Sister Rosaleen Mary Therese Zdunich was called to celebrate her life in heaven.
She leaves to mourn her sister Hilda O’Neill; her religious community and communities; her many relatives and friends.
Sister Zdunich was a woman of deep faith, prayer, compassion, and sensitivity. She lived a very happy, inspiring, rewarding life, strongly committed to her Roman Catholic tradition. Her work and ministries were faith directed with prayer, hope, joy remarkable dedication and passion. Work and friendships came to life with her outstanding creativity, organizational and leadership skills. Members of the interfaith and the ecumenical communities often remarked of the passion that she had for her work.
Sister Rosaleen studied scripture at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan, Masters in Psychological Counselling from Fordham University, New York, and graduate diploma in Religious Education through various universities across the U.S.A.
Her background was in education as a Teacher, Principal and Counsellor. Evidence of students’ appreciation was the contact maintained by many students over the years.
Working full time in schools, she volunteered many hours beginning to build understanding among the interchurch and interfaith communities. She was the founder of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese Ecumenical office. She coordinated the annual Ecumenical Institute, the first city wide prayer service for Christian Unity Week. Now both fly under the banner of Edmonton Council of Churches.
She was one of the Founders of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre and the First Coordinator. Sister Rosaleen laid the groundwork for interfaith and ecumenism in Edmonton and Alberta. She organized many activities, to bring the Edmonton’s interfaith communities together in understanding and appreciation. One of these was the first Prayer Service for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is still being observed. In 1986 she coordinated the first Jewish/Christian dialogue held at Beth Shalom Synagogue with the Rabbi and the Archbishop together leading a prayer service and the dialogue.
She also coordinated several dialogues such as the city’s first Jewish, Christian, Muslim dialogue and as well as the first Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Muslim dialogue. She also organized Edmonton’s Centennial celebration led by 14 faith leaders. As they were called forth according to their arrival year to Edmonton, the faith leaders walked down the grand staircase of City Hall. Over 500 people of all faiths celebrated at City Hall to mark the arrival of these Religions to Edmonton. She organized many more such events too numerous to mention.
She leaves a legacy to the City of Edmonton by initiating many events to build bridges of peace, harmony, and acceptance within and among the Christian and Interfaith communities. These events are still part of Edmonton’s fabric.
Her love for those less fortunate was evident in her many works of charity and kindness. One could find her Christmas morning serving dinner in the inner city or at other times preparing food to take to the food bank.
She was very involved in her Roman Catholic community and especially her parish community.
Sr. Zduncih received numerous recognitions. In 2012 she was invested into The Alberta Order of Excellence, received the City of Edmonton “Salute to Excellence Award” in 2005, the Alberta Centennial medallion for her dedication to building bridges among the faiths in Edmonton. In 1992 she was recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal for outstanding leadership.
At Sister Rosaleen Zdunichs request a private funeral service will be held.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
That never was it known that anyone
Who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help, or sought they intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;
To thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Wood Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
But in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Serenity Funeral Service – South
780 450 0101