Full of Grace – The long and varied career of Sister Virginia Kurek


sistervirginia-webSister Virginia Kurek speaks with a patient of St. Mary’s Catholic Home, Cherry Hill, in this 1989 file photo.

For almost 80 years, Sister Virginia Kurek ministered as a Little Servant Sister of the Immaculate Conception, bringing care and concern to others.

At her death in September 2012, at the age of 93, her religious community remembered an inspiring servant of God, who submitted to God’s will, had a daily devotion to prayer and the rosary, and spent hours reading spiritual works.

Born Christine M. Virginia Kurek in 1918 in Camden, to Thomas and Anna Kurek, Sister Virginia was the eldest of six children.

In 1933, she entered the Congregation of the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Woodbridge. After her novitiate at the Motherhouse in Poland, she professed first vows in 1937, and perpetual vows in 1942 in Woodbridge, where she ministered to and catechized orphans.

During her 78 years of ministry, she served in the educational, social and health care fields.

In 1941, she was among the first four sisters of her order to start St. Mary’s Catholic Home in Cherry Hill, where she cared for the elderly. In addition, she worked on the farm outside the facility and volunteered in the parish religious education program in Runnemede.

Later on, she became the superior of the small community that served at Bishop Bartholomew J. Eustace’s residence in Haddonfield.

From 1964-69, she was superior provincial in the United States of her order. In 1969, she became administrator at St. Mary’s Catholic Home, and from 1969-90, was administrator at the Manor at St. Mary’s.

A member of the Camden Diocesan Pastoral Council, Sister Virginia received the Bishop’s Medal from Bishop George Guilfoyle, and was the recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award from Pope John Paul II.

Researched by Peter G. Sánchez