Sister Imelda Burgart

May 15, 2018


May 6, 1919 – May 15, 2018


Sister Imelda (Magdalena) Burgart, was called into eternal life on May 15, 2018 at the age of 99 years.  The daughter of Rosina (Meier) and Andrew Burgart, Imelda was born in Tramping Lake, SK on May 6, 1919, the eleventh of thirteen children, two of whom died soon after birth.  Her elementary education took place at Kerson School.  After Grade VIII, she attended school in Tramping Lake where the Ursuline Sisters were teaching. Their life and ministry inspired her to respond to a call to religious life with the Ursulines of Prelate.  On August 15, 1937, she entered the novitiate.  After taking her vows in 1940, she went to Normal School in Moose Jaw. Thirty years of teaching took Sister Imelda to Dirksburg, Goodsoil, Nicefield, Prelate, Barthel, and Saskatoon.  Following her teaching career, she attended the Coady International Institute to prepare for mission work in Brazil.  However, at this time there were urgent requests to serve in Swaziland, Africa and she volunteered.  In 1971, upon the advice of a Servite priest, Sister Imelda went to Swaziland by ship and dedicated her life in service of the poor, working with handicapped adults.  During her stay she suffered two major vehicle accidents, one in 1973 and the other in 1979. In 1982 she returned to Canada having completed 14 years of ministry. After one year at St. Walburg and two years at the Academy, she spent a Sabbatical year at Arnprior.  While there she received a letter from Sister Lydia Fabian inviting her to come to Zimbabwe to live and work with them in their House of Prayer.  In October, 1986, she returned to Africa and worked with the Sisters of the Manger, teaching card-making using pressed flowers, a hobby she had adopted during her sabbatical year at Arnprior. These sold quickly and helped bring income.  In 1988, Sister Imelda returned to Canada ending her two-year volunteer stay.  Assigned to Prelate, she taught art at the Academy for three years, then remained at the Academy as a member of the support staff, continuing her hobby of making cards with pressed flowers. In the spring of 2007 she became ill and moved to St. Angela Merici Residence in Saskatoon. Sister Imelda’s career in art began when she was asked to draw designs for the remodeling of the first chapel.  Her artistic skills flourished as she painted panels for dramas and for classroom decorating.  One of her great achievements was the winning of an award for the designing of the 1965 Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee Flag, which was chosen out of 241 entries. The flag was unveiled at a press conference in Regina and officially flown on January 31, 1965, at a ceremony to begin the Jubilee.  Another memorable piece of art was her original picture of Our Lady of the Prairies requested by Bishop Klein.  Sister Imelda is remembered as an artist, a missionary, and an avid reader of history.  Besides her beautiful greeting cards she will also be remembered for her professional portraits done in charcoal and pencil sketches.  Left to cherish her memory are the Ursuline Sisters and numerous nieces and nephews to the third and fourth generation.  She was predeceased by her father in 1948, her mother in 1963, her six brothers, Andrew, Nels, John, Lawrence, Sebastian and Joseph, and her sisters Dorothy, Margaret, Annie and Mary.  A Vigil will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, 2018.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018.  Both services will be held at St. Angela Merici Residence, 125 Cree Crescent, Saskatoon, SK.  The Rite of Committal will follow at the Prelate Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, friends and relatives are invited to contribute to the Ursuline mission of education by donating to St. Angela's Academy Foundation, at 305 Hilliard St. E., Saskatoon, SK, S7J 0E5.  Arrangements are in care of John Schachtel – Mourning Glory Funeral Service (306) 978-5200. 

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