On June 20, 2019 within the walls of the Papal Oriental Institute in Rome, in the school of canon law , Sister Mahdalyna Vytvytska, OSBM defended her doctoral dissertation on the topic of “Diakonia and autonomy of monastic sisters based on the example of the Order of Saint Basil the Great in accord with Canon 415 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches”.

The Feast of the Holy Trinity is always a special holy day for the community of Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great in Ukraine, since it is the Province’s Feast day.  On that day each Sister offers prayers of gratitude to our Lord for the gift of life, the gift of her vocation to consecrated life and all the gifts and blessings which the Lord so generously sends to each individual Sister.  It is a distinct day when Sisters’ monastic jubilees are traditionally marked and celebrated.

Sister Mary Bernarda Arkatin, OSBM, (1922 - 2019) a member of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus Lover of Humanity Province, initiated and continued summer journeys of goodwill to the needy, orphaned and handicapped of Ukraine for more than 20 years.

June 10, 2019 was a distinct day for the entire community of Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, because on that date, through the grace of God, Sister Olha (Mariia) Ladzhun celebrated her 100th day of life – becoming the oldest Sister of our Order.  Sisters from all corners of our Province traveled to the city of Khust, prayerfully thanking the Lord for bestowing the gifts of life and vocation to Sister Olha.  All greeted Sister Olha, congratulating her on this special occasion and thanking her for her faithful and self-sacrificing service for Our Lord and His people throughout her 84 years of monastic life.

Elected international delegates of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great will be holding their XI General Chapter, July 8 – 19, 2019 St. Josaphat Ukrainian Collegium Rome Italy.

On May 20, 2019, the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province, were honored to welcome His Beatitude Sviataslav Shevchuk to their Motherhouse in Fox Chase, Pa.

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 the Mothers in Prayer group from Rome made their annual pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of God’s Love “Divino Amore” on the outskirts of Rome.  The beginning of the day was challenging with a torrent of rain bursting from the skies.  Nevertheless, the strong faith and determination of the pilgrims led them to pray to the Blessed Mother, whom they visit frequently and thank for the trials and the graces received in dealing with them.  In spite the difficulties of travel, the Mothers in Prayer arrived in Divino Amore for a day of spiritual renewal.  Prayers of gratitude came forth from their lips – for their children, for all children in the world, for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world.

Spiritual input was given by Sister Nazariya Mykhayliuk, OSBM on the theme of “A Christian Call”.  Sister explained, “Today the Lord calls each of us:  Mary, Anne, Lydia…  Wake up!  Open your eyes!  I am beside you!  I conquered death, your sufferings, and your difficulties!  Believe in me!  Pick yourself up; I have defeated your illnesses, your pains!  Be strong!  Believe in me and follow me! I am your resurrection and life.”

The sun peeked out – giving warmth and hope for a brighter future.  It spread its rays of warmth, allowing the women to prayer in the grotto of the Blessed Mother giving thanks for their children and families in distant Ukraine.

Divine Liturgy for Mothers’ Day was celebrated by Reverend Father Efraim Konchak, OSBM. “Dear Mothers in Prayer!  How many persons in the world, how many around us, and even in our families are alone - lonely people who have no one who is concerned about them, no one to care for them, to help them in any way? Your motherly prayers need to include those who do not know of the Blessed Mother, of her care for them.”

Father continued, “Today on Mothers’ Day – on behalf of your children, I want to thank you for your motherly love, your prayers, the sleepless nights, the worries and cares, the shed tears, and all the joyous moments, which you have given and continue to give to your children.  Motherhood – is a gift and blessing, which God the Lord has given you.  It is also a great responsibility and hard work!  For all mothers I pray – may the path to your door be well-traveled, may children always gift you with their smiles, may they speak warm and appreciative words for your dedicated and undying love!  May your homes be filled with peace and good fortune and generous blessings from Our Lord.”

After the services, each Mother was given a blessing and a commemorative gift.

We thank all those who help in organizing this pilgrimage and special celebration.

Lydia Vykovych,

regional coordinator of Mothers in Prayer in Italy

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