News & Reflections

/News & Reflections/

August 2019


By |2019-11-21T22:13:47+00:00August 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|

In a spirit of gratitude and with great joy, the total community of the Sisters of St. Basil gathered in Uniontown to celebrate the 405 years of dedicated service to God on July 30, 2019. Each of the Sisters in her own unique way expressed her commitment to be a praying, healing and life-giving presence in our Metropolitan Church and in the world beyond.
Sister Mary Ann Vasilchek, as the senior of the group, celebrated 75 years as a Basilian Sister. Sisters from the Monastery joined in celebration with Sister at Mt. Macrina Manor since failing health did not allow her to be present at the Monastery celebration. In the Manor Chapel an abbreviated service of the Akathist to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was sung by the Sisters Following this, all gathered in the Oaks Dining Room to congratulate Sister Mary Ann, to enjoy refreshments and to share stories.
70th Anniversary
Sister Theodosia Alishofski, Sister Theresa Bavol, and Sister Petronilla Puhak marked 70 years of joyful service as Sisters of St. Basil. Serving for most of their religious life as teachers in the parish schools, each Sister then moved on to parish and/or pastoral ministry.
Sister Theodosia is presently serving in parish ministry in Wilkes-Barre Pa. and surrounding parishes. While visiting the sick is the primary focus of this ministry, Sister also is involved in catechetical ministry in the parish. Sister Theodosia’s gift as an iconographer is evident in the many icons that can be seen around the monastery.
After serving in parish schools for close to fifty years, Sister Theresa and Sister Petronilla are both now sharing their gifts of compassionate care at Mt. Macrina Manor. There, each Sister brings a ray of light to the residents who look forward to their presence. This same spirit also brings comfort to the families of residents, especially when the Lord comes to take their loved ones home to himself. Both Sister Theresa and Sister Petronilla share with the residents of the Manor, the same loving presence that were theirs as teachers.
 60th Anniversary
Sister Elaine Kisinko and Sister Carol Petrasovich also began their ministry as Sisters of St Basil in the educational apostolate, both serving as teacher and principal for a number of years. Other and varied ministries then became part of their lives which included serving on the Provincial Council.
Presently Sister Elaine serves as secretary to Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla, the third Archbishop whom she was called to serve in this capacity. Added to her responsibilities for the Archeparchy, Sister Elaine is the copy editor for the BCW.
Sister Carol, who background is in Formative Spirituality, continues in her position as Director of the House of Prayer. Offering spiritual direction individually, retreats and workshops is the main focus of this ministry. Additionally, Sister Carol is the coordinator for the Annual Pilgrimage.
The epistle read at the Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving was from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which he speaks of the gifts of the spirit. In listening to this reading, one could not help but reflect upon the many gifts poured out in the lives of our Sister Jubilarians. At the festive dinner following the Liturgy, Sister Ruth, Provincial, congratulated the Jubilarians and thanked them for so generously offering the treasures of their gifts throughout these many years. For all of them, she wished that each could now draw interest from this treasury, as they continue to be a praying, healing and life-giving presence.


July 2019

Sisters of St. Basil Hold XI General Chapter in Rome

By |2019-11-21T22:11:26+00:00July 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great are holding their XI General Chapter in Rome, Italy from July 8  to July 19, 2019.

The opening Divine Liturgy was held at St. Peter’s Basilica at the altar of St. Basil which has the body of St Josaphat enshrined in it. The Liturgy was celebrated by His Beatitude Sviatoslav and Bishop Dionysia and several priests.

The Opening Ceremonies started with  the singing of “Heavenly King” in Spanish, Slovak, Romanian, Spanish, Ukrainian and English followed by an official opening of the Chapter by Mother Dia Stasiuk, OSBM.

After approval of the Facilitator and Chapter personnel, Sr. Dorothy Ann Busowski was elected as Chapter Chairperson. A Chapter Steering Committee was elected afterwards which included: Sr. Ihnatia Havrylyk, Sr. Maria Ignat, Sr. Susan Sisko, Sr Lucia Murashko.

There are 43 international delegates representing 13 provinces, vice-provinces and delegatures. The meetings are being held at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Collegium in Rome, Italy.

The theme of the Chapter is  “New Wine in New Wineskins” from the Vatican document “New Wine in New Wineskins: The Consecrated Life and Its Ongoing Challenges since Vatican II”. The motto is Jesus’ words from John 19: 28, “I thirst”.  The Logo reflects both the motto and the theme.

In the afternoon language groups were formed to discuss how our gifts may be transformed into “New Wine” for the Order.

We invite everyone  to pray with us, asking God to send the Holy Spirit to inspire the Sister-delegates as they pray, discern, develop and prepare a vision and plan for the future of the Order and elect the members of the next General Administration to lead them on their journey.

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April 2019

How to Prepare a Traditional Paschal Basket

By |2019-11-21T22:08:38+00:00April 9th, 2019|Uncategorized|









These baskets have been prepared with many of the foods from which we’ve been fasting  during Great Lent.  Several foods are traditionally included in the basket: yeast bread, bitter herb, wine, cheese, meat, butter, salt, and a red egg. Each item in the basket has symbolic meaning.

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March 2019


By |2019-11-21T22:07:34+00:00March 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Swiftly and unexpectedly, Sister Martha Elizabeth Moyta (formerly Sister Jerome) was taken to her heavenly home in the early evening of Monday, March 11, 2019. She had just attended the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts but did not show up for supper. Someone went to check on her, and it was evident that the Lord called her to Himself. How blessed for her to appear at the heavenly gates fortified by the Eucharist and the Holy Anointing!

Sister Martha was born in Pittsburgh, PA, the only daughter of the late John and Elizabeth (Tirpak) Moyta. She entered the Sisters of St. Basil in Uniontown on August 1, 1945 from Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church on Pittsburgh’s Northside. Sister Martha made her Final Profession of Vows on August 28, 1953 in the presence of the late Bishop Daniel Ivancho.

With her 26 years of teaching experience, she became a member of the organizing team for the Religious Education Office in the Pittsburgh Archeparchy. In this capacity, Sister Martha was a contributor to the God With Us Series for the Eastern Christian Formation program. Both working on the Series and giving workshops were part of Sister Martha’s expertise. After serving in the Pittsburgh Archeparchy, Sister Martha then took these same talents to the Eparchy of Parma where she served for six years before moving into Pastoral Ministry at St. Therese Church in St. Petersburg, FL. Following 17 years of ministry there, Sister Martha returned to the monastery where she was fondly referred to as “Mother Martha.”

Even though her years of active ministry ended, Sister Martha was always ready to help in any way she could, and in this, she was a true Martha. Visitors to the Gift Shop where she helped part time could be sure of a warm welcome from her.  Probably her best-loved ministry was to prepare and coordinate lodging on the grounds for the Annual Pilgrimage. For her this was a labor of love and a way to honor Our Mother of Perpetual Help by graciously welcoming the pilgrims. Adding a touch of beauty to the simple accommodations was her hallmark, both there and in the monastery. In hearing about her passing, one of the Sisters noted, “heaven will now be decorated, cleaned and rearranged.”

Sister Martha was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Nicholas, John, Edward and Daniel. In addition to her Sisters in community, she is survived by her devoted nieces and nephews and their families. Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Friday, March 15 from 3:30 pm to the time of the Parastas Service which will be sung at 7:00 pm. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop William C. Skurla on Saturday, March 16 at 10:30 am. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.

Donald R. Crawford Funeral Home. Hopwood, is in charge of arrangements.



By |2019-11-21T22:06:20+00:00March 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|







O Lord and Master of my life,

keep from me the spirit of indifference

and discouragement,

lust of power and idle chatter.

Instead, grant to me, Your servant,

the spirit of wholeness of being,

humble-mindedness, patience, and love.

O Lord and King,

grant me the grace to be aware of my sins

and not to judge my brothers and sisters;

for You are blessed, now and ever and forever.


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February 2019

Register for Lenten Prayer Morning

By |2019-02-18T00:38:09+00:00February 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|


Presenter: Rev. Don Bolls
Saturday, March 23, 2019 (Registration due: March 19)

9:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Includes Lunch
Offering: $35 
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered along with a conference and prayer service.
To register, please call the House of Prayer at 724-438-7149.


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December 2018


By |2018-12-03T13:55:44+00:00December 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

+Sr. Gertrude 2aVery peacefully, as she had always wanted, +Sister Gertrude (Irene) Martin moved from the earthly realm to the heavenly in the early evening of Wed., Nov. 28, 2018. There, she was surely welcomed by the Lord she served with fidelity and enthusiasm for 75 years.

Sr. Gertrude was born in Homestead, Pa., the daughter of the late Nicholas and Ann (Kopas) Martin, the middle child of thirteen siblings. She entered the community from St. John the Baptist Cathedral Parish in Homestead on October 3, 1943. Sr. Gertrude made her Final Profession of Vows on August 19, 1951 in the presence of the late Rev. John Kocisko.

Her teaching apostolate spanned 33 years, 12 of which she also served as principal. Still in the teaching apostolate, she additionally served as a member of the Provincial Council for five years. For another six years, Sr. Gertrude ably administered St. Basil’s Home for Women. A brief return to teaching took her to Trenton, N.J. before she returned to the monastery, Sister’s energetic nature and varied talents then led her to be assigned as the manager of the Religious Gift Shop. At the Gift Shop, she was a familiar face for over ten years, tending to all aspects of this special ministry of the Sisters. It was a ministry from which it was hard for her to take leave, since she especially enjoyed being there.

In 2005, Sister retired from active ministry, but she busied herself at the monastery with various projects, since she was not one to sit still and watch the world go by. At the monastery, she will be especially remembered for directing the Christmas decorating throughout the house. Even now, as soon as that season rolls around, her name is invariably mentioned.

Each year, the National Religious Retirement Office publishes a poster to become the basis of their campaign materials.  They select Priests and Sisters whose faces are a reminder of the more than 35,000 religious past the age of 70 years living in the United States.  For the 2009 poster, Sr. Gertrude was one of our three Sisters to be chosen. One could not help but be attracted by those deep set blue eyes and infectious smile, the face of a happy Sister.

Sr. Gertrude was preceded in death by her parents, and 11 of her siblings; her brothers Nicholas, John, Edward, Raymond, Donald, Elmer and Clifford; and her sisters

Ann Kasko, Pauline Pushcar, Mary Baka, and Eleanor Stellute. In addition to her Sisters in community, she is survived by her brother George Martin, her sister Verna Savko, and many devoted nieces and nephews and their families.

Relatives and friends will be received at the Monastery Chapel on Monday, December 3 from 3:30 pm to the time of the Parastas Service which will be sung at 7:00 pm. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop William C. Skurla on Tuesday, December 4, at 10:30 am. Interment will follow in the Dormition Section of Mount Macrina Cemetery.

Donald R. Crawford Funeral Home. Hopwood, is in charge of arrangements.

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September 2018

84th Pilgrimage Thank You

By |2018-09-13T15:39:02+00:00September 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Pilgrimage Icon

GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!                                             Pilgrimage 2018

Dear Friends,

Every Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help seems to take on a special memory of its own.  This 84th pilgrimage was no exception.  In the midst of all the turmoil that has continued to bombard us on all sides, there was a palpable atmosphere of peace which seemed to pervade the entire Mount.  Yes, hearts were heavy with news of political chaos, church struggles, violence in our cities and towns, and sufferings and death brought on by all sort of addictions.  Yet, the pilgrims who came seemed to bask in the love of Mary, Hope of All Generations.

We, the Sisters, continue to share the stories of our dear pilgrims, admiring their courage, determination and loving support. We are truly humbled by their continued faith.  So many made the sacrifices of time and treasure to come from distant places with the expectation of being spiritually nourished.  Others came from nearby with children and grandchildren hoping to share this time and tradition with new generations.

All who came played a significant part in making this pilgrimage a memorable and spiritual uplifting event. From the youngest baby pilgrim to the oldest, the children who make the Children’s Procession such a touching sight, the numerous pilgrims patiently standing in line to receive the Mystery of Reconciliation, our teenagers and young adults; all made the pilgrimage a mosaic of all generations. We Sisters are truly grateful for such vibrant expressions of faith.

Prayer is the greatest gift that we can offer, and you can be assured that our prayers will accompany you every day.  May Our Lady of Perpetual Help watch over you, keep you in her loving care, lead you back to this holy Mount for pilgrimage 2019.


With our love, prayers, and sincere gratitude,

Sister Ruth and the Sisters of St. Basil

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