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Support the Sisters on Amazon


During this Christmas season and all year, when you shop online at, Amazon will donate to the Sisters of St. Basil the Great. Simply go to , create an Amazon Smile account (you can use your existing Amazon account) and select the “Sisters of St. Basil the Great” as your beneficiary. You’ll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Sisters.

Hilton Garden Inn Offers Special 2017 Rate for Pilgrimage

gi_exterior001_698x390_fittoboxsmalldimension_centerWe have secured a special group rate at the Hilton Garden Inn in Uniontown from Thursday, 8/31/2017 through and Tuesday, 9/5/2017.

The rate will be honored by the hotel three days before and three days after based on availability.

The special rate is $129.00/night, which includes a voucher for the full cooked-to-order breakfast (normally sells for $10.95 per person each morning) each day.  Each additional registered guest can receive a breakfast voucher with an increased rate of $5.00 per person per day. ** see below for additional info


Please make your reservations using one of the following methods:

  • Use the Hilton Garden Inn Uniontown Website


When booking, please select the option to “Add Special Rate Codes” and enter Group Code APB

  • Contact the Hotel Directly to make the Reservation

Call  (724) 434-7200 and select Option 5.

Tell them that you want the 2017 Annual Pilgrimage Group Rate (Group Code APB).



Obituary: Sr. Stephanie Bavol

sr-stephanieSr. Stephanie (Elizabeth) Bavol quietly and peaceful entered the fullness of life on Mon., Oct. 17. After retiring from active ministry due to health issues, Sr. Stephanie resided at Mt. Macrina Manor for the past eight years. Her cheerful countenance and acceptance of this change in her life was an inspiration to all who cared for her. She never failed to greet one with a smile and the question, “So how are you doing?”

Sister Stephanie was born in Trenton, N.J., the daughter of the late John and Susan (Vasilko) Bavol. In 1941, she entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. Mary’s Church, Trenton, N.J. Having made the decision to offer her life in service to God at the early age of 16, she remained faithful to this call for 76 years.

Sr. Stephanie’s life in ministry ranged from being prefect of boys and girls in St. Nicholas Orphanage, to prefect at Mt. St. Macrina Academy, to being a teacher in the primary grades for over 25 years in the various places where the Sisters served. Of her last and most beloved ministry, that of iconography she wrote, “My last apostolate which is iconography—is the most prayerful and peaceful. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide and help me.” Sr. Stephanie, in fact, has the distinction of being the first iconographer in the community.

Following upon her degree in education and certification in Elementary Education and Art from Marywood College, she was privileged to pursue her study in art under Master Iconographer, Philip Zimmerman, with whom she also conducted workshops both in this country and abroad. Over the years, Sr. Stephanie had been commissioned to write several icons for special occasions, one of which was presented to Pope St. John Paul II by the late Archbishop Judson Procyk as a token of esteem and gratitude. Through prayer and inspiration, Sister Stephanie also wrote an icon depicting the Call of the Apostles which became the official Vocation Icon of the Eparchy of Passaic at the time. These and many other commissioned icons and the several which grace the walls of the monastery near the chapel are testimony to Sister’s gifts and God-given talents.

Sr. Stephanie was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Mary Bavol, Ann Vanisko, and Margaret Mattaliano; and her brothers John and Michael Bavol. In addition to her members in community, she is survived by her cherished sister, Sr. Theresa, also a member of the Sisters of St. Basil, and many devoted nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends were received at the Monastery Chapel on Thurs., Oct. 20 and the Parastas Service was sung that evening. The Funeral Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Friday morning, Oct. 21, in the Monastery Chapel. Interment followed in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.                         







Seminary Concert Tour Comes to the Mount

The Orientale Lumen Foundation is presenting their third Seminary Concert Tour. The tour started Sept. 11 and will conclude on Oct. 2. The choir includes 16 seminarians from the Blessed Theodore Romzha Seminary in Uzhoroed, Transcarpathia, Ukraine. They performed their two brief concerts of sacred music(both plain chant and choral arrangements), in the Church Slavonic language at the Monastery and Mount Macrina Manor on September 14.

The Sisters and the Choir pose for a group photo in the dining room of the Monastery. This was taken on the last day of their visit to the Mount.

The Sisters and the Choir pose for a group photo in the dining room of the Monastery. This was taken on the last day of their visit to the Mount.

Obituary – Sister Vladimir Chabala, OSBM

Sr. VladimirOn the morning of August 4,2016, Sister Vladimir (Mary) Chabala made the final surrender of her life to the Lord in whose service she spent herself for over 70 years. Until the last two weeks of her life, Sister was a familiar figure around the monastery, and most frequently, she could be found praying at her place in the chapel. Her poor health in her later years did not prevent Sister from either doing what she could or from carrying out the duties of her religious vocation.

Sister Vladimir was born in the village of Kobylnice in Slovakia, the daughter of the late John and Helen (Onufer) Chabala. She entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. Mary’s Church, New York, N.Y.   Sister brought to the Community her special gift in the culinary arts, which she generously offered in service to the community.  Besides caring for the Sisters’ needs in the various parishes of where the Sisters served, Sister Vladimir also worked at St. Basil’s Home for Aged Women, at Maria Manor in Ebensburg, PA and at the Archbishop’s Residence in Pittsburgh, PA.

In addition to baking throughout the year, Sister Vladimir brought her unique abilities to the “medovniki” project for the annual Pilgrimage. Over the years, Sister Vladimir fine-tuned this particular ministry down to its minutest details, and all were in awe of her skills in organizing this project. In fact, for this last round of baking, she still oversaw the preparation of icing.  For many years, Sister also added another flavorful touch to the Pilgrimage through overseeing the preparation of the “holupki” (cabbage rolls) which are a popular item with the pilgrims. When Sister Vladimir was no longer able to do this, she was consulted and then gave her stamp of approval to the caterers who now make this ethnic treat.

Sister Vladimir was also responsible for preparing the Holy Chrism which is consecrated for use in all of our churches, another ministry to which she was devoted for quite a number of years. Much more could be said of Sister, whose life journey took her from her small village in Slovakia, to New York City where she worked at Schrafft’s to Mount St. Macrina. In summary, her simple life of loving labor and prayer has enriched many lives, and she now enjoys her well-deserved heavenly reward.

The last surviving member of her immediate family, Sister Vladimir was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Michael and John and her sisters Anna Evan and Sister Olga, OSBM. In addition to her Sisters in community, she is survived by several nephews and nieces and their families. Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Wednesday, August 10 from 3:30 pm to the time of the Parastas Service which will be sung at 7:00 pm. Visitation will continue afterwards until 8:00 pm. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Thursday, August 11 in the Monastery Chapel by Archbishop William Skurla. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery. Stephen E. Kezmarsky III Funeral Home, Uniontown, is in charge of arrangements.

Basilian Sisters Honor Sister Jubilarians

The Sister of Saint Basil of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province, Uniontown, Pa. recently honored their Sisters who were observing jubilees and significant year anniversaries.  On Sun., July 24, 2016, the Sisters, their associates, families and friends gathered in the monastery chapel as Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla celebrated a Divine Liturgy of thanksgiving for Sr. Stephanie Bavol, OSBM a 75-year honoree and for Golden Jubilarians Sr. Janet Decker, OSBM and Sr. Joanne Lickvar, OSBM.  Sr. Stephanie, a resident at Mt. Macrina Manor, was unable to be present.

In his homily Metropolitan William spoke of the faith that can move mountains.  Situations that seem impossible or insurmountable can be overcome with determination, faith, prayer and fasting.  With faith, life changes the way that people think and they come closer to Jesus Christ.

Metropolitan William congratulated Sisters Stephanie, Janet and Joanne and thanked them for their lives of service to the church, for all those whom they taught, and for the countless lives that they touched.

After the liturgy, the celebration continued with a festive dinner in the monastery dining room.

St. Mary Church in Trenton N.J. was the home parish for Sr. Stephanie. As a very young Sister, she remembers an early ministry in the residence of Bishop Basil Takach.  Her specialty in teaching was the primary grades for twenty-five years.  She then developed her talent for iconography and art design, and she became an accomplished and well known iconographer.  The icon that she wrote depicting the Call of the Apostles became the vocation icon for the Eparchy of Passaic.

Sr. Janet entered the community from Saints Peter and Paul Church in Lopez, Pa.  Her years of ministry were mainly dedicated to education as a teacher and principal. After St. John School in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. was closed, Sr. Janet continued to serve there in pastoral ministry.  Presently she serves as assistant at the Cemetery Office, and she offers her clerical and organizational skills wherever needed.

Sr. Joanne came to the Sisters from St. John the Baptist Parish (now the Cathedral Parish) in Cleveland, Ohio. She, too was, committed to education as teacher and principal in schools staffed by the Sisters.  She served the community as education consultant and when assigned to the chancery in Phoenix, she worked for the eparchy in the finance office and as coordinator of the Safe Environment Program.  The years from 2007 to 2013 found her in Rome after being elected Vicar General for all of the Sisters of the international Order of the Sisters of Saint Basil.  She was elected to the Provincial Council in 2015, an office she holds today.

Along with Sr. Stephanie, other Sisters with special anniversaries who are residents of Mt. Macrina Manor were honored earlier that week.   They are 80 years, Sr. Emma Pauline Fedorchak, OSBM and Sr. Leona Trudich OSBM; 70 years, Sr. Leonora Kondrach OSBM; and 60 years, Sr. Josetta Kriss OSBM.

Sisters also honored at the monastery on another day that week were: 70 years, Sr. Euphemia Kopa OSBM; and 60 years, Sr. Jean Marie Cihota OSBM and Sr. Margaret Fedyszak OSBM.

Saint Michael in Donora, Pa. is the home parish of Sr. Emma Pauline Fedorchak OSBM. She likewise was dedicated to the ministry of teacher and principal for many years.  Then for a long while she was appointed to pastoral ministry at St. George parish in Linden, N.J. Upon her return to the monastery she devoted time as a volunteer at Mt. Macrina Manor, visiting the sick and offering comfort to them.

Lansford, Pa. was home for Sr. Leona Trudich OSBM, and St. John Church there was her parish.   She offered her services in various parochial schools as teacher, principal, and in later years, as library aide.  With Sr. Leonora she served in pastoral ministry at St. John in Hazleton, Pa. until that ministry was discontinued.  Her retirement years have been devoted to the ministry of prayer.

Sr. Euphemia Kopa OSBM joined the Sisters from St. Mary Parish in Weirton, W. Va.  Following the prime apostolate of the Sisters at that time, she too was a teacher and principal.

Many former students can remember her as their second grade teacher.  She also served in the bishop’s residence and as administrator of the former St. Basil’s home. She has worked as assistant to Sr. Vladimir in the monastery baking department and the medovniki project for the Pilgrimage, a ministry which she continues today.

Sr. Leonora Kondrach, OSBM entered from St. Mary Parish in Freeland, Pa.  Most of her 60 years as a Sister were devoted to the apostolate of education as both teacher and principal.  When St. John School in Hazleton, Pa. was closed, Sr. Leonora continued there in pastoral and catechetical ministry.  Then she helped as a teacher’s aide at St. Mary School in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the House of Prayer at Mount St. Macrina.

Sr. Jean Marie Cihota, OSBM came from St. Nicholas Parish in McKeesport, Pa. She has been dedicated to the ministries of elementary education, religious education, pastoral ministry, community administration as assistant provincial, and vocations.  She has also fulfilled appointments as Assistant Director of Vocations for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh and as a member of the Intereparchial Vocations Commission. Since 2006, her ministry has been in the chancery of the Eparchy of Phoenix where she is also the Eparchial Safe Environment Coordinator.

Sr. Josetta Kriss, OSBM left her home parish of St. Michael in Canonsburg, Pa., when she answered the call to the consecrated life.  Many of her years of ministry were devoted to educating children both as teacher and principal in the parochial schools of the Archeparchy and of the Eparchies of Parma and Passaic.  She was also named as Provincial Counselor, Province Treasurer and as director of the Byzantine Seminary Press in Pittsburgh.

The parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Warren, Ohio is the home parish of Sr. Margaret Fedyszak OSBM.  Her ministerial specialty was culinary arts at the monastery, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, the former St. Basil’s Home, and at various convents of the Metropolitan Church.  She is a certified massage therapist, and she has offered that talent at Mt. Macrina Manor, where she also worked in the Activities Department.