On July 17, 2019 Sister Bernarda Anna Arkatin, OSBM of the Jesus Lover of Humanity, Fox Chase Manor, PA, USA was called home to the Lord in the 96th year of her life, having lived 79 years in the monastery.
“God grant her Eternal Memory!”
On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Sister Mary Bernarda died at the Basilian monastery where she lived the last days of her life. Sister suffered a stroke onjuly 4, 2019 and was admitted to Holy Redeemer Hospital. The stroke affected her speech, movement and ability to swallow. On July 8, 2019 she returned to the monastery for the love, support and care of her Sisters at the Motherhouse.
Sister Mary Bernarda was born on December 23,1922 in Chesapeake City, Maryland to Mary and Gregory Arkatin. The family consisted of twelve children, seven girls and five boys, two of whom were members of the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great, Sister Mary Bernarda Arkatin, OSBM and Sister Sophia Tharsilla Arkatin, OSBM who pre-deceased her. Her surviving sibling is the youngest sister,
Sister Mary Bernarda entered the Sisters of St. Basil on June 13,1940 and pronounced her Final Profession on August 23,1949 with Rev. Basil Wawryk, presiding. Sister's commitment was to give herself wholly and entirely to God without looking back. In the seventy - five years of commitment she thanked God daily for the blessings he granted her and the privilege of serving him throughout these years.
Sister and her family were members of St. Basil Church in Chesapeake City. She graduated from St. Basil Academy in 1938 and while in Community received a Bachelors Degree in Education from Seton Hall University and a Bachelors in Music from De Paul University in Chicago. Being prepared to teach music and all other necessary subjects Sister taught at St. John the Baptist, Newark, NJ, Immaculate Conception, Hamtramck, MI, St. Nicholas, Chicago, IL and St. Nicholas School, Phila. PA. from 1943 to 2014. Sister held leadership positions as a Provincial Councillor within the Community and Principal during her teaching ministry. She treasured her leadership skills and organized an outstanding orchestra at practically every educational institution at which she was missioned. She would teach every instrument, compose variations of original masterpieces and present them at parish concerts. Students became embued with the liturgical and ethnic culture. Practically every student could proudly say that Sister Bernarda taught them to play a musical instrument.
Sister was also assigned to be the promoter for the cause of the Beatification of Metropolitan Andrew Sheptycky in 1993 and continued this ministry until 2000.
States and Ukraine. Traveling the year round she promoted Metropolitan Sheptycky's saintly life, his ecumenical efforts and dynamic leadership of God's people.
Being the daughter of an orphaned father, Sister Mary Bernarda also committed herself to loving, gifting and negotiating care for the poorest of the poor in Ukraine, her parents' homeland.
Sister Mary Bernarda's life had been a living testimony, witness, to the love of Christ. Having experienced the love of Christ in your own personal life she shared that wondrous inexpressible experience of Christ's love with thousands of orphans, invalids, mentally handicapped and marginalized. Her actions spoke louder than any words. She lived and witnessed a resurrected life of extreme joy, peace and hope. Her physical presence emanated life. Although the physical body brings pain or suffering, there is an everlasting, eternal life that will never die.
She has left that everlasting touch on far more people than anyone can comprehend. May her memory be eternal.