ST. LAWRENCE, N.L. - The Roman Catholic parish of St. Lawrence and Lawn held a celebration on Sept. 23 to honour Sister Gladys Bozic on her 60 years of service to the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.
Sister Gladys has worked for the parish of St. Lawrence and Lawn, along with Sister Ellen Marie, for the past four years. However, this was not her first time in St. Lawrence. She taught school in St. Lawrence from 1964 until 1968.
Bozic was one of seven children, born and raised in Black Duck Brook on the Port au Port Peninsula, where she received her schooling in a one-room school.
“Can any good come out of Black Duck Brook?” she said with a laugh.
Bozic always wanted to be a teacher and began her teaching career as soon as she completed Grade 11. At 15, she was asked to teach school in Long Point on the west coast. During her summer vacation, she attended summer school and in time, obtained her teaching degree.
Bozic taught in Black Duck Brook until her parents granted their permission for her to pursue the dream of becoming a Sister of Mercy. She entered into the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy when she was 20 and went on to teach in St. John’s, St. Lawrence, Brigus, Curling, Corner Brook and St. George’s.
“God has an intention for every encounter you have," she noted.
After teaching so many years, she was hired by the department of education to work as a French co-ordinator with the school board and later became the French superintendent. When the French communities on the Port au Port Peninsula requested French-first language schooling from the province, she was asked to serve as a French consultant. Hence, she was responsible for the French-first language school on the Port Au Port Peninsula.
Bozic is a lady of many talents. Along with her educational and religious background, she is a poet, gardener and comedian. She is certified in many healing therapies such as ear candling, healing touch, Reiki, and Brain Gym. She remains vigilant in her parish duties, performing her healing therapies in a small room she named Padre Poi at the parish house. Those healing therapies are free services provided to the parish of St. Lawrence and Lawn.
MC for the Diamond Jubilee celebration was Bren Hynes. Among the guests was Tracey Moores, who represented Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Churence Rogers. She presented a certificate of congratulations to Bozic. Debbie Etchegary, representing MHA Carol Anne Haley, and the parish council presented a certificate from Haley and flowers from the parish council. Mayor Paul Pike of St. Lawrence and Kate Edwards, representing the Town of Lawn and the Lawn parish finance council, presented certificates of congratulations, as well.
Bozic had the audience in stitches when speaking about her experiences over 60 years. On a more sincere note, she was humbled that her parishioners would throw such a classy celebration.
“The entire celebration looked as if I was getting married,” she said. “Right down to the decorations, white covered chairs and then asked if I would come forward and cut the cake. I was honoured and I thank everyone for that.”