|Birth: ||Sep. 7, 1908|
|Death: ||Jan. 30, 2008|
Sophie Cieslak Maida of Scott Twp. entered eternal peace in the early afternoon in her suburban Pittsburgh home surrounded by family members praying the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary. She was 99 years old and passed of natural causes. She was the Mother of Cardinal Adam J. Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Cardinal Maida and his brother, Fr. Thaddeus Maida, concelebrated a Mass for the Dying in her room earlier that morning. Another brother, Daniel Maida, did the readings. Fr. Thaddeus "Ted" Maida is episcopal vicar and senior priest at Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, near her home. He visited his mother daily.
Daniel, who has had an off-airport parking business and car wash nearby for nearly 30 years, also made frequent visits. He remembered that his mother's prayer life was so strong, that even in her last few weeks, confined to her bed, she never stopped praying. She usually prayed several times a day, including going to daily Mass and saying the rosary.
Cardinal Maida, who tried to call daily, and visit monthly, remembered that his mother enjoyed people, especially her three sons, three grandsons and their families. She always took time to listen to them. She was a faith-filled woman who had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her favorite prayer was the Magnificat.
Sophie Cieslak was born the daughter of Polish immigrants. At the age of 20 she married Adam Maida, who had emigrated from Poland at the age of 16, and had boarded across the street from her. He was nearly 20 years her senior. She married him against the advice of her friends and even the family priest. She reasoned that her future husband would love her and take care of her. And he did until the day he died in 1961.
She and her husband raised their family in East Vandergrift, Pa., a small community of Poles, Lithuanians and Slovaks. Almost all were Catholic. It was a community where no one locked their doors and extended family was nearby. She gathered with other adults of the family on Saturday nights, while the children played together. Christmas and Easter were especially important family gathering times.
Sophie Maida was a homemaker all her life and was a daily communicant, walking to church as long as her health allowed her. She liked church music, classical opera music and some classical music, and loved watching "The Lawrence Welk Show" on television.
Although she never got the chance to visit the land of her ancestors, she did get the opportunity to visit Rome when her oldest son, Adam, was elevated to cardinal in 1994. During that visit, she met and received a kiss from Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal Maida said his mother was a "good example" to others. "She was everything you'd want a mother to be," he said.
Fr. Maida agreed. "She taught me how to live so I could come close to God. She was a real witness to God - the love and dedication she had to her husband, her children and her home."
Fr. Maida also pointed out that "Sophie" means "wisdom," which is appropriate because of how she imparted words of wisdom to people who would come and talk with her. She often helped people going through tough times, he said.
In a 2006 interview with The Michigan Catholic, Cardinal Maida said his parents were the "primary source" of his vocation. "My parents were always devout people of faith," he said. "Being a Depression kid, we knew all about poverty, we knew about jobs, and the difficulties people have."
A year earlier, he'd told The Michigan Catholic that he visited his mother every year on her birthday "just to thank her for the gift of life and I've thanked her for all she is," he said. "She's still in charge, and a great support, now especially in her prayers. She's a very saintly woman who prays much and often and deeply, and I'm glad to be on her prayer list."
Sophie was predeceased by her loving husband, Adam Maida. She is the beloved mother of Cardinal Adam J. Maida, Fr. Thaddeus "Ted" S. Maida and Daniel E. (Pat) Maida; loving grandmother of Timothy (Connie), Joseph (Dawn) and Robert (Kara) Maida; cherished great grandmother of Teddy, Taylor, Adam, Sophia, Emily and the late Theresa, John and Ann; beloved 94-year old sister, Stella Hayla of South Hempstead, NY and the late Jenny Kowalski, Thaddeus and Zygmunt Cieslak. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Visitation: Friday, February 1, 2008, 2-4pm and 7-9pm at William Slater II Funeral Service, 1650 Greentree Road, Scott Twp., PA (412) 381-3345
Mass of the Resurrection: Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Saturday, February 2, 2008, at 12:30pm; 310 Kane Boulevard, Scott Township, PA (412) 279-7070
Celebrants: Adam Cardinal Maida and Rev. Thaddeus Maida
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Anthony School Programs, 2000 Corporate Dr., Suite 580, Wexford, PA 15090.
**In Loving Memory of Sophie Maida**
The following prayer was on the back of Sophie's prayer card.
**The Magnificat** (Canticle of Mary)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed; the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for He has
remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever. Amen
**Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.**
Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
Created by: Elizabeth & Ron
Record added: Feb 02, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24326748