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: Jess Lastiwka

Ever wanted to know more about the Divine Liturgy and what’s really happening during all those “Lord, have mercy”s and signs of the cross? We’ve got just the person to walk you through it: Jess Lastiwka.


Learning more about Jess means understanding the following in her own words:

Jessalyn Lastiwka is a cradle Ukr Cath born and raised in Sherwood Park. She has a love of learning and thus has been going to school, as a teacher or student, for 29 years.   She first obtained a degree in Environmental and Conservational Science and immediately after that lived for one year at “ Welcome Home”, a mission of the Ukr. Catholic Redemptorists in Winnepeg.  Jessalyn met her future husband Father Bohdan Nahachewsky at various youth events during this time. Something had begun between the two of them and she followed him to Ottawa where they both studied Theology. They were quickly convinced of God’s plan for them and were married the next summer. God blessed them with 3 children- Theo, Joseph, and Seraphine. In between being a mom and a seminarian/Deacon/priest’s wife Jess was able to complete a Bachelor of Theology degree in Eastern Christian Studies.

The family was stationed in Lloydminster for the past 10 years. There Jessalyn taught music lessons to young children and subsequently decided to pursue teaching. She completed a Bachelor of Education degree in 2011 and has been teaching elementary school ever since. They moved to Calgary this past summer and are now serving at St Stephen’s Parish.

Whew! Busy lady, indeed! No doubt with all the knowledge she has obtained through her studies and marriage Jess will be able to lead those attending her session into a better understanding of our Divine Liturgy. Another #GreatReason to attend Unity 2014.

God bless,