Roberta Therese STRACENSKY
Immaculate Conception Province, USA
Roberta, known to her family as Bobbie, was the oldest of nine children born to Nicholas and Margaret (Pacanosky) Stracensky. Their home in the Slovak neighborhood of St. Wendelin’s Parish was a happy place where faith, culture and lasting family bonds were nurtured – and remained an integral part of her life.
After elementary school years at the parish school, staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame, Bobbie continued her education with the sisters at Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland. She realized a call to religious life and planned to enter the novitiate after graduation, but a diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis resulted in several years of treatment and a delay in pursuing her vocation. While making good progress in regaining her health and strength, Bobbie began studies at St. John College in Cleveland and earned a bachelor’s degree in education in June 1955. She became a postulant on September 8, 1955, and at her investment received the name Sister Mary Janelle.
Sister Mary Janelle was a well prepared, organized and joyful primary grade teacher both in the traditional classroom setting and with students in Parish School of Religion classes. She prepared countless children for the reception of their First Holy Communion and considered it a privilege to share her deep love for Jesus present in the Eucharist. She received a master’s degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland and was an excellent teacher, one who loved the children and fostered every aspect of their development. Her understanding, gentle ways and compassionate heart were appreciated and respected by parents and staff. Sister’s expertise in education broadened to include five years of ministry with our sisters in England, a land and people she always held dear.
Generous and gracious hospitality, outreach to others and a calming presence were gifts given to all. Sister Mary Janelle was characterized as a “prayer warrior.” Her life flowed from the mystery of God’s presence at daily Mass. Living with a long-term cancer diagnosis never stopped her from bringing hope and love to others. She was a pastoral visitor and served her sisters in community as needed. For many years, Sister participated in the Prayer Phone Line, responding to and praying for the intentions of anyone who called. Her extensive correspondence through letters, cards and phone calls kept her immersed in the lives of her sisters, her family and the greater community. In the busyness of life she was grounded in God. May Sister Mary Janelle rest in the peace and presence of our good and loving God.
Date and Place of Birth: June 29, 1931 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession: August 16, 1958 Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death: January 29, 2023 Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial: February 3, 2023 Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon