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Audio Features Youth

New ‘Sister Justine’ podcasts offer Catholic tales, working with local students


Do you need some inspiration to work through a problem or issue? For students at the fictional Holy Family School, Sister Justine is ready to help, providing a story of a saint who is relevant to the situation at hand.

Sister Justine is the lead character in a new podcast series, “Sister Justine’s Saint Tales,” produced by the Diocese of Buffalo’s Communications Department and released on its official podcast hosting site, soundcloud.com/buffalodiocese

A pilot season of five episodes is now available for free listening and downloading. (While Soundcloud encourages users to download an app for easy access, it is not required to listen to any content on the Diocese of Buffalo’s official channel.)

The first series features the voices of several students at Notre Dame Academy in Buffalo, while diocesan employee Melissa Cumming provides the voice of Sister Justine. Several local adults also provided voices for various characters.

The show was created by Michael Mroziak, a senior communications specialist with the diocese. The lead character is based on a real-life nun, Sister M. Justine Yanics, OSF, who taught at his childhood school, Prince of Peace in Niagara Falls, now Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls.

“Sister Justine taught earlier grades during my time there, in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” said Mroziak, who graduated from the school in 1984. “I recall during a couple of my years there, Sister Justine would pop into our classroom for a visit, and whether it was just to say hello or keep an eye on us while our teacher stepped out for a moment, she’d have a story of a saint ready to share to keep us occupied for that moment.”

Sister Justine retired from teaching in 1988 and died in July 1992. She is buried in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in the Village of Allegany.

More episodes will be written during the summer months, with production resuming shortly after the start of the new school year, when students from other schools throughout the diocese may be available to participate.

“I worked with some very talented students at Notre Dame Academy. They were fun to work with. I’m looking forward to working with some other schools to tap into their talent. That’s what we’re planning to do in the fall,” Mroziak said.

The Diocese of Buffalo Communications Department, in recent months, has branched out into creative podcasts offering “theater of the mind” experiences which intend to educate and entertain listeners. Earlier this year, the diocese released a five-part podcast miniseries, Dinners With Our Founders, portraying imagined one-on-one dinners with some of those who left lasting impacts during the first 175 years of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Mroziak, who joined the diocesan staff in August 2022 after a lengthy career in radio news reporting and hosting, is responsible for producing online audio content such as diocesan news coverage for WNY Catholic, as well as original creative podcast plays such as “Sister Justine” and “Dinners.”


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