The Blessing of Pilgrimage by Sister Elaine Kisinko, OSBM

As we approach the time of the 89th Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown, preparations there intensify.  This biggest and oldest Pilgrimage of its kind of our Church in America continues to be a phenomenon of God’s grace.

Blessings beyond counting abound here. It is a few days for spiritual refreshment – a time away from the cares, concerns, and responsibilities which can crowd our daily lives.  We have an opportunity to pray, either privately or with others at the soul-stirring liturgical services.  The blessing to receive the mysteries of Eucharist and Reconciliation awaits us.

As we appreciate the exceptional beauty of Our Lady in her Shrine indoors, we also enjoy the outdoor natural loveliness: the grounds, the flowers, and the trees of Mt. St, Macrina.  With the gift of His Mother to us, and with the wonder of this part of our world surrounding us, we gratefully acknowledge the blessings from Our Heavenly Father that are ours.

The perspective that Pilgrimage brings can be an awareness of our Church. With the Pilgrims coming from near and far, we can realize that along with our beloved parish churches, we are blessed to belong to the Archeparchy, an Eparchy or an Exarchate (Toronto, Canada), which together comprise the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh.

The blessing of gathering with our Archbishop, Bishops, Clergy, Religious, Seminarians, Cantors, and each other can never be minimized.  Here together we meet, pray, sing, talk, share, renew acquaintances, and make new friends.

Another grace that endures is the memory of Pilgrimages past.  Perhaps we hold dear and picture a loved one who came with us and who is no longer here.  Maybe we remember fondly the days when we could participate differently – when walking up the hill was not a chore or what it meant to circle the paths in the candlelight processions.

We are thankful for the blessing of our Archbishop, Bishops, and Priests – without whom there would be no Pilgrimage; the blessing of our deacons, seminarians, and cantors; the blessing of the Sisters who joyfully welcome you; the blessing of their staff and volunteers who graciously worked very hard to get ready for your coming, and who give their hours and effort during the Pilgrimage and afterward;  the blessing of those who sacrifice time and travel to be here; the blessing of those who come every year or when they can;  the blessing of first time Pilgrims; the blessing of parents who bring their families; the blessing of those who come alone; the blessing of babies and young children; the blessing of teens and youth, the blessing of the aged and those of all ages: Great Blessings All!

When you come to the Pilgrimage, you will receive many blessings. But please remember, you too are a blessing to be shared.  We await your coming, your presence, and the blessings you bring.



By |2023-07-19T13:52:37+00:00July 19th, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Blessing of Pilgrimage by Sister Elaine Kisinko, OSBM


A Legend in Her Own Time


There is nothing like a Jubilee to bring Sisters together in joyful celebration. Sunday, May 21st was such a day, for on that day, the Sisters of St. Basil in Uniontown honored Sister Christopher Malcovsky on her Diamond Jubilee of Religious Life.

Like all major events of the Province, the celebration began with a Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving. As is customary on this occasion and before receiving the Holy Eucharist, Sister Christopher renewed her vows. In this, she was joined by the entire community.

In his homily, Archbishop William remarked on the many levels of service and the many different roles that Sister carried out in her 75 years of service. Speaking to the time when he was Bishop of Phoenix, he noted that  faced with the enormous task of managing the apartment complex at St. Stephen’s, Sister worked hard to get everything organized, and in so doing engaged others in the parish to help.

Her purpose went beyond practicalities of the buildings, and extended to spiritual counseling when needed. Sister’s ministry in the Eparchy of Phoenix for nearly thirty years actually began in 1991, assisting in organizational work in what was then the Eparchy of Van Nuys.

Sister Christopher spent her beginning years as a Basilian in the teaching ministry.  Her abilities led to the assignment as Motherhouse Superior and then as Provincial Superior for two terms. In 1983, she was elected as General Superior, the highest position in the Order based in Rome. In this capacity, she touched the lives of many Sisters, particularly those still living under communism.  Even at this date, she is fondly remembered for her courage in visiting those groups of Sisters during her tenure.

After completing her term of office in Rome, Sister Christopher returned to ministry in the Phoenix Eparchy where her responsibilities were mainly in parish ministry at St. Stephen’s. In addition, she also managed the 26 apartments for senior citizens on the parish campus. Besides engaging in direct ministry for the parish, Sister Christopher also organized and coordinated the Bishop’s Appeal for the Eparchy, a task which she ably fulfilled over the course of her years in the West. She whole-heartedly dedicated her time, talents and energy to these many significant areas of service.

Though separated by miles, parishioners of St. Stephen Pro-Cathedral and the apartment residents still remember Sister Christopher for her prayerful and calming spirit as well as for her willingness to listen. For many of them, she is just a phone call away.

Because of health issues, Sister Christopher returned to the monastery at Mt. St. Macrina in 2018, assisting part time at the Religious Gift Shop or wherever needed. Presently, Sister Christopher is a resident at Mt. Macrina Manor where she previously offered her services as a volunteer.

At the festive dinner following the Liturgy, Provincial Sister Susan congratulated Sister Christopher and thanked her for her enthusiastic and faithful service. She then read a very special message from the Sisters in Romania who are celebrating their 75th Anniversary as a Province. Sister Christopher holds a special place in their hearts, since it was through her that the Basilian Sisters in Romania became a part of the Order. Truly, one can say that Sister Christopher has been blessed with many happy and spiritually fruitful years, and all of us are grateful to share in this blessing!

By |2023-05-24T17:48:16+00:00May 24th, 2023|Uncategorized|Comments Off on SISTER CHRISTOPHER CELEBRATES DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY


What joy to go from praying in the Chapel at the Manor to be welcomed into the embrace of the Lord. These last moments of Sister’s earthly life were spent in God’s presence, shortly to be followed by meeting Him face to face. Sister Leocadia was called home to the Lord on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. She had been a member of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great for 77 years. The daughter of the late Michael and Victoria (Backus) Sevachko, she entered the Sisters of St. Basil from St. Nicholas parish in Youngstown, OH on October 12, 1945 and made her Final Profession of Vows on August 28, 1953 in the presence of the late Bishop Daniel Ivancho. The first to enter the community, Sister Leocadia had the distinction of being one of three sisters in community; Sister Dorothy and Sister Bernarda.

Well prepared with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Carlow College in Pittsburgh, PA and a Master of Science in Education from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. Sister was assigned to the teaching apostolate. She spent well over 57 years in elementary education. Her enthusiasm and her energy as a teacher informed all she did. God only knows the effect of her teaching and the special way she touched lives, and perhaps even changed them.

Sister Leocadia wanted to be remembered for her deep faith, her spirit of trust, and her love of teaching. All who knew here can testify that these qualities were an integral part of her life. Sister’s assignments also included a number of years when she served as both teacher and
principal as well as in Catechetical Ministry during the summers. Following this long period of active ministry, Sister Leocadia returned to the Monastery, and when her health declined, the Manor became her new home. Here, she was blessed to enjoy the companionship of her sister, Sister Bernarda, whose visits were the highlight of her day. Both were enthusiastic sports fans, and they spent happy hours following the Cleveland sports teams and cheering them on.

In addition to her members in community, Sister Leocadia is survived by her sister, Sister Bernarda, several nieces, nephews, grand-nephew, grand-niece, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Sister Dorothy, her sister Marie, and brother Matthew.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery on Sunday, November 27 from 3:30 pm to the time of the Parastas Service at 7:00 pm. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla on Monday, November 28 at 10:30 am. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery. Donald R. Crawford Funeral Home in Hopwood is in charge of arrangements.

For the safety of all, masks are required for all those in attendance.

By |2022-11-25T17:49:45+00:00November 25th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on SISTER LEOCADIA SEVACHKO ENTERS INTO THE FULLNESS OF LIFE

Happy Thanksgiving

The Sisters of St Basil the Great are grateful for your friendship and your prayers. We wish you and all those you love a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

By |2022-11-24T16:24:40+00:00November 24th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving

A Pilgrimage Thank You

October 2022

Glory to Jesus Christ!


Dear Friends,

Every year at this time, we are blessed with a miracle. Through the grace of God and the intercession of His Holy Mother, our Annual Pilgrimage took place once again, for the 88th time.

During every final week of preparation, we wonder if everything will get finished, will we be ready, will the weather hold up?  Somehow, all the answers to these questions became the miracle we experienced Labor Day Weekend.

You were very much a part of that miracle. Every effort and sacrifice you made during the Pilgrimage became a gift to all who were blessed by being here to honor the Mother of God. Your presence helped to make the Pilgrimage a vibrant experience of what it means to be Church.

May the blessings of Pilgrimage accompany you all through the year, until we meet again to honor Our Mother of Perpetual Help at her Shrine on Mount St. Macrina.

With gratitude,


Sr. Susan Sisko
Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great

By |2022-10-06T19:57:47+00:00October 6th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A Pilgrimage Thank You

88th Pilgrimage Welcome Message – Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla

We welcome the pilgrims to the 88th Annual Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Our theme this year’s pilgrimage is the Theotokos the Seeker of the Lost.

With great joy, we have returned to our regular schedule for this year’s Pilgrimage.  We extend our thanks to the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great, the monastery staff, the Basilian Associates, and the army of volunteers who make this Pilgrimage possible each year.

Prayers and pilgrimages to Mary the Mother of God date back to the first Christian Churches.  The devotion the icon under the title “Seeker of the Lost” in the American translation are linked to the Slavic icons under the name of “Seeker of the Perishing.” According to one of the first written references, an icon was painted or written in a village in Russia during the seventeen hundreds.   Several copies with the same names are now found around the world.

According to the Slavic story, a Russian man was traveling by horse and cart was stranded in January blizzard on the feast of the Theophany.  Unable to continue his journey, he prayed to the Mary the Queen of Heaven.  He promised her that if he were rescued that he would donate an icon with the name of the “Seeker of the Perishing” to the local church.

He was saved by a peasant who nursed him back to health.  True to his promise to the Mother of God, the man donated an Icon to the church.  The icon was a source of many miracles.  Other Icons dedicated to the “Seeker of the Perishing” likewise provided help to those who were in desperate situations due to addictions, poverty, and plagues. They received help from God through their intercession to Mother of God to save themselves or other who were lost.

The Bible is full of stories which Jesus searches for the lost.  In Gospel of Saint Luke, he proclaims that He came to bring salvation to those who were lost.  A good example of Jesus mission to save the lost be seen in his seeking Zacchaeus.  Jesus and the apostles were passing through the ancient city Jericho.  Instead of going the houses of the leaders of the city or synagogue, he went to house of Zacchaeus the tax collector.  Tax collectors were hated by all and considered to be worthless and lost.  Of all the people in Jericho, Jesus seeks him and goes to his home to lead him back to salvation.  There are countless other stories of Jesus seeking and reaching out to the poor, the sick, and lowest people of society.  Like Jesus, Pope Francis also reaches out to those that are lost where ever he travels.

The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel foretold Jesus mission to seek the lost.    Ezekiel wrote that as a shepherd looks for his scattered sheep when he is among the flock, so I will look for My flock. I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong.  I will feed them with judgment. (Ezekiel 34:16)

Fulfilling Ezehial’s prophecy, Jesus told the similarly parable of shepherd who leaves the flock of ninety-nine sheep to seek the lost sheep and return it to home.  The one that was lost was found and returned to the flock.

For the past three years, we continuously prayed for ourselves, for our families, and for our friends who have been lost during the time pandemic and during the time of recovery from the shutdown.  We pray especially for those who are still unable to return to church service due to fear of the pandemic.  We pray that we be delivered the continuing effects which hold us back.  We pray that those who are spiritually lost will be found and return to Lord.

We pray to Mary to protect the over five million Ukrainians who have fled and lost their homes.  We pray to Mary to intercede with her Son to bring peace and justice to the war torn Ukrainian where hundreds to thousands are being killed each day.  We pray for a just peace and those who have been scattered and lost will be returned home.

We pray this year to Our Lady of Perpetual Help to intercede to seek and to find those who are spiritually lost.  In the past, the prayers of the pilgrims have be heard and miracles have happened.  We pray that your prayers today will be heard by the Mother of God and that they will be granted by Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.


By |2022-09-06T15:37:56+00:00September 6th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 88th Pilgrimage Welcome Message – Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla

Pilgrimage Clean-up Day – Saturday, August 20, 10A – 2P

If you missed Helping Hands Day and you are interested in volunteering, we will have another clean-up day on Sat., Aug. 20, 2022 at Mount St. Macrina. (Rain date: Aug. 27). Use the form to register! Thank you!

First Name: __________________________________________________

Last Name: __________________________________________________

Email Address: ________________________________________________

Mobil Telephone Number: _______________________________________

Please scan and email this form to St. Joanne Lickvar at sjlickvar@aol.com. or mail to 500 W. Main St., Uniontown, PA 15401. The Sisters would like an accurate count of volunteers for appropriate planning and preparation.  Thank you!

All work will be done outside. No inside work. Lunch included!


By |2022-08-02T17:51:36+00:00August 2nd, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Pilgrimage Clean-up Day – Saturday, August 20, 10A – 2P

Can Anything Good Be Happening? By Sr. Elaine Kisinko, OSBM

It seems obvious that we can have many valid and serious concerns today. Our world, our country and even our personal environments do not seem to be the peaceful, happy or at least better places we would like them to return to being. Never ending wars, needless destruction, horrible violence, economy in chaos, empty work places, new infectious diseases, the list could go on and on. And it must be accepted that our lives have been drastically changed by the pandemic and its effects.

However, even as these many undesirable troubles surround us, our Lord assures us, “I am with you always.” As people of faith and prayer, we continue to live in the hope and trust that our Lord and His Mother will be with us to protect and help us and those who are dear to us.

An opportunity to sustain and increase that faith, hope and trust, awaits us at the 88th annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa.
over the Labor Day weekend this year. The Sisters of Saint Basil the Great have announced with
great joy that it will be an “in person” Pilgrimage beginning on Friday evening, September 2, and
concluding on Monday morning, September 5. So, yes, there is a good happening indeed.
But the real sweetness of the Pilgrimage at this beautiful monastery property is the prayer both
personal and liturgical, the mystery of reconciliation, and the impressive gathering of our Church
at every level from the youngest baby in the Children’s Procession to our highest ranking
Metropolitan Archbishop William.

As has happened year after year for these very many Pilgrimages, people will travel from far and
near, they will be young and not so young, first time Pilgrims and every time Pilgrims, and
families both new and composed of several generations. For all who come, it will be the
witnessing and participation in the phenomenon of God’s grace, so-called because it has endured
for almost a century.

This Pilgrimage has mattered to people personally in providing them with spiritual growth and
strength, and in giving them the opportunity to join with pride in this event which unites them
with other Byzantine Catholics, their parishes, and their eparchies in a special time of giving
glory to God and honoring His Mother. Because of this, it has also been significant for our
Metropolitan Church, as its people gather as one. It has been said that the Pilgrimage holds our
Church together.

Please plan to attend. The Sisters of St. Basil with our Associates and our bishops, priests,
deacons, and faithful await your arrival, your presence, and the blessings that you will both receive and share.

By |2022-07-15T15:19:27+00:00July 15th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Can Anything Good Be Happening? By Sr. Elaine Kisinko, OSBM


On Monday, May 30, 2022 at 10:30 am a Prayer Service will be celebrated by Reverend Jerome Botsko, the Chaplain to the Sisters of St. Basil at Mount St. Macrina Cemetery.  The prayer service according to the Byzantine Catholic Church is the Panachida service for the deceased.

The local AMVETS 103 will pay tribute by their attendance as honor guard, in procession, taps and military salute.

On that day we remember, and pray for all our loved ones buried in Mt. St. Macrina Cemetery.  We particularly remember and honor all those who have served our country most nobly in all branches of the military.  We will never forget their sacrifices and heroism, some to the point of giving their very lives.  Because of their bravery and love of country we remain free.



Please Note: 

In the event of light drizzle, the Prayer Service will take place in the Mausoleum Chapel at 10:30 am.   

In the event of severe weather – heavy rain, thunderstorms, the Service will be canceled.

By |2022-05-23T17:12:01+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on MEMORIAL DAY REMEMBRANCE

Helping Hands Day at Mt. St. Macrina – June 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The annual GCU Helping Hands Day at Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown, PA, to assist the Sisters of St. Basil, will take place again this year. We ask anyone interested in assisting to follow this link: GCU Helping Hands Day.  Complete the form on the site and return to: Sr. Joanne Lickvar at sjlickvar@aol.com or mail to 500 W. Main St., Uniontown, PA 15401. The Sisters would like an accurate count of volunteers to insure that COVID-19 guidelines are in place at the time of the event, and can be followed.
All work will be done outside. No inside work.
Thanks in advance!

By |2022-05-18T14:31:57+00:00April 21st, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Helping Hands Day at Mt. St. Macrina – June 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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