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Sister Otilie Sana, BVM

Sister Otilie Sana, BVM, 86, died Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at Mount Carmel Bluffs in Dubuque, Iowa.

Visitation, the Sharing of Memories and Mass of Christian Burial were on June 1, 2022. Burial was in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

Sister Otilie was born July 26, 1935, in Chicago to Vaclav and Otilie (Barczuk) Sana. She entered the BVM congregation on Sept. 8, 1954, from Mary Queen of Heaven parish, Cicero, Ill. She professed first vows on March 19, 1957, and final vows on July 16, 1962.

Sister Otilie was an elementary teacher at Holy Family in Mason City, Iowa; St. Paul in Burlington, Iowa; St. Vincent, Annunciation, Holy Name, Our Lady of Angels, St. Genevieve, and St. Josaphat in Chicago; and St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hempstead, N.Y.  She also ministered as co-director and tutor at the Westside Employment Education Center (WEEC) and volunteered at the Holy Family food pantry, both in Chicago.

“[Otilie] found that being a person of faith, being hospitable, caring for others were important values. . . Through her ministry as an educator, she found she could bring hope and joy and a sense of dignity to others.  And she did so by using her gifts and talents to bring out the best in each student she encountered . . . She found that opening doors for some and helping others open doors for themselves would be a vital part of her ministry . . . She [extended] God’s mercy – God’s love – to so many. . . And it [was] all done in her quiet way.” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother Vaclav Sana, Jr.  She is survived by brothers John (Ann) Sana, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Joseph (Suzanne) Sana, Arlington Heights, Ill.; nieces; nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 67 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at

 Download Eulogy

 Download Sharing of Memories


This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I was honored to work with a team of wonderful and very high spirited workers one day each week at the Holy Family food pantry. Sister Otilie worked with me, and her sense of humor kept the group in high spirits!
    What wonderful days we had, finding, packing and distributing the bags of food for our grateful parishioners.
    Most of us will think Sister is at peace in the hands of Our Lord, but I have a feeling that she will be very busy trying to help us out: finding food for the poor.

  2. I have fond memories of Sr. Otilie leading our rambunctious 4th grade class at Holy Name Cathedral. Rest in Peace.🙏🏻

  3. I had the pleasure of meeting Sr. Otilie at the Siena Retreat Center many years ago. We continued our friendship on the west side of Chicago. Her outreach and service to the community is inspirational.

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