On July 7, 2018 Sister Olga Sofia Balanda, OSBM of the Holy Family Delegature was called home to Our Lord. Sister was 89 years old and had lived in the monastery for 72 years.
The late Sister Olga was born in Apostoles, Misiones, Argentina. Her parents, Ivan and Anastasia, left Ukraine during trying times and settled in what was a foreign land for them – Argentina. Those were difficult times for immigrants, but did not prevent parents from raising their children in a Christian spirit and teaching them to love their Church and Ukraine.
The late Sister Olga entered “Christ the King” monastery in Apostoles, Misiones on December 12, 1945. On June 16, 1946, she traveled to the monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Berisso, Buenos Aires for her novitiate. In that chapel on October 6, 1946, she was clothed in her habit and given the name Olga.
Sister Olga made the profession of her Temporary Vows on November 21, 1947. After having completed her studies and becoming a teacher, she began teaching in the Sisters’ school in 1950. She professed Perpetual Vows on March 18, 1951 in Berisso. During the years of 1955-1965 Sister Olga was the Mistress of Novices in Berisso; during 1967-1970, she was assigned as house superior in Berisso.
On October 1, 1970, Sr. Olga left Argentina to work in a mission in Australia. She arrived in Sydney, Australia on October 3, 1970. Throughout her long stay there, she worked with great zeal in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, running all-day kindergartens. She loved working with children and appeared especially gifted for this type of ministry.
On March 2, 2018, due to declining health, Sister Olga requested that she return to Argentina to live in the Sisters’ home for the aged. She was happy there, praying and helping with the sick. Until her last days, Sister Olga maintained a joyful attitude for which she was much loved and admired. For as long as she was able to manage, she continued her beloved activity of embroidering.
Unfortunately, Sister Olga was only able to enjoy her return to her native homeland for a short four months before the Lord called her to her eternal home. She had spent many years working hard for the good of all and the salvation of souls. Her memory will be cherished in the hearts of the Sisters, the children and faithful with whom she ministered and prayed. May she rest in peace in her native land.
May her memory be eternal.