Grazyna Wilczek

Languages: She speaks more than just English. With varying degrees of fluency, Grazyna speaks Polish, French, German and Russian. She also understands Spanish.


Grazyna came to Montreal from Poland in 1986 to continue her doctoral work at McGill in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She intended to expand the expertise she had acquired in the area of thermodynamics as a doctoral student at University Erlangen-Nurnberg (at that time West Germany).

Life has many twists and turns. Soon after her arrival to Canada she fell in love and married Juan Vera, with whom she has a son Martin. Changing a country and starting a family meant that she had to adjust her professional expectations. For almost 25 years she worked as a lab supervisor in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University where she served also as Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Grazyna and Juan married in the Unitarian Church of Montreal. It was her first contact with Unitarian principles. She and Juan ended up dedicating their son Martin here. When he was a bit older, they enrolled him in the Religious Education program. And they became members of the church themselves.

After retiring, Grazyna decided to stretch her comfort zone by doing things that she had never done before. She volunteers at l'Abri en Ville, an organization that supports people recovering from mental illness. She also participates in the work of Caring Network at church. After enjoying her participation in an Exploration Group last year, she volunteered to facilitate one this year. Her principles for life are "Do not propagate misery" and "Do something good if you can, but don't force it."