m sure you’re quite tired, I have no doubt you’re looking forward to Unity 2014. What are you looking forward to most?
I am most looking forward to re-connecting with all of the many wonderful people that I have met at past Unities.

Yeah, great people always seem to show up at Unity. But if I remember correctly, you were hesitant about attending Unity in ’09 because you didn’t really know anyone. How would you try to convince someone to come to Unity who was thinking of attending but a bit nervous to make the trek?
Unity is a great opportunity to learn about and embrace your faith, putting you in company with others trying to do the same. It is so uplifting to talk with others going through some of the same life challenges and who encourage you to keep having faith.

Definitely great advice, and so much more poignant coming from someone who was in those shoes previously. Any last words? Where can participants find you at Unity in August?
You will find me running around all over the place at Unity! Feel free to stop me at any time if you need anything or just want to chat!

You heard her, folks! And keep posted! Not only will I be posting up these interviews with our Planning Team, but our speakers are pretty awesome too. Check out some info about Sr. Zoe Bernatsky who will be talking about Ethical Issues Surrounding Reproductive Technology.

God bless and stay awesome!

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator