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Sister Mary Bernarda, OSBM, Honored for Her Ministry in Ukraine

"You are known in Ukraine as Ukraine's Mother Theresa." These words addressed to Sister Mary Bernarda Arkatin,OSBM, by Basilian Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, captured the spirit of the celebration in Sister Bernarda's honor Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, Fox Chase Manor, PA.

L-R Sisters Maria Rozmarynowych, Ann Laszok, Joann Sosler, Dorothy Ann Busowski, and M. Bernarda Arkatin during Moleben in Holy Trinity Chapel

 

Friends, relatives and community members gathered at the Motherhouse to pay tribute to Sr. Bernarda for her well-known charitable work in Ukraine and to thank the many benefactors who helped make the visits possible by their prayers and donations.

During the introductory Moleben in the Holy Trinity Chapel, convent chaplain Rev. Daniel Troyan compared the Gospel reading of the angel’s visit to Mary to the joy experienced by the recipients of Sister’s visits, the blessings shared by both giver and receiver and their awareness that all good works are made possible by a loving God.

Sister M Bernarda greeting younger members of her family

L-R Sister Mary Brenarda surrounded by her sisters Rosalie Senick, Stephanie Mican and Veronica Tokash

At the reception that followed in the Sisters’ dining room, Sr. Maria Rozmarynowycz, convent Superior, welcomed the guests, reminding all that the first mission of the Basilian Sisters from Ukraine was to care for Ukrainian orphaned children in America and that years later, Sister Bernarda would mirror that mission in her ministry to the orphaned and underprivileged children in Ukraine.

Provincial Superior Sr. Dorothy Ann thanked all for coming and informed them that Sr. Bernarda’s calling to this special ministry stemmed from recovering from an auto accident twenty years ago when Sister promised God she would dedicate herself to serving the orphans in Ukraine in thanksgiving for her recovery. Sr. Dorothy Ann praised Sr. Bernarda’s stamina and self-effacing generosity in carrying out her promise and her resolve to continue her commitment to the People of God in her present ministry in NYC, exemplifying "the true Basilian Spirit of service and love."

Sister Mary Bernarda Arkatin, OSBM

L-R Musical tribute to Sister Bernarda Arkatin by Sisters Susanne Matwijiw, Joackima Dvernytska

Although Sr. Bernarda's yearly visits to the poor, the handicapped and the elderly ended in 2012, the cause will continue as a new endeavor. Sr. Joann Sosler, Assistant Provincial, spoke on “The Basilian Volunteer Mission Program: Ministry to Ukraine’s Poor and Needy”. This new project, in answer to a request by the bishops of Ukraine and in collaboration with the Basilian Sisters in Zaporishzhia, will invite young women to accompany the Sisters from the US to identify and satisfy the needs of Christ’s suffering poor. A visit is planned for June, 2013.

John Kurey, Development Director for the Sisters, once again thanked those present for their outstanding support of Sr. Bernarda’s ministry to Ukraine and encouraged them to keep Sister’s legacy alive by continuing their support for the new mission.

In her response, Sr. Mary Bernarda credited God for the strength, wisdom and guidance that enabled her to look at His suffering ones with love and to alleviate their pain if only for a little while. Sister thanked her superiors, her benefactors and all who helped her in some way in her past missions, assuring them of her prayers and those of her whole community.

A musical tribute to Sr. Bernarda was rendered by Sr. Laura Palka, Sr. Susanne Matwijiw and Sr. Joackima Dvernytska and a photo and news clipping display as well as a DVD presentation, all illustrating Sr. Bernarda's mission work, rounded out the afternoon’s activities.

 

For further information on participating in or supporting the Basilian Sisters' new mission program CONTACT:


Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM
710 Fox Chase Road
Jenkintown, PA 19046
412-260-1607
srannl@aol.com


Sister Joann Sosler, OSBM
710 Fox Chase Road
Jenkintown, PA 19046
215-379-3998 ext. 16
vickis@stbasils.com



 

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710 Fox Chase Road
Fox Chase Manor, PA 19046
215 379-3998