Sister Sue Kilduski, OSB never thought she would become a stamp collector, but she has recently stepped into a unique ministry that has been handed down at the monastery for nearly a century.
Sometime before 1929, Sister Sybille Osko, OSB began collecting cancelled stamps. After some time, she began requesting stamps from people. Soon, friends heard of her efforts and began sending stamps from around the globe. She would sort and soak the stamps to remove them from the envelopes. Afterwards, she would sell them and send the money to various missions around the globe.
Sister Sue found an article in our archives that mentioned a March 1929 community newsletter in which Sister Sybille’s ministry was featured. It noted that she had been engaged in the ministry already for many years. Another article from 1931 notes “During summer vacations Aspirants [young women who recently entered the monastery] sometimes helped sort bags of cancelled postage stamps during evening hours. The work was done on the roof of the building; if there was a breeze, they would benefit from it; also, there were fewer mosquitoes at that height. During the school year they helped on free days working in the ensemble room, sorting and/or soaking stamps to remove them from the envelopes.”
The ministry was carried on by Sister Vivian Ivantic, OSB who has now passed the ministry to Sister Sue. Today, the work continues, although not from the rooftop! Sister Sue continues to receive and sort cancelled stamps from donors here in Chicago and throughout the world. She then packages them to send to Tubfirm, a Norwegian charity that was begun in 1928 to eradicate tuberculosis. In these times, the charity uses the money gained from the sale of the stamps to help differently-abled children and youth in Norway, and to finance efforts to eradicate tuberculosis.
Since taking on this role, Sister Sue has already sent 1 pound of stamps. Tubfirm sells 4,000 pounds of stamps annually that raises more than $57,000 for charity.
If you would like to participate in this ministry, please send your cancelled stamps to Sister Sue. Simply cut around the stamp on any envelope you receive, leaving at least a half-inch margin of paper around the stamp. You may drop off your stamps or mail them to: Sister Sue Kilduski, OSB, c/o St. Scholastica Monastery, 7430 N. Ridge Blvd., Chicago, IL 60645.