At the invitation of Rev. Marko Yaroslav Semehen, the head of the Saint Sofia Association on the Eve of the Feast of St. Basil the Great, January 13, 2017 (Julian calendar) representatives of various monasteries and congregations of consecrated life gathered at the Ukrainian Basilica of Santa Sofia on Via Boccea.
Following a celebration of Great Vespers with Lytia, all the guests were invited for supper - the traditional “prosphora”, where Most Reverend Dionysius (Lachowicz) greeted each person while sharing a piece of prosphora (blessed bread).
Sharing supper, singing carols together and rejoicing in the Feast of the Nativity of Christ created an atmosphere of deep unity among each other in the presence of Christ Jesus. Concluding the festivities, Father Marko Semehen addressed all present, and then, marking the Feast of St. Basil the Great, extended a special greeting and his deepest gratitude for their hard work to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, who minister at Saint Sofia.
HISTORY: The member of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great were invited by His Beatitude Most Reverend Josyf Cardinal Slypyj to assist him after his release from many years of imprisonment in Siberia. They assisted him in the first years when he lived at the Vatican and then moved when accommodations were prepared for him and others to reside at the Ukrainian center on Via Boccea in Rome. Mother Claudia Feddish, General Superior of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great from 1963 ti 1971 worked closely with His Beatitude Josyf Cardinal Slypyj and involved other Basilian Sisters in the ministry. Mother Claudia died in 1978 due to a tragic accident and was buried in the crypt at the Basilica of Saint Sofia.
The ministry of the Basilian Sisters at the Basilica of Saint Sofia and the Ukrainian Catholic University of St. Clement on Via Boccea in Rome was a Mission of the Order, initiated by the General Administration. From the 1960’s to the end of the 1990’s Basilian Sisters ministering there were from various Provinces and corners of the world: Argentina, United States of America, Croatia, Romania, Poland and Ukraine. Currently, the mission of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great at the Basilica of Saint Sofia belongs to the Most Holy Trinity Province, Ukraine. The following five Sisters are in ministry and make up the Basilian community there: Sister Makaria Glyuzdyn (local superior), Sister Emmanuila Shumylo, Sister Symeona Smereka, Sister Teodosia Zhesnyovska, and Sister Maria Pidluzhna. Joining them in community are Sister Daria Turkiv, who works at the UGCC archives located on the premises and Sister Mahdalyna Vytvytska, a student residing there while completing her studies in Rome.
May God bless the Sisters in their dedication to their ministries and help them bring His light and merciful love to all those in need.