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BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES OF RELIGIOUS LIFE

Sr.  Monica, Sr. Christoper and Sr. Agnes celebrate their Jubilees. Absent from the photo is Sr. Gertrude.

Sr. Monica, Sr. Christoper and Sr. Agnes celebrate their Jubilees. Absent from the photo is Sr. Gertrude.

Amidst the flurry of activities and the full schedule planned for the annual Community Days at Mount St. Macrina, there is always time to celebrate. This summer four Sisters joyfully marked significant milestones in their lives as Sisters of St. Basil. As the second oldest member of the community, Sr. Gertrude Martin celebrated the Diamond Anniversary of her religious life.

Since Sr. Gertrude resides at the Manor, the Sisters joined her in a celebration on the Monday afternoon of Community Days. After singing two odes of the Akathist to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a social was held in the Manor’s Oaks Dining Room where Sr. Gertrude received the congratulations, gifts and well-wishes of the Sisters.

Tuesday afternoon found the Sisters gathered in the Chapel for a Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving offered by the Monastery Chaplain Rev. Peter Leigh for all the Jubilarians. Besides Sr. Gertrude, Sr. Christopher Malcovsky observed her 70th Anniversary, and Sr. Monica Husovich and Sr. Agnes Herbenick observed their 60th Anniversary.  From the beginning processional to the final singing of “God grant you many years” the Divine Liturgy was an inspiration as all raised their voices in thanksgiving for the gift of each Sister Jubilarians’ vocation.

Brief biographies of the Jubilarians follow.

Sister Gertrude (Irene) Martin, OSBM 75th Anniversary

Sr. Gertrude entered the Community from St. John the Cathedral Parish, Munhall, Pa. She spent 33 years molding young minds and morals as a teacher mostly in the primary grades in parish schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. Her education apostolate included 12 years as principal. Sister holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Misericordia College, Dallas, Pa.

From 1975 through 1980, while continuing to teach, Sister was a member of the Provincial Council. During the latter half of this term, she moved from teaching to serve as assistant house director at the monastery. Sr. Gertrude was then assigned as administrator of St. Basil’s Home from 1980 through 1986. A brief return to teaching took her to St. Mary Assumption Church, Trenton, N.J., where she spent three years. Sr. Gertrude was a familiar face as the manager of the Religious Gift Shop at Mount St. Macrina for a good number of years. Presently, she resides at Mount Macrina Manor.

70th Anniversary

Sister Christopher Malcovsky entered the community from St. Mary’s, Nesquehoning, Pa.

Her beginning years were spent as a teacher and principal. She then served as Motherhouse Superior and then she was elected as Provincial Superior for two terms. After a sabbatical year, Sr. Christopher served in various capacities, assisting with the organizational work in Eparchy of Van Nuys, and helping at Mt. Macrina Manor and the House of Prayer. In 1983, Sister was elected as General Superior, serving in Rome for six years.

From 1991 until 2008, Sister Christopher served in the Eparchy of Van Nuys as Pastoral Associate, first at the Cathedral of St. Mary’s in Van Nuys, Calif., and then at St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona. Additionally, she also managed the apartment complex at St. Stephen’s. Presently, Sr. Christopher resides at the Monastery; she assists part-time in the Religious Gift Shop and, otherwise, generously offers her services wherever needed.

60th Anniversary

Sister Monica Husovich entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. Mary’s in Freeland, Pa. She served as both teacher and principal in parish school principally in Pennsylvania, but also in Indiana and Ohio. Sr. Monica also taught at Byzantine Catholic High School in Parma, Ohio. While teaching in northeastern Pennsylvania, she served as a member of the Catechetical Board for the Eparchy of Passaic. Sr. Monica then served on the staff of Mt. Macrina Manor, first in the business office, and later as Admissions and Resident Coordinator. Following her retirement from the Manor, Sr. Monica kept busy taking the Monastery Sisters for their appointments as needed; she also faithfully takes care of posting the prayer requests sent to the community.

Sister Agnes Herbenick came to the community from St. John’s in Lyndora, Pa. Her principal ministry has been in the educational field, serving as a teacher in parish schools in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Ohio. For 25 years, she guided eighth graders at St. Mary’s School in Cleveland, Ohio. Among Sr. Agnes’ other assignments were in catechetical ministry in Binghamton, N.Y.; postulant directress for the community, and a member of the Mt. Macrina Manor Board of Directors. After retiring from the teaching ministry, Sr. Agnes returned to the Monastery, where today, she serves as sacristan. In addition, she works part-time in pastoral ministry at Mt. Macrina Manor.

As one can see from reading just these capsule pieces of information, each of the Jubilarians has actively served the Church in a variety of ways, each Sister giving witness to the priority God has in her life. Not able to be enumerated or even noted are, surely, the countless lives which have been touched by personal contact with these Sister Jubilarians. For all of these Sisters, and for the giftedness with which the community has been enriched and blessed, it was with heartfelt gratitude, that “God grant them many years” was sung as we joined together for a celebratory meal following the Divine Liturgy.

 

Volunteers Needed for Pilgrimage Preparation

IMG_4219In a month we will celebrate our 84th Pilgrimage.
Although we had a group of wonderful volunteers in June, we once again, need extra hands to help “groom” the grounds.
Though we have a Pilgrimage Prep Day Aug. 18, we need help prior to the date with washing windows, weeding, weed whacking and tree and bush trimming. All the rain we had this summer made it difficult for our maintenance crew to keep up with the outside work. Anyone willing to lend a hand for a couple of hours please contact Sister Carol at 724-438-7149.

Sister Elaine Kisinko Reflects on the Upcoming Annual Pilgrimage

Children's Procession 8When my great-nephew was 5½ years old, I praised him for being exceptionally well behaved at his grandmother’s wake at the funeral home.  I told him how good he was, and how proud we were of him.  His response was, “You know, I get way too much appreciation.”

In these days when it seems that negativity and competition are sometimes too evident, I wonder if there is such a positive as “too much appreciation.”  I can’t image that we can ever be too grateful for the goodness in our lives, that which comes from God above and that which we extend to each other.  Since the summer is flying by so quickly and Pilgrimage will soon be here, I have to reflect on how thankful we Sisters are for this most blessed extraordinary event in the life of our Church and in the life of anyone who ever came as a pilgrim for the past 83 years.

It cannot be said that the Pilgrimage began as an accident, but it certainly seems that it was not specifically planned for.  On September 3, 1934, Labor Day, about 3000 faithful came by trains, chartered buses and cars for the blessing of the newly acquired home of the Sisters at Mt. St. Macrina. Many had gathered at St. John church on the other side of town, and they came in procession through the city of Uniontown carrying banners.  Forty-two priests joined Bishop Basil Takach in the Divine Liturgy preceding the blessing.

Probably heartened by this response of the clergy and faithful, Bishop Basil with the permission of the Holy See and the enthusiastic support of the Sisters, decided to hold an annual Pilgrimages at Mt. St. Macrina. This would also provide an opportunity for spreading devotion to the Mother of God under her title as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as Holy Father Pius XI requested of the Sisters.

Now, 84 years later, we prepare to gather again for this Pilgrimage weekend which has held special significance for so many, and which has maintained a strong impact on the Byzantine Catholic Church in America.  How could we not be grateful without limit for this blessing as we thank our Lord and His Mother for this gift to us?  We thank them for all who came during these many years: the earliest pilgrims who were comforted as they remembered the Pilgrimages they left behind at home in Eastern Europe and who were here able to be reunited with friends and relatives who now lived in different parts of America; the many who came year after year, during times good and bad, making it a part of their lives; and to all who now travel here.

We sincerely appreciate our hierarchs, priests, deacons and seminarians for leading us in the incomparably beautiful prayer of our Church.  Their presence enables us to grow in the “where two or three who are gathered in my name,” and to participate in the fullness of the Life of the Church.

We are ever thankful for the countless volunteers and helpers who make it possible for the Pilgrimage to continue in all of the practical ways that we see.  We could not be more grateful for that which we cannot see: the prayers that are offered here, and for the blessings, both those which are received and those which will be brought by each one who attends the 84th Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mt. St. Macrina.  Please come to receive the blessings that wait, to share the blessing that you bring, and to join us as we attempt to express “way too much appreciation.”

 

Sisters of St. Basil to Celebrate 84th Annual Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage IconThe 84th Annual Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help will be held at Mount St. Macrina, September 1 & 2, 2018. This year’s theme is Mary, Hope of All Generations.

The planning for this year’s Pilgrimage started not long after the 83rd Annual Pilgrimage.  The Sisters and volunteers did the first preparations of the grounds on June 2. The next preparation day is Sat., Aug. 18. Anyone who is interested in volunteering can contact Sr. Joanne Lickvar at 724.438.8644.

“For 84 years, the Pilgrimage has brought together generations of young and old to pray, sing and share in the many blessings of this holy time.  Come, bring your joys, sorrows, concerns, and fears to her, and find peace and comfort in her loving care,” said Sr. Ruth Plante, OSBM, Provincial.

Those who plan on attending the Pilgrimage can chose from a variety of accommodations, including camping on the racetrack, Pilgrim houses (first-come, first-served), hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts.

Further information is available regarding camping and a complete list of accommodations can be found under the “Events” section of this website.

A light menu will be available at the lunch stand beginning on Friday evening.

In addition to the scheduled services, programs and events to be held on Saturday and Sunday, Liturgical prayers will be held at the Shrine Altar on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday morning, September 3.

This year’s guest homilist at the 4:00 p.m. Sunday Divine Liturgy will be the Most Rev. Edward C. Malesic, J.C.L. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Malesic to be the fifth Bishop of Greensburg, Pa., on April 24, 2015.

As Bishop of Greensburg, he is a member of the Board of Governors of the PCC. He also serves on the Boards of St. Vincent Seminary and St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa., Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pa. and on the executive committee of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania.

Other plans for the weekend include many opportunities for participation in the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholic Church.  Also scheduled are Matins, Vespers, sacrament of reconciliation, activities for teens and children, and other services in honor of the Mother of God.

The Pilgrimage holds the distinction of being the oldest and the largest Byzantine Catholic Pilgrimage in the country.