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Praying, Healing, Life Giving Presence
 

Annual Pilgrimage 2012 Under the Protection of the Theotokos (Pokrov)

SISTERS OF THE ORDER OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT
FOX CHASE MANOR, PA – ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE

Overcast skies gave way to sun on September 30, 2012, as the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great welcomed guests to their annual Pilgrimage honoring the Mother of God. Hundreds of pilgrims seeking spiritual nourishment joined the Sisters to pray and to reflect on the theme: “A Time to Encounter the Living Christ” with the focus on healing.

Young Plast members processing to the Divine Liturgy

Sister Lydia Anna Sawka, OSBM with young SUMA members

Speaking on behalf of the Sisters of St. Basil who were hosting the event, Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, welcomed the pilgrims to the holy grounds of the monastery, noting that "we gather together as a Church—one with the communion of the saints, one with the living and the dead, one with each other as we encounter the living Christ." She concluded her welcome with a prayer that the blessings received at the Pilgrimage "extend far beyond ourselves and may we be an example of the living Christ as we spread peace and love."

Arriving pilgrims partook in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and then gathered as a community for the traditional procession to the auditorium for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Among the many participating in the solemn procession were young people representing Plast and SUMA, men and women who have attended the pilgrimage for decades, children and adults of all ages, neighbors and friends of the Sisters—all united in faith and all focused intently on the shared blessings of the day.

Sisters and Pilgrims during Divine Liturgy

Most Reverend Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford celebrant of the Divine Liturgy and concelebrant Bishop Emeritus Basil Losten

Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the Most Reverend Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford, and concelebrated by Bishop Emeritus Basil Losten; Very Rev. Phillip Sandrick, OSBM; Very Rev. Archpriest Daniel Troyan; Very Rev. Ivan Demkiv; and Rev. Msgr. Mitrat Martin Canavan, who also delivered the homily. In keeping with this year’s pilgrimage theme, Msgr. Canavan spoke on reconciliation as a path to leading a life in Christ, highlighting the role of Mary, the Mother of God, as guide and protector during this journey. Responses to the liturgy were sung the choir from Holy Spirit Church in Chester, Pennsylvania.

A healing prayer and anointing ceremony followed the Divine Liturgy, again emphasizing the importance of healing and reconciliation. As each pilgrim came forward, he or she received a special blessing by name as the Sisters intoned the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

Rev. Msgr. Mitrat Martin Canavan delivering his homily during Divine Liturgy

Very Rev. Ivan Demkiv giving the anointing of healing to Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, Provincial

In the afternoon, pilgrims gathered at the Basilian Spirituality Center for a special presentation by Sister Ann Laszok on the Sacrament of Penance. Moleben commenced with the procession of the freshman class of Saint Basil Academy to the auditoroium. Moleben was celebrated by Bishop Paul Chomnycky, with several clergy from the Archeparchy concelebrating and the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great singing responses. Rev. Joseph Szupa delivered the homily, reflecting on the tropar for the Feast of Pokrov (Protection of the Mother of God) and the icon of the Mother of God emphasizing that just as a mother looks over her family so, too, does Mary watch over and protect us. It is through Mary that we go to Jesus.

The Sisters are grateful to and honored by all who participated in the holy gathering—the hierarchy, clergy, sisters, Plast and SUMA, the Saint Basil Academy girls, volunteers, and laity. We ask for special blessings of God on each and every one of you.

Rev. Robert Hitchens giving the anointing to a young Plast member after Divine Liturgy

Rev. Msgr. Mitrat Martin Canavan and Very Rev. Archpriest Daniel Troyan anointing Pilgrims after Divine Liturgy

Basilian Sisters singing responses during Moleben

St. Basil Academy Freshman class process to Moleben along with Sister Germaine Senita, OSBM

Rev. Joseph Szupa delivering the homily during moleben.

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