The history of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province in Uniontown, PA, USA began on January 19, 1921 the feast of Theophany also known as the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan (Julian calendar). That day, Mother Macrina Melnychuk, Mother Macrina Marie Hardi and Sister Euphemia Kurylas arrived in Cleveland, Ohio from Philadelphia, PA. They answered the call of the Apostolic Administrator, Very Rev. Gabriel Martyak, to begin a branch of the Basilian Order that would serve the Ruthenian people. The Lord blessed them within a few months with five candidates.
Before reaching its present location at Uniontown, PA in 1931, the community made two other moves. First they moved to Elmhurst and then to Factoryville, both in Pennsylvania. The search for a permanent monastery, necessitated by growth in membership, was found in Uniontown.
Initially Sisters cared for orphans, and later engaged in teaching, especially in parochial schools. In 1933, Sisters began the annual Pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Up to the present day, this event brings thousands of people to Uniontown each year. They seek spiritual refreshment, reconciliation, new life and healing in the Lord.
The Sisters of St. Basil respond in sensitivity and service to the needs of the Church and of the people of the times, particularly those of the Byzantine Church. Their apostolates encompass prayer ministry, education, communications, cultural and heritage studies, translation and publication of liturgical books, religious education and organizational work, iconography and fine arts, health related services, retreat work, social and pastoral ministry, paralegal services, and ecclesiastical arts and sewing. Sisters also serve in the Byzantine Catholic Chanceries of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Eparchy of Parma and Van Nuys.
Mt. Macrina House of Prayer
Since many people realize the need to withdraw from their hectic everyday
schedules, the House of Prayer offers the ideal place to relax and rest quietly with themselves and the Lord. Persons seeking to open themselves to God through prayer, reflection and solitude are invited to experience this in the quiet and beauty of the House and the spacious grounds. The staff conducts retreats and provides hospitality and opportunity for personal spiritual guidance. Programs are designed to meet the needs of an individual or group. Groups may also provide their own program and director.
Another Way is a recovery home, designed to meet the special needs of women in recovery, particularly from chemical dependency. The peaceful and nurturing atmosphere of the home at Mount Macrina, 530 W. Main Street in Uniontown, serves as the home for this new collaborative outreach ministry.
Ecclesiastical Arts and Vestment Sewing
Sisters create beautiful, ornate garments and liturgical linens, which enhance the beauty of Byzantine Catholic Church services.
Sisters of the Province are on staff at two parish schools. They also serve parishes in pastoral and catechetical ministries. Sisters also teach Adult Literacy and English as a Second Language classes at the Motherhouse.
Iconography and Fine Arts
In addition to writing icons as a ministry and by commission, Sister iconographers also give presentations and conduct demonstrations and workshops on this ancient and prayerful art form. Visitors are welcome at the Icon Shop, located on the grounds of Mt. Macrina, Uniontown.
Mt. Macrina Cemetery and Holy resurrection Mausoleum
Calvary Cemetery at Mt. Macrina was established in 1939. This ministry to the bereaved continues to develop and grow with the addition of the Holy Resurrection Mausoleum, blessed and dedicated in the spring of 2000.
Mt. Macrina Manor
Mt. Macrina Manor provides skilled and intermediate levels of nursing care for the elderly and infirm in a newly renovated facility that features a national award winning, state-of-the-art Alzheimer Unit and Hospice Care Unit. This holistic approach to caring includes clinic, rehabilitation and support services such as respite care, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and pastoral care.
The annual Pilgrimage in Honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a special ministry of the Province providing for the diverse spiritual needs of the many pilgrims who frequent this major event in the life of the Byzantine Catholic Church.
Religious Gift and Card Shop
The Sisters offer a number of religious articles, booklets, prayer books, religious greeting and remembrance enrollment card, and other items with a particular focus on the tradition of Byzantine spirituality, available also in different languages.