After being bedridden for several months, on Tuesday, March 22, 2017 Sister Bohdanna Stephanie Padney, fell asleep in the Lord. Throughout Sister’s illness she remained an example of spiritual strength always responding with a smile of loving kindness when visited.
Just recently Sister celebrated her one hundred first birthday. As we gathered around her bed on that occasion she gave thanks to God for all the blessings received through her long life, especially her call to serve God. Sister Bohdanna was an inspiration to all her Sisters, and was especially grateful to those who took care of her during her last days.
Sister Bohdanna entered the community February 5, 1933 and received her final profession on August 26, 1935. She was born in 1916 in Chicago, IL and was a parishioner of St. Nicholas Cathedral where she received baptism and chrismation. At the age of 17 Sister entered the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province in Philadelphia. The superiors at the time recognized that Sister possessed an inquisitive mind and a great capacity for learning.
Almost immediately after entering Sister attended Rosemont College and a few years later went to the communities’ House of Studies in Washington, DC where she attended Catholic University. At Catholic University Sister received a BS in Chemistry and eventually a Master’s degree in Chemistry. At a time when it was unusual for women to attend college, she was among the first in the community to pursue advanced studies for her doctorate at Villanova University.
Her ministerial life took her to Pittsburgh, PA, Parma, OH and Newark, NJ where she taught for a number of years. Most of Sisters time was spent at Manor College teaching Biology and Chemistry. Sister served as Provincial Superior from 1970-1975 after which she received a special assignment from the then Superior General, Sister Emellia Prokopic, to start a new Delegature in Toronto, Canada. In 2002 Sister returned to the Motherhouse in Fox Chase where she remained until her death.
Sister modeled for all in her community the true Basilian spirit. She was a woman of deep prayer and service. She truly believed in developing her God-given gifts throughout her life believing that our Triune God continues to surprise us with His creation and His activity within each individual. Always a rich source of intelligent conversation sister loved sharing around the topics of creation, nature, politics and history. Sister continued to expand her intellectual horizons in her senior years by teaching herself the intricacies of the internet and other modern media. Her computer generated cards were a welcome on birthdays, feastdays and other occasions.
As we celebrated her 100th birthday we recognized Sister’s insightful and brilliant mind ready to explore the mystery of the unknown. We recognized her as principal and teacher eager to bring out the best in each student. As our elder we recognized her for her deep love of country, Church and God.
Sister is survived by several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, as well as great grand nieces and nephews and her beloved Sisters of Saint Basil the Great.
Eternal Memory grant to her!