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Sister Mary Telesphore Wozniak, FSSJ, 1925-2021


Sister Mary Telesphore Wozniak died peacefully on Sunday, July 11, 2021, at St. Francis Park in the 95th year of life and the 77th year of religious life.

Sister Telesphore was born on Nov. 13, 1925, in Buffalo, to Bernard and Clara (Pilarski) Wozniak. On Jan. 5, 1943, she became a postulant with the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, and on July 12, 1947, professed her final vows.

Sister Telesphore received her master’s degree in Education from Marygrove College in Detroit. For 45 years, Sister Telesphore offered her services to God’s people as an educator. Her dedication to the education of children and teens took place at St. Teresa’s in Rochester, St. Columba’s in Buffalo, and St. Peter’s in Lewiston. Outside of New York, she ministered in Massachusetts, Detroit and Connecticut. Sister’s final years of active ministry were offered as an assistant in ministry, helping her sisters in the infirmary and as a driver and sacristan in Hamburg. Sister Telesphore joined her sisters in the Care Community in 2012 to serve in the ministry of prayer and presence.

Sister Telesphore was a gentle yet determined woman. During her many years at St. Columba School in Buffalo, she became a beloved band teacher. She felt strongly that music was needed in one’s life to be a well-rounded person. She used her influence to gain donations of musical instruments and then initiated a student band. She was truly the “leader of the band.” A former student recently recounted that Sister Telesphore helped her to become the woman she is today through her band participation. She said that she went to school early and stayed late so that she could spend time with all of the sisters, but with Sister Telesphore in particular.

Arrangements by Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home. Services will be held privately. Burial will be at St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.