Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
Gospel at the Funeral Mass
In gratitude for the long full life and feisty, indomitable spirit of Mother Monica Nadzam who first as wife, mother and grandmother, and then as consecrated mother of Regina Laudis, sought to bring the art of homemaking to perfection, who especially loved the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, and loved to feed and clothe other people in the beauty she saw around her—may she now rest eternally free from worry about tomorrow and help those who loved her and saw her through her illness to do the same, trusting that each day we will be given sufficient strength we need to face whatever comes.
In gratitude for the strong and faithful presence of Our Lady in Mother Monica's life: whether as the tender mother of the Nativity with the Child Jesus, or the awesome Queen of the Assumption whose antiphon Mother Monica prayed each night, or Our Lady Star of the Sea who led Mother Monica so late in life to courageously set out on the rough seas of a contemplative vocation, and put down permanent anchor at Regina Laudis.
When a star unexpectedly appears in our lives may we see it as a sign of Mother Monica's abiding presence with us urging us to 'Call upon Mary' asking that she will be our unfailing companion on our road to the ineffable paradise her Son has promised us all.
For George Nadzam, decorated Veteran of World War II whose flag is flying over our land today and for the deceased of the Nadzam and Nadorlik families.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Mother Abbess' Prayers of the Faithful for the Funeral Mass
Reverend Mother Monica (née Eleanor Nadorlik) Nadzam, 94, member of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, died at the Abbey on June 18, 2015, after a long illness. She entered Regina Laudis as a widow in 1983, ten years after the death of her beloved husband George Nadzam. George and Eleanor had two children, Kevin and Cindy. Eleanor, known as "Lee" to her family and friends, loved welcoming people to her home and was famous for her spotless house and cooking, especially baking. Her gift for hospitality would later permeate her work and mission during her monastic life.|
Eleanor Nadorlik was born on March 4, 1921, in North Braddock, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Stefan and Mary Nadorlik. She was the youngest of seven children. Eleanor encountered hardships in her life at an early age. Due to a serious industrial accident her father Stefan was hospitalized and never able to return home. Her mother Mary raised her seven children on her own while holding a job at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in East Pittsburgh to make ends meet. Eleanor's son Kevin described his mother's upbringing in this way:
Mom may have told you the story of the bread. Her mom baked a loaf of bread for each child during the Depression. That was all they had to eat then. They were poor—like everyone else at that time—but they were warm and had bread.Eleanor's faith and love of family and the Church would sustain her through difficult times. Her maternal and paternal grandparents were Slovak and Eleanor, who learned the traditions and fine cooking of that culture from her mother, carried on those traditions with pride especially on holidays in her own household as wife and mother.
Eleanor attended Connolly Vocational School in Oakland, near Pittsburgh. She loved learning and would have loved to pursue her education further but was unable due to the needs of her mother and family. She worked at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation as an Electrical Tester from 1939-1946. During this time she met George Nadzam who was also a native of the Pittsburgh area. In 1942 George joined the United States Air Force and was trained as an aviation cadet. He saw active duty from 1943-1945 in the Pacific Theater of World War II: flying missions in Luzon in the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, and the East Indies.
After the war in 1946 Eleanor and George were married and moved to Forest Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh where they raised their two children, Kevin and Cindy. They were founding members of St. Maurice Parish and Kevin recalls:
My Mom and Dad were very religious people who went to Mass and other services during the week and were devoted to their church. On Sunday nights I remember our family saying the rosary together.
In 1973 Eleanor was home alone with her husband when he suffered a heart attack and passed away at the age of 53. Shortly after George's funeral she came on retreat to Regina Laudis where her niece by marriage, Mother Scholastica Lenkner, is a member of the community. As Eleanor tried to pick up the pieces of her life she started working as a volunteer at Columbia Hospital in Wilkinsburg, PA. Eventually the staff was so impressed with her work that she was hired as a Unit Clerk (secretary) and worked in the hospital, four years in the Cardiac Unit and three years in the Emergency Room from 1975-1982. Her contribution to the hospital was recognized on several occasions by the Hospital and her co-workers.
In 1983 Eleanor took the courageous step of entering Regina Laudis as a postulant. She was clothed with the monastic habit on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, November 9, 1987. Lady Abbess named her "Sister Monica" after St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, known for her persistence in praying and weeping for the conversion of her son. In the Abbey Sister Monica cared for the monastic refectory, sewed costumes for the theater productions and worked in the laundry. She loved caring for the Abbey's pet birds. A wonderful baker, she made delicious desserts for the community and guests. Her work in hospitality included responsibility for St. Gregory's Women's Guesthouse and greeting visitors in the Entrance Chapel on Sunday afternoons.
Sister Monica made Final Profession of Vows on the Feast of St. Michael and the Angels, September 29, 1997, becoming "Mother Monica". When she had entered Regina Laudis she had brought the precious flag that had draped her husband's casket in honor of his military service to our country. Mother Monica insisted that we find a way to fly the American flag and was the driving force behind our erection of two flag poles, one for the United States flag and one for the Vatican flag, at the top of St. Pius field. She was overjoyed when her granddaughters Kelly and Michelle raised their grandfather's flag as part of our annual commemoration of the liberation of Jouarre. Mother Monica received the Blessing of Monastic Consecration on July 11, 2007, Feast of St. Benedict, at the hands of Archbishop Henry J. Mansell.
During the final years of her life Mother Monica bore her infirmities, intensified by having to wear a neck brace full time, with her typical stubbornness and determination. Almost daily at noon the infirmarians pushed her wheelchair to just outside the monastic choir so that she could pray the Offices of Sext and None with the community. She would then receive Holy Communion from one of the Abbey's Eucharistic ministers and recite the Angelus with them. She said this prayer word for word in a loud voice:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mother Monica is survived by her monastic community, her children Kevin Nadzam and Cindy Lenkner and her husband John; her grandchildren: Matthew and Jonathan Nadzam, Kelley Lenkner Patterson and Michelle Lenkner Albrecht and three beloved great grandchildren.
Calling hours will be at the Church Jesu Fili Mariae at 15 Robert Leather Road in Bethlehem on Friday, June 19th from 7:30—9:00 pm and on Saturday, June 20th beginning at 8:00 am followed by the Requiem Mass at 9:00 am and burial in the Abbey cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the New Horizons Renovation Project would be gratefully accepted on-line or c/o The Abbey of Regina Laudis, 273 Flanders Road, Bethlehem, CT 06751.
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