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TWO BASILIAN SISTERS CELEBRATE GOLDEN JUBILEES

"Zion rejoices and heaven exults in joy with us for Christ is risen.’ These words (sung at Pascha) bring to mind the double joy of today’s celebration…the fact that Christ has risen and the fact that fifty years ago two young women pledged their whole beings to their Savior….Zion rejoiced and heaven exulted at their decision. Thus we have gathered to echo that rejoicing and exultation."

These words were spoken by Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, Provincial Superior of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, at the Golden Jubilee celebration held at the Basilian Sisters’ Motherhouse, Fox Chase Manor, PA, Saturday, May 17, 2014.

“Jubilarians, Sister Monica Lesnick, OSBM and Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, celebrating 50 years as a Sister of the Order of Saint Basil the Great.”

"Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka, hierarchy and clergy are joined by the Sisters’ General Superior, Provincial Council, and Jubilarians."

Friends and family gathered to honor Sister Ann Laszok, OSBM, and Sister Monica Lesnick, OSBM, for their individual fifty years of service to the Church as members of the Order of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great.

Celebrants for the 11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving in the Motherhouse Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity were Most Rev. Stefan Soroka, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Most Rev. Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford, CT, Most Rev. Basil Losten, Bishop Emeritus of Stamford, CT, Rev. Cyprian Rosen, ofm Cap, St. Francis Friary, Wilmington, DE, Rev. John Zeyack, Byzantine Ruthenian Eparchy of Passaic, NJ, Rev. Taras Lonchyna, Pastor, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church, Trenton, NJ, and Very Rev. Archpriest Daniel Troyan, Basilian Motherhouse Chaplain. Rev. Dr. John Shea, OSA, was also a guest clergy member in attendance.

“It is important,” said Father Troyan in his homily, “to honor these two women by coming to the table of the Lord to offer thanks for the gifts of life, the Gift of New Life through the Resurrection, to honor Sister Ann and Sister Monica for following their vocation; their mission is to do whatever must be done. They are shining examples of what consecration to the Gospel really means.”

In accordance with Basilian tradition, the two jubilarians pronounced a devotional renewal of their vows before receiving the Holy Eucharist and at the conclusion of Liturgy all processed to the Sisters’ dining room for a celebratory dinner.

 

 

 

Master of Ceremonies, Tina Bruno, introduced Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann who welcomed all to the celebration and in the prayer that followed, Archbishop Stefan likened the two Sisters to the myrrh-bearing women, eagerly spreading the Faith to students and others: “We thank you for your enthusiasm, your life-giving energy and passion to love and serve the Lord.” Sister Dia Stasiuk, OSBM, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great, visiting from the General Council in Rome, offered the congratulatory toast.

In her congratulatory address, Sister Dorothy Ann spoke of the two jubilarians as women with caring hearts, joy-filled spirits and a zest for life who balance their apostolic ministries with a spiritually centered life.

At the time of her entrance into the monastery, Sister Ann, daughter of Olga and Ilko Laszok, was a member of St. John the Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, where she received her education from the Sisters of St. Basil at the parish school. After her novitiate formation, Sister Anthony (aka Ann), taught at St. Nicholas School in Watervliet, NY, and at St. George School, NYC, and later served as a faculty member of Manor College as well as Dean of Admissions. Her missions have included serving in the Archeparchial Office of Religious Education and on the Archeparchial Catechetical Commission where she helped with the translation of the “God With Us” series; served as treasurer of the NCCL and ECDD and was one of the original founders of the Basilian Pastoral Ministry in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is currently the Director of Religious Education. Sister Ann is a member of her community’s governing council and, as Co-Vocation Director, she is responsible for the Province’s “Ukraine Outreach Program”. In addition, Sister is a member of the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission of Ukraine and organizer and director of “Generations of Faith” for the Byzantine Churches.

 

 

Sister Monica Lesnick, taught by the Basilian Sisters at SS. Peter and Paul School in Cohoes, NY, followed her parents, Ann and Myron Lesnick, in the field of education. Her first teaching assignment was at St. Nicholas School, Chicago IL. Sister then taught at St. John the Baptist School, Newark, NJ, and later was both teacher and principal at St. George Academy, NYC. For five years Sister Monica served on her community’s governing body as Provincial Councilor and Secretary. At present, Sister Monica teaches mathematics at Manor College where she chairs the college’s Long Range Planning Committee and is a member of the college’s Budget Committee. At the recommendation of her peers, Sister Monica was the recipient of Manor’s prestigious Teaching Excellence Award in 2007.

Good wishes were further extended to the jubilarians via letters of congratulations, and after the closing prayer by Bishop Chomnycky commending the Sisters for their dedication to the important ministry of education, all present wished them “Many Happy Years”.

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