The various Basilian communities throughout the world draw their spiritual and moral support from the dedicated life of prayer, work and sacrifice of the Basilian Nuns living in contemplative monasteries. These monasteries were especially established for this purpose in 1951, when the Order was centralized by a Decree of the Holy See and united under a General Administration with its seat in Rome, Italy.
On the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, a Basilian Contemplative Community was formed in Astoria, New York, in 1958. Four Sisters from the Jesus Lover of Humanity Province in Fox Chase Manor, PA formed the original nucleus of the newly erected Sacred Heart Contemplative Monastery in Astoria. In 1992 the nuns relocated to Middletown, New York.
Personal and communal prayer, form the substance of each day in the life of the community. To support themselves the Nuns offer guided retreats, prepare and distribute the Holy Chrism blessed on the Great and Holy Thursday, teach catechism and tutor.
Apostolate of Prayer
As a contemplative community, Sisters spend a large part of the day praying the Divine Praises, adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist and personal contemplation. They offer their prayers, sacrifices and good works for the Holy Father, the needs of the Church, priests and religious, vocations to the religious life, the sick and suffering, conversion of sinners and for all the needs of humanity.
Preparation of Miro – Holy Chrism
Sisters prepare the special oil called Miro, blessed by the Bishop on the Great and Holy Thursday. When the three Wise Men came to adore the newborn Savior one of the gifts was Miro. Mary Magdalene anointed the feet of Jesus with fragrant Miro. Sisters prepare Miro during the Great Fast from a prescribed mix of valuable spices, which they boil in olive oil for a long time. After the blessing, Miro is distributed to parishes. The priest uses Miro when administering Holy Mysteries (sacraments).
Sisters provide catechism lessons. The children come to the Monastery or gather at the local Church at pre-arranged times.
Directed retreats and days of recollection for young women interested in religious life are offered monthly.
Sisters of St. Basil the Great
209 Keasel Road
Middletown, NY 10940-6287
Tel.(845) 343 1308