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Merry Christmas from the Sisters of St. Basil

Surrounding and enveloping us are the sorrows of loss, war, and horrendous tragedy.

Some of these touch our immediate loved ones; some touch the entire human family.

Yet we are people not without hope.  We know that the Light of the World has
come into our darkness, and that Light will not fail to lead us to Life.

As we Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the
words of the prophet Isaiah ring out today with great clarity and power:

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shown.

For there is a child born for us, a son given to us, and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him:                                  

Wonder-Counselor, Mighty-God,

Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.

wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end.

We wish to all our friends, benefactors, & volunteers

    a Christmas time of peace and grace.

     Sister Seraphim & the Sisters of St. Basil the Great

By |2013-01-03T16:34:32+00:00January 3rd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Merry Christmas from the Sisters of St. Basil

Sisters Honored

Sister Salome, Sister Agnes, and Sister Leonora were honored by Bishop John Kudrick through his bestowal of the Holy Forerunner Award on November 4, 2012 at a banquet held in St. John Cathedral Center in Parma.  Sister Salome, Sister Agnes, and Sister Leonora were individually honored by receiving the Holy Forerunner Medal, and a framed Certificate of Appreciation.   These Sisters were thanked for their many years of dedicated service to St. Mary Byzantine Catholic School in Cleveland, Ohio.   In his remarks, Bishop John expressed his appreciation on behalf of the Eparchy of Parma for the many ministries in which the Sisters of St. Basil participated for over 30 years in the Eparchy.  Bishop acknowledged the untold good, known only to God, which the presence of the Sisters has brought among God’s people in the Parma Eparchy!


By |2012-12-03T18:08:10+00:00December 3rd, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sisters Honored

+Sr. Alphonsa Danovich, OSBM

Untimely for those she left behind, but according to God’s good time, Sister Alphonsa Danovich was called home to God in the early hours of Mon., Nov. 26, 2012.

She had spent a wonderful week with her sister and brother-in-law, Magdaline and Bill Ostheim, who were celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Johnstown, the place of her birth, was destined in God’s plan to be the place from which she entered into new life. The joy which she shared with her family, though dimmed by the sudden turn of events, was to be a precursor of the joy awaiting her when God received her into His eternal embrace.

The youngest daughter of the late John and Julia (Dzmura) Danovich, Sister Alphonsa was christened Catherine at her baptism. She entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Johnstown, Pa. on Sept. 16, 1951. She pronounced her First Vows on April 4, 1954 and made her Final Profession on Aug. 15, 1957 in the presence of the late Archbishop Nicholas T. Elko.

Her 80 years of life, sixty-one of which she spent as a Sister of St. Basil, were filled with diverse ministries and rich experiences. From 1954 until 1971 she served as a teacher in the parish schools of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Province of Pittsburgh. It was in the summer of 1971, that her life and ministry as a Basilian Sister took an unexpected turn when she learned that she had been elected as the General Treasurer of the Order with headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Neither she nor anyone knew that most of the remaining years of her life would be spent in Rome, first as General Treasurer, then working in the Vatican Office of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. After serving as a General Councilor, Sister Alphonsa was elected to the position of General Superior in 2001.

At the completion of her term of office, she returned to the Monastery in Uniontown. After a sabbatical year, Sister accepted her final call to ministry as the Assistant Finance Officer for the Eparchy of Phoenix in Arizona.

Wherever Sister Alphonsa served, she did so unreservedly; giving herself
heart and soul to her work for the Province, for the Order, and for the Church.
In fact, in recognition of her service to the Church and the Holy See, she was
presented the ‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ award in 1995 by the late Pope John
Paul II. Although she treasured this honor, what she wanted to be remembered
most for was her acceptance of the events in her life, for sharing, trusting
and loving. She will surely be remembered for this as well as for her
generosity, her kindness, her loyalty to and love for her community, for her
family and her many friends. She was incredibly thoughtful in remembering
birthdays, feast days, anniversaries and special events with a card or a phone
call. Any and every gift would be acknowledged within a few days in the same

Her many nieces and nephews cherished the times she spent with
them and regarded her as the binding force in their extended family. All who
worked with her were inspired by her strong faith and by her willingness to be
of help to anyone in whatever way she could.

Sister Alphonsa was preceded in death by her parents; her brother John; her sisters, Helen (Kohan) and Anna (Brezovec).

In addition to the members of her community, she is survived by her sister Mary Slonka, her sister Magdaline (Bill) Ostheim, and many devoted nieces, nephews and their families.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Fri., Nov. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Parastas Service will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by the Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla on Sat., Dec. 1 at 10:30 a.m. in the Monastery Chapel.

Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.


By |2012-11-30T16:13:58+00:00November 30th, 2012|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Sr. Isidore Maruhnic, OSBM, Completes Her Earthly Journey

The heavenly ranks were increased in number on the prefestive day of the Entrance
of the Mother of God into the Temple. Early that morning of Nov. 20, 2012, Sister
Isidore made her own personal entrance into the eternal temple. As she was very
devoted to the Mother of God, it was a fitting day for Sister to complete her
earthly journey. The daughter of the late George and Marie (Romanko) Maruhnic, Sister
Isidore was born in what was then Czechoslovakia, and given the name Veronica
at baptism. She entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. George Byzantine Catholic Church in Linden, N.J. on Feb. 15, 1947. Sister Isidore pronounced her First Vows on Dec. 9, 1948 and made her Perpetual Profession on Aug. 28, 1953 in the presence of the late Bishop Daniel Ivancho.

As a Sister of St. Basil for almost 66 years, Sister Isidore spent about half of
that time worked in culinary arts in the Monastery, at St. Basil’s Home, at Mount
Macrina Manor, or at missions throughout the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan
Province of Pittsburgh. Other years were spent in the ecclesiastical sewing
department, lovingly putting to good use her talent in the making of vestments
and other ecclesiastical appointments. She eventually managed this department
before ill health required her retirement. Sister’s handiwork can be seen in
the many churches of our Metropolitan Province, giving evidence of her giftedness
and expertise.

One of Sister Isidore’s favorite activities during the many years that her ministry
placed her at the Mount was her daily walk to the Lourdes Grotto.  Often she was accompanied by one her friends among the Sisters, both of whom would be praying the Rosary as they walked along the way.  Later in the evening, Sister could be found praying in the Chapel. When she became a resident at Mount Macrina Manor a little over two years ago, the Chapel there was also one of her favorite places to be. Sister was very generous with her time in helping anyone who needed to have some sewing done; her kindness in this will not be forgotten by those who benefited from it. Sister Isidore was a very comfortable person to be with; one always had the sense that she was very much at home wherever she found herself. This quality is surely one that she carried with herself to her heavenly home.

Rather than eulogize the life of Sister Isidore, Father Eugene invited those present
to join him in a meditation on the fact of death.  Among other points he made, Father Eugene stated, “None of us know when he or she will die. The one who is most healthy
among us may go tomorrow; the most infirm may be present for all of our funerals. We don’t know.”  He went on to say that if we did know, for example, that we had a week yet to live, the thought of facing God would cause us, instinctively, to take inventory of our souls, and, whatever we would find lacking by way of virtue, we would certainly
seek to supply. “But our Divine Teacher has instructed us to live so every day,
with each succeeding day serving to increase our virtues both in quantity and
in quality.”

Especially during the last years of her life, Sister Isidore was aware that her journey
was coming to an end. She bore the discomforts and the pains of her last
illness without complaining and with patience, laying up for herself treasures
in heaven. She heeded the words of scripture quoted by Father Eugene during his
reflection, “Watch, therefore, for you do not know at what hour your Lord is to
come.” When the Lord did call her, Sister Isidore did not go before the Lord
empty-handed but bearing the beautiful virtues of simplicity, a deep faith, a
generous spirit and fidelity to her holy vocation.

Sister Isidore was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Peter and her sister
Anne (Staryak). In addition to her Sisters in community, she is survived by her
beloved sister Barbara Dellisante and several nieces and nephews. The Parastas
Service was celebrated on Fri., Nov. 20 by Rev. Michael Huszti, Monastery
Chaplain. Rev. Ronald Larko was in attendance. The Funeral Divine Liturgy was
celebrated by the Very Rev. Eugene P. Yackanich on Sat., Nov. 24 in the
Monastery Chapel. Concelebrants were Rev. Michael Huszti and Rev. Stephen
Wahal. In attendance were Rev. Jerome Botsko, Rev. Ronald Larko and Deacon John
Hanchin.  Interment followed in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.

May God grant to his handmaiden,
Sister Isidore, eternal memory and peaceful repose.

By |2012-11-27T16:13:54+00:00November 27th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sr. Isidore Maruhnic, OSBM, Completes Her Earthly Journey

Religious Gift & Card Shop Christmas Open House

The Religious Gift  & Card Shop will hold their Christmas Open House on Sat., Dec. 1 (1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) and Tues., Dec. 4 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)  Come and enjoy light refreshments and 10% off on all merchandise.  The Religious Gift & Card Shop is located on the lower level of the Trinity Center at Mount Saint Macrina.

The shop offers icons, religious gifts and books, inspirational cards, religious jewelry, special order items, book ribbons, chalice cloths, and other items with a particular focus on the traditions of Byzantine spirituality.

For further information, please call 724-439-6180.

By |2012-11-27T15:20:51+00:00November 27th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Religious Gift & Card Shop Christmas Open House

Upcoming Programs at the House of Prayer

The House of Prayer has announced upcoming programs for Fall 2012.  For further information, please call 724-438-7149.

Book Series (Oct. 22 & Nov. 5, 12, 19 – 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) Presented by: Sr. Barbara Jean Mihalchick, OSBM.  Registration due: Oct. 17.  Free will offering.

Women’s Weekend Retreat (Oct. 26-28, 7 p.m. on Fri. – 1 p.m. on Sun.) Presented by: Sr. Carol Petrasovich, OSBM.  Registration due: Oct. 22.  Offering: $130.00.

Busy Women’s Morning Retreat (Nov. 10 – 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)  Presented by Janet Escobedo.  Registration due: Nov. 5.  Offering: $15, includes lunch.

Egg Etching Retreat (Nov. 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)  Presented by Sr. Rita Keshock, OSBM. Registration due: Nov. 10. Offering: $40, includes lunch.

Pre-Christmas Day (Dec. 8, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)  Presented by James Hess O. Carm. Registration due: Dec. 3.  Offering: $25, includes lunch.

Pre-Christmas Day (Dec. 9, 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) Presented by Sandra Collins, Ph.D.  Registration due: Dec. 4.  Offering: $25, includes supper.



By |2012-09-21T18:52:46+00:00September 21st, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Upcoming Programs at the House of Prayer
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