homeMessageMissionMinistryHistoryEventsContact
Praying, Healing, Life Giving Presence
 

Come & See Weekend 2012

By: Tamara S. Cornelison

At my niece's wedding, my sister, the mother of the bride, introduced me to a young woman she had taught at one time. The young woman had never met a nun in her life and wanted to be speak to me. I was surprised at first and then realized that there are probably a lot of people in this X Generation who have never seen (much less known) a nun. – Sr. Ann Laszok, OSBM

Once upon a time, there were thousands upon thousands of young children who learned reading, writing, and arithmetic in Catholic parish schools (along with geography and a whole lot of other things people don’t seem to teach these days). These schools were run and staffed by nuns; here and there the religious faculty was supplemented by a lay teacher or two. The Sisters were busy in other spheres as well—working at hospitals, serving as support staff in chanceries, and actively engaging in numerous spiritual labors that made them a very visible presence in the community at large.

Things have changed. Over the last couple of decades, for example, the phenomenon of Sisters teaching in parish schools has dwindled. One reason for this is that fewer young women are entering religious life; another reason is that parish schools are suffering from the general malaise of a sluggish economy—many are closing their doors for good or merging with other schools. Similar economic constraints are affecting parents who are now opting to send their children to public schools, mostly because their budgets can’t accommodate paying tuition for a Catholic school. Some Catholic schools continue to thrive in spite of these economic factors, but the ratio of lay teachers has dramatically increased whereas the number of teaching Sisters has plummeted. As a result, nuns have become rara avis . . . rarely seen, seldom heard, semi-mythical creatures that once roamed the Earth in great number.

Among the religious orders affected by these changes is the Order of St. Basil the Great, the order of the Sisters of the Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province, who have been serving the Ukrainian Catholic Church in America since 1911. The Sisters who first came to this country from Ukraine started with nothing but an iron will bolstered by unflinching courage and absolute faith that their Creator would help them overcome all obstacles and achieve all goals. They established and staffed a vast school system; they ran orphanages; they ministered to the Ukrainian Catholic clergy and laity in countless ways. Surviving and thriving through hard times, they built and expanded with an eye to the future instead of an eye on impediments, always adapting to changing times and changing needs.

Their successors, the Sisters who continue to carry on the work begun a hundred years ago, have inherited these same qualities—tackling challenges head on, often by thinking out of the box. One recent out-of-the-box initiative relates to the quotes that appear at the beginning of this story. For Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, the strange encounter with the young woman at the wedding was something of an "Aha!" moment that boiled down to the realization that "They don't know anything about us! So let's fix this."

Soon after, Sister Ann approached Provincial Superior Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, with a plan—to organize and host a "Come and See" weekend. And soon after that, an invitation was posted on the Sisters’ Website, in newspapers, church bulletins colleges and Facebook. Brief and to the point, it read:

Have you ever wondered what nuns are all about? The Sisters of St. Basil are planning a "Come and See" weekend on March 16 - 18, 2012, at the Basilian Motherhouse in Jenkintown, Pa. Come and visit. You are welcome to spend time with the Sisters in prayer, community, and ministry. Get to know who we are and what we do to build up the kingdom of God. All we ask is that you let us know if you are coming so we can prepare for your visit. Call or email Sr. Ann (412-260-1607 or srannl@aol.com) or Sr. Joann (215-379-3998 or vickis@stbasils.com). Looking forward to meeting or talking to you soon. 

The "Come and See" weekend, designed for women who might be interested in religious life, began on Friday afternoon, March 16, with Sister Joann and Sister Ann welcoming guests Samantha, Christine, Stephanie, and Janelle with warm smiles. After mutual introductions and an exchange of pleasantries, everyone walked to the Holy Trinity Chapel for a Presanctified Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Daniel Troyan. This was followed by dinner and a movie - "Women of Spirit" a documentary about Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province. Filmed by Mykola and Oksana Yaremko and produced by Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, the film was an integral part of the Sisters’ centennial celebrations, a testament to 100 years of faithful service in the work of the Lord.

Saturday began with Liturgy and Matins celebrated in English, followed by reflections by Sr. Joann. The four young women then shared lunch with the Sisters, after which Sister Dia and Sister Elizabeta, both from Ukraine, shared stories of how they had entered religious life. The guests were intrigued by both stories: Sister Dia had entered the monastery in secret, when the Ukrainian Catholic Church was forced to exist as an underground institution banned by communist authorities; Sister Elizabeta had entered the convent in 1992, a year after Ukraine declared independence and a time when the long-suppressed church was beginning to emerge from the shadows and openly rebuild itself.

After Vespers, there was a communal dinner and a tour of Philadelphia. On Sunday, the girls and their hosts prayed Matins, attended Liturgy, and shared a peaceful period of reflection. That afternoon, the young women bid farewell to the Sisters, all agreeing that it had been a wonderful weekend, that they would happily experience another, that they wanted more.

When asked what could have been changed in the schedule, all four young women responded that they would have enjoyed spending some time with the Sisters in their ministry . . . an opportunity to see and perhaps share in some aspect of the Sisters’ work with the faithful. When asked what blessing they had received, they responded by citing the hospitality of the Sisters, the inspiration of hearing the stories of the Sisters from Ukraine, and feeling the Sisters’ calm and joy. Samantha, Christine, Stephanie, and Janelle all noted that they would recommend the "Come and See" weekend to others, that they had thought of others who would have enjoyed the experience as much as they had.

And so, the second hundred years begins . . . stay tuned for new chapters to come.

Latest Events at the Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province

GREAT FAST VESPERS CELEBRATION IN FOX CHASE - 2017

Sister Bohdonna Podney - 1916 - 2017

Check Presentation - 2017

“Lock-In” Youth Retreat - 2017

Celebrating Metropolitan Archbishop’s Feast Day as Fox Chase - 2016

Saint Basil Academy Choir Carol at the Motherhouse - 2016

Sr Elizaveta speaks about the Blessed martyrs - 2016

Basilan Volunteer Mission Trip To Ukrainian- 2017

Pilgrimage - 2016

BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE JUBILEES - 2016

BASILIAN VOLUNTEER TEAM MISSION TRIP TO UKRAINE - 2016

BASILIAN ASSOCIATES OF PARMA RENEW COVENANT

SISTERS OF THE ORDER OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT GATHER IN COMMUNAL MEETING- 2016

Pilgrimage: A Brief History of a Long and Beloved Tradition

Women's Day Scranton PA- 2016

Women's Day Washington DC- 2016

We Are Sisters - 2016

Sister Bohdonna, OSBM 100 Years

Sister Emellia (Mildred) Prokopik, OSBM 1920–2015

Nativity Greetings– 2015

Sr. Josaphat Eulogy– 2015

Sr. Emellia Eulogy– 2015

Celebrating Sr. Joann– 2015

East Meets West– 2015

Manor College Selects New President – 2015

Womens Day of Prayer– 2016

BASILIAN VOLUNTEER TEAM PAYS GOODWILL VISIT TO UKRAINE – 2015

BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE SUMMER JUBILEES – 2015

MSGR. APPLEYARD CONDUCTS BASILIAN RETREAT – 2015

84th ANNUAL BASILIAN PIGRIMAGE FOCUSES ON THE FAMILY – 2015

SISTERS OF SAINT BASIL HOLD CHAPTER OF ELECTIONS – 2015

BASILIAN Election Announcement – 2015

BASILIAN SPIRITUALITY CENTER HOLDS ICON WORKSHOPS – 2015

Pilgrimage 2015

ECED Holds Spring Meeting – 2015

Sister Paula Jacynyk, OSBM 1930 – 2015

BASILIAN SISTERS HOST RETIREMENT LUNCHEON FOR JOAN CROMPTON

COME AND SEE OPEN HOUSE 2015

NEW MEMBER ENTERS BASILIAN ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

BASILIAN SPIRITUALITY CENTER WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR 2015

SBA FRESHMEN SPEND DAY OF SERVICE AT BASILIAN MOTHERHOUSE 2015

Woman's Day 2015

SISTER BOHDONNA CELEBRATES 99TH BIRTHDAY

BASILIAN SISTERS SEEK VOLUNTEERS FOR HUMANITARIAN MISSION IN UKRAINE

SISTER MARINA HONORED FOR YEARS OF SERVICE

BASILIAN SISTERS BRING COMFORT TO THE SICK

Sister Bohdonna’s Feast Day—12-27-13

BASILIAN SISTERS AND ASSOCIATES WELCOME ARCHBISHOP STEFAN 2014

Governance Commission Meets in Fox Chase 2014

Sisters Attend Episcopal Consecration

Sister Mary Michael Bayda, OSBM Falls Asleep In The Lord

Why I go to Church Video

St. Basil Academy Open House 2014

NEW SBA PRINCIPAL LOOKS FORWARD TO ACADEMIC YEAR

BASILIAN SISTERS BID FAREWELL TO MOTHERHOUSE CHAPLAIN

BASILIAN ASSOCIATES OF PARMA HOLD DAY OF PRAYER

BASILIAN SISTERS CONTINUE TO FACE THE FUTURE WITH HOPE

SISTERS OF ST. BASIL ESTABLISH BASILIAN LEGACY COMMITTEE

TWO BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE GOLDEN JUBILEES

Annual Pilgrimage to Honor Metropolitan Sheptytsky Sunday October 5, 2014

“MOTHERS IN PRAYER” CONVENE AT BASILIAN MOTHERHOUSE

DAY OF REFLECTION FOR YOUTH AT BASILIAN SPIRITUALITY CENTER 2014

Barn Sale Held April 4-5, 2014

March 15, 2014 - 3rd Workshop on Christ Our Pascha

BASILIAN ASSOCIATES WELCOME NEW MEMBER 2014

National Catholic Sisters Week contest 2014

BASILIAN SISTERS RESUME PLANNING SESSIONS

Sisters of Saint Basil the Great Support Ukraine's Struggle for Democracy & Human Dignity

Letter of Support to Ukraine

HELEN CHAYKOWSKY HONORED FOR SERVICE TO ST. BASIL ACADEMY 2014

BASILIAN MOTHERHOUSE EMPLOYEES HONORED FOR SERVICE 2014

Ukraine Mission 2014

ARCHBISHOP STEFAN GREETED BY BASILIAN COMMUNITY 2014

St. Basil Academy Appoints New Principal 2014

BASILIAN SISTERS HOLD AFTERNOON OF PRAYER & REFLECTION 2013

BASILIAN SISTERS HOLD FALL COMMUNITY DAYS 2013

Vatican Radio: Liturgy To Ukraine - July 2013

SAINT BASIL ACADEMY WELCOMES NEW ADMINISTRATION

Workshop October 19th 2013: Partakers of the divine nature

Sister Maria Nadia Barusewycz

82nd Annual Pilgrimage to the Mother of God

BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE JUBILEES

BASILIAN SISTERS HOLD COMMUNITY DAYS

Ukraine Visited by Basilian Volunteer Outreach

10th General Chapter Meeting of the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great

THREE BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE GOLDEN JUBILEES

PARMA EPARCHY WELCOMES BASILIAN ASSOCIATES

SISTER CARLA HERNANDEZ HONORED

Growing Greener Tree Planting Project

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

Rev. Dr. Oleh Kindiy: Theology and Catechetical Teaching in St. Basil's Anaphora

One in Spirit: Basilian Associate Program

Sister Mary Isidore Gilewitch, OSBM, entered into her eternal glory

Ukraine Mission 2013

Come and See Weekend 2013

Vocation Awareness 2013

Ukrainian Sisters of St. Basil Working to Revive Yavoriv Monastery 2012

Come and See Weekend Fall 2012

St. Basil Academy Open House 2012

Annual Pilgrimage 2012

Discernment Weekend 2012

Sister M. Cornelia Shevchuk, OSBM, falls asleep in the Lord

Patriarchal Catechetical Commission Meets 2012

Basilian Volunteer Program: Ukrainian Orphan Ministry 2012

Sister Barbara Terefenko, OSBM, falls asleep in the Lord

Abington Township Recognition of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great

Sixtieth Anniversary of Sister Miriam Claire Kowal, OSBM, Celebrated on June 30, 2012

In Celebration of a Dedicated Life to the Church

Sister Germaine Senita, OSBM, Celebrates 50 Years in Religious Life

Very Reverend Daniel Troyan Celebrates Thirty Years of Priesthood

"Popcorn & a Movie"

Come & See Weekend 2012

St. Basil's Academy Ground Breaking 2011

Centennial Celebration Home

Orphanage Fund 2010

Pilgrimage 2010

Pilgrimage October 2-3, 2010

Chapter Installation 2010

Golden Jubilee Celebration 2010

Youth Day 2010

Basilian Centennial Committee Meeting 2010

Basilian Centennial Preparation

Spring Community Days 2010

2009 Pilgrimage under the Protection of the Mother of God

Basilian Legacy Institute

60th Jubilee Celebration

Book-signing and Presentation with Dr. Alexander Lushnycky

2009 Community Days

Sister Lydia Anna Sawka, OSBM 25th Jubilee

2008 Pilgrimage under the Protection of the Mother of God

Ukraine's First Lady Visits Pittsburgh

2008 Community Days

Visit From Melanne Verveer

665 Years of Ministry

2008 50th Jubilees

Golden Memories Reunion

Eagle Scout Project

Seal of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great

 

Access Webmail | Contact Us

Directions to the Motherhouse | Email the Webmaster 

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