In Memoriam: Sister Veronica Kuzma, D.C.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Veronica Kuzma, D.C., was celebrated March 23 at DePaul House Chapel, Albany, N.Y. Burial followed at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, N.Y. Sister Veronica died March 19, 2017, at St. Louise House in Albany. Sister was 94 years of age and 71 years vocation.
Born in Beaver Meadows (Coxville), Pa., on March 7, 1923, Sister Veronica was one of seven children born to Adam and Mary Theresa (Durkin [Dzurka]) Kuzma. Her youngest sister, Sister Irene Kuzma, also was a Daughter of Charity. Baptized Verna Jean, Sister Veronica was a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Beaver Meadows, Pa., when she joined the Community of Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in March 1946.
Sister Veronica graduated from Hazleton High School in Hazleton, Pa., in 1942. She earned her Nursing Diploma at St. Joseph Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1945; it was there she first met the Daughters of Charity. In 1951, Sister Veronica completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health Nursing at Boston College, Boston, Mass. Sister also completed post-graduate studies in Public Health Nursing at Boston University, Boston, Mass., in 1956.
Following initial formation, Sister Veronica served in Nursing at Carney Hospital, Boston, Mass., (1947 to 1950); and Labouré Center, South Boston, Mass., (1950 to 1957). Sister Veronica then began 30 plus years of service as a Foreign Missionary in Bolivia. Much of her ministry in Bolivia was with patients suffering from Hansen’s disease. Sister provided hands on nursing care, studied at international centers of excellence, visited every major treatment center around the world, and became a part of the cutting edge on research and treatment. She became a member of the World Health Organization. Her work took her to Argentina, Hawaii, India, Spain, France, and Germany. In the course of her work, she learned Spanish, French, and German and often served as interpreter to aid those in need.
Sister Veronica served at St. Louis Clinic, Cochabamba, (1957 to 1959 and 1966 to 1968); at Trinidad Health Department, Trinidad, (1959 to 1966); Elizabeth Seton Hospital, Cochabamba, (1968 to 1971); St. Joseph’s Home, La Paz, (1971 to 1973); and Hospital Dermatologico, Santa Cruz, (1973 to 1987). Sister Veronica returned to the United States in 1987. She served at Laboure Center, South Boston, (1987 to 1995); at Good Samaritan Sisters’ Residence, Pottsville, Pa., (1995 to 2008); and at St. Elizabeth Ann Residence, Troy, N.Y., (2008 to 2010). In February of 2010, Sister Veronica entered the Ministry of Prayer at St. Louise House in Albany. She served there until her death.
Sister Veronica was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings. She is survived by nieces and nephews; great nieces and great nephews; and her Sisters in Community.