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BASILIAN SISTERS ELECT NEW ADMINISTRATION

“He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.”

Sr. Ruth Plante (right)  Provincial; Sr. Margaret Ann (second right) Andrako, Assistant; and Sr. Sylvia Burnett (second left) and Sr. Joanne Lickvar (left) as Councilors.

Sr. Ruth Plante (right) Provincial; Sr. Margaret Ann (second right) Andrako, Assistant; and Sr. Sylvia Burnett (second left) and Sr. Joanne Lickvar (left) as Councilors.

The graced time of the Provincial Chapter of the Sisters of St. Basil led to the election of Sister Ruth Plante as Provincial; Sister Margaret Ann Andrako as Assistant, and Sister Sylvia Burnett and Sister Joanne Lickvar as Councilors. The above quote from Matthew 28:7 will surely be an inspiring quote for the new administration to hold in their hearts over the course of the next five years. Although the team is new in one sense; each of those elected have been in Province Leadership in the past and come well-prepared for the tasks set before them.

While preparing for Provincial Chapters, at times the Sisters chose the Myrrh-Bearing Women as themes for their prayer and reflection before and during the long process. The weekend of April 16-19, these holy women proved to be a rich source of inspiration as the Sisters engaged wholeheartedly into the process of “Facing the Future with Courage.” In one of the petitions during the Divine Liturgy, we prayed “that we may be as open and trusting as the Myrrh-Bearing Women disciples . . .’

With this in mind, the total community entered into a discernment process which involved exchange and interaction with all of the nominees before the actual election took place. This process was preceded by a prayer asking “for freedom of heart that we may act for the good of each other, for the province, and for the good of those we serve in sincere love.”

At the conclusion of the Chapter and encouraged by the words of St. Basil that “There is nothing unpremeditated; nothing neglected by God for God’s unsleeping eye beholds all things,” each Sister made a generous promise in support of  “Facing the Future with Courage.” The Sisters are most grateful to all the faithful who offered their prayers for God’s blessing on this significant event in the life of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province.

Basilian Sisters to Meet for 2015 Chapter

Facing the Future with Courage chosen as Chapter Theme

“Time flies quickly” is a truism that always strikes home for the Basilian Sisters when the time for another Provincial Chapter draws near. In monastic communities, these formal meetings take place every five years for the purpose of reviewing goals and electing leadership. Preparation for this significant event began in November, 2013, and was placed in the hands of a Chapter Preparatory Committee.

The committee used previous conversations focusing on our legacy as a springboard for involving the total community. These discussions built upon previous work during Corporate Reflection Days in the fall and spring and Community Days in the summer. During the course of these meetings, the Sisters shared their hopes relating to the spiritual, apostolic, financial and administrative aspects of their lives together. Looking to the future and how best they can continue serving God through his people will continue to guide the Chapter deliberations.

The Chapter Preparatory Committee is chaired by Sister Margaret Andrako, with Sister Agnes Herbenick, Sister Sylvia Burnett and Sister Margaret Kapusnak as members and Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick as Council Liaison. Sister Patricia Flynn, SSND, has been working with the committee and the community at large and will facilitate the Chapter which will take place April 16-19. The Sisters ask the faithful for their prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit during this sacred time in the life of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province.

02-09-2010 03;57;40PM

02-09-2010 03;58;58PM

Photos:

The Sisters find that small group discussions work very well in sharing vision, ideas, hopes and dreams. Facilitator Sister Patricia Flynn, SSND pictured in the background guides the discussions.

Year of Consecrated Life – Sr. Regina Adams, OSBM

Sr ReginaI entered the Sisters of St. Basil the Great from St. Mary Assumption Parish, Trenton, New Jersey.

Recently I was asked: Why did you enter Religious Life?  Did you think about it when you were in high school?  Are you happy in this choice of vocation? Would you do it all over again now?  This, my vocation story, may help to answer these questions.

I attended public school in my early years from kindergarten to eighth grade and I had little contact with Religious Sisters except for when I made my First Holy Communion.  At the end of 8th grade, my Aunt Liz made a suggestion to me about attending Cathedral Catholic High School.  She felt that my parents would not be able to afford for me to keep up with the latest fashion trends in the public high school.  The uniform of the Catholic high school would alleviate this problem.  Not a noble reason, but I agreed to go.  Tuition was taken care of by my aunt, I passed the entrance exam, and this was to be the turning point of my life and the beginning of the journey of my religious vocation.

The Mercy Sisters from Plainfield, New Jersey taught at Cathedral High School.  Naturally, not knowing what the Sisters were like, I was nervous when I went on the first day.  I soon learned that they were prayerful, compassionate, sacrificial and good educators.

Mid-term of my first year brought a personal crisis.  My father was laid off and my aunt became ill. Both of these issues affected my tuition payments, and we could not take the mid-term exams unless half of our tuition was paid.  I spoke to one of the Sisters of this problem, and she told me not to worry.  I took the exams and later learned that Sister Victoria, my Latin teacher, had borrowed the money from her parents to pay my tuition.  The act of kindness touched me deeply.  There were 212 girls in my freshman class, and she extended herself to help me.

During the next few years the Sisters provided us with times for prayer: annual retreats, receiving the sacraments, and praying the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They involved us in social work as well.  I belonged to the Leaders Corp. We welcomed guests and made food packages and delivered them to the poor of the neighborhood.  Last of all, we had fun: dances, games, musicals and social get-togethers with the boys of the Trenton Catholic Boys School.

All through the first three years of high school I wanted to be a nurse.  In my junior year, I took a preliminary test for entrance into the St. Francis School of Nursing.  When I went for my interview with the director, Sister Pierre, she told me what I should study in my senior year.  Then she asked the strange question, “Did you every think of becoming a Religious Sister?”  No one had ever asked me that before.  I admitted to her that I had thought about it, but I pushed it to the back of my mind.  She told me to talk to someone about it.

My first thought was my Aunt Liz who suggested the Basilian Sisters at St. Mary Convent.  Sister Victoria agreed because I was Byzantine.  I made arrangements to meet Sister Frances Novak, OSBM.  While I waited for her, I could hear the Sisters laughing as they roller skated in the big basement of the convent. I thought, “they do know how to have fun!”

Sister Frances was most gracious.  She made arrangements for me to go to MountMacrina with Sisters Mark, Mildred and Dorothy Louise to attend their final profession in January.  While there I was edified by the prayerfulness, hospitality and kindness of the Sisters.  It ignited a spark in me to desire the Religious Life.

Sister Frances also encouraged me to go to the Pilgrimage, and again she arranged this.  I went and joined the huge crowd because Bishop Fulton Sheen was there.  I met with Reverend Mother Olga, and I was at ease because I went to school with her niece at Cathedral.  She told me of the many vocations from the Trenton parish, evoking a feeling of pride in me.

Upon my return home I learned that my father had collapsed at work and was hospitalized.  The doctors gave him only six months to live. Though my desire to enter religious life was put on hold, the grace of God became really strong in my life during this time.

My father was not a church going person, and he refused to receive the Last Rites.  No matter what we said, the answer was no.  It took a Sister to change his mind.  She was a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart who was an intern in her training there toward becoming a doctor.  On day when I went after school to see him, he said, “There is a Sister here who comes in with a smile on her face no matter what time of the day it is.  She is so gentle and kind when she puts the tube down my throat, maybe the Catholic Church isn’t so bad after all.  You can tell that red-headed priest (Father William Levkulic) he can come to see me.”  I thought, it took a smile and an act of kindness for this to happen.  That nun came into my father’s life and into my life as well.  I never saw her again.  My father fell asleep in the Lord six months later.  I was able to enter a year later as my brother Mike assured me that he would take care of my mom.

As I look back over fifty-four years, they have been both spiritually fruitful and joyful. I’ve been well educated.  I attended Carlow University in Pittsburgh, and I smile because one of my teachers there was my high-school prom date.  We had many nice talks of the good times we shared.  I pursued my Master’s Degree at the University of Dayton and there I met some of the Mercy Sisters who were my teachers in high school.

I’ve been a principal and teacher in schools from the Midwest to the East Coast.  Presently I’m in Pastoral Ministry for five parishes in northeastern Pennsylvania, visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and the home bound; leading liturgical singing; and still teaching catechetical classes on Sunday.  Again I smile, for one of the three priests in whose parish I minister, is my former third grade student.  This reminds me that you never know when or how the people who have influenced you or those whom you have influenced will cross your path again.

In conclusion, I’ll answer the final question: Would I do it all over again?  My answer would be a strong yes.  There have been difficulties, but the positives have far out-weighed the negatives.  Each day has been a gift from God, and He has been my rainbow in the storms of life.