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.

Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

The women with Mary, before the dawn, found the stone rolled away from the tomb; and they heard the angel say:
‘Why do you seek among the dead, as a mortal,
the One who abides in everlasting light. Behold, the linens of burial.
Go in haste, and proclaim to the world, that having conquered death, the Lord is risen;
for He is the Son of God, the Savior of us all.” (Resurrection Matins)
The Sisters of St. Basil wish you a most blessed and joyous Easter Season!
By |2022-04-16T20:54:36+00:00April 16th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!

Ukraine – Humanitarian Aid

A Message from Sr. Susan Sisko, Provincial

Dear Friends,

As the world continues to monitor the horrific war raging in Ukraine, our hearts are with our Sisters in Ukraine and other parts of Europe who are working tirelessly to offer humanitarian aid to the refugees of this crisis.

We hope that you will join us in offering financial assistance to our Sisters, who are providing food, clothing, shelter, medicines, and other supplies to the refugees.

If you wish to donate, please follow this link and donate via PAYPAL, or send a check to Sisters of St. Basil the Great, 500 W. Main St., Uniontown, PA 15401. Please make your check payable to Sisters of St. Basil the Great and add “Ukraine” on the memo line.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the people of Ukraine.


By |2022-03-10T17:55:13+00:00March 10th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Ukraine – Humanitarian Aid

Rome, 01.03.2022, Appeal of m. Marcela Runcan, General Superior

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Ps 91:1)

Dear Basilian Sisters in Ukraine,

Dear Ukrainian Nation,

I am sending you this letter on the sixth day of shocking and unjustified aggression of Russian Federation military forces against Ukraine and Ukrainians. You are facing this trial with great dignity.

On February 12 the entire Order prayed for peace in Ukraine and as we lifted our eyes to the hills we testified together that our “help comes from the Lord” (Ps 121, 2). The Basilian Sisters from around the world continuously turn their eyes to the one who is our refuge and shelter. Every day and every night together with many other men and women of prayer we are creating a prayer shield for those in danger.

Dear Basilian Sisters in Ukraine, I am so grateful that you continue to be prayerful, healing and life-giving presence of God in your country, in all the cities and villages where you live, pray and serve. Thank you for bringing hope, trust in God’s providence, mercy and love to those who need it.

War, hatred and murder are obvious and bold-faced expressions of evil. Evil is a devastating force that destroys life, relationships and the soul. Dear Sisters, let us continue our prayers for peace. This is a time full of terror, blood, tears and cruelty but it is already clear how courage, love, mercy, truth, mutual aid and kindness are manifested as bright lights in the darkness….

Spiritual giants are born in the greatest of trials. Even at this time, the night of Gethsemane, and perhaps Golgotha, the Lord leads us to the resurrection. Therefore, dear Sisters, I entrust you with the care of the physical and spiritual life of all those who ask for help. Let us not allow fear, bitterness, hatred, which will try to block this light to win and destroy you.

In the time when we are about to begin the Great Lent I am finishing my letter by the lines that show what is our destination, the destination where Ukraine is headed. “Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee from before his face. Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling death, and to those in the tombs granting life!”

United in prayer,

M. Marcela Runcan, OSBM

General Superior

By |2022-03-04T14:25:47+00:00March 4th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Rome, 01.03.2022, Appeal of m. Marcela Runcan, General Superior


The oldest living member of the Sisters of St. Basil, Sister Mary Ann entered into eternity on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.  Her long journey of 78 years as a Sister of St. Basil ended as she stepped into new life.

Sister Mary Ann (Elizabeth) Vasilcheck was born in Struthers, Ohio, the daughter of John and Susan (Ondovcin) Vasilchek. She entered the Sisters of St. Basil in Uniontown on May 14, 1944 and made her Final Profession of Vows on April 4, 1954 in the presence of the late Rev. Fr. Bernardine Hvizdos, OFM.

Sister Mary Ann’s years of ministry were largely spent as a home Sister in the various parish missions staffed by the Sisters. She also enjoyed teaching religion to younger children, and several years and many of her summers were taken up with this ministry. In addition, Sister served at the Bishop’s Residence in Pittsburgh and at St. Basil’s Home in Uniontown.

Following her service at St. Basil’s Home, Sister Mary Ann retired to the monastery, where she assisted wherever she could. In addition, from 1997 until 2005, Sister Mary Ann was a faithful volunteer at Mt. Macrina Manor. As her health declined, the Manor then became her home for the remaining years of her life.

While she wanted to be remembered for her deep faith and love of prayer, the Sisters also remember Sister as an enthusiastic sports fan. Although she was from Ohio, her loyalty in sports was transferred to Pittsburgh, and many a prayer was sent for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers or Penguins. When visiting her at the Manor, any mention of sports would cause her eyes to light up! Sister Mary Ann also enjoyed putting together jigsaw puzzles; as another hobby, she spent time re-purposing greeting cards into bookmarks. These found their way into the hands of her many friends and acquaintances.

Sister Mary Ann was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Mary, Helen, Susan, Delores, Ann, and Eileen, and brothers Michael, John and Edward. In addition to her members in community, she is survived by several devoted nieces and nephews.

The Parastas Service for Sister will be celebrated on Sunday, January 9 at 7:00 pm. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla on Monday, January 10 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 |2022-01-09T20:06:17+00:00January 9th, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on SISTER MARY ANN VASILCHEK ENTERS INTO ETERNITY
Go to Top