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Sister Bohdonna Podney — 1916-2017

Sr. Mary BaydaBorn in Chicago, Illinois, on January 9, 1916, Bohdonna Stephanie Podney was the daughter of Nicholas and Tekla Romanowich (Chaikovsky) Podney. The family, which also included siblings John and Laverne, were parishioners of Chicago’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral.

Sister Bohdanna entered monastic life at the age of 17 (February 5, 1933), becoming a member of the community of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province in Philadelphia. She made her first profession on August 28, 1935. Two years later, His Excellency Bishop Buchko received her final vows.

Soon after entering the Order, Sister Bohdanna embarked on an educational journey that was to shape the rest of her life and the lives of all those she lived with and worked with and taught. Almost immediately after entering the community, Sister enrolled at Rosemont College. The next step of her educational journey was the community’s House of Studies in Washington, D.C., where she attended the Catholic University of America and earned a BS in Chemistry. She followed this achievement by earning a teaching certification from Villanova University and then returned to Catholic University where she upgraded her BS in Chemistry to an MS in Chemistry. At a time when it was unusual for women to attend college at all, she was among the first in the community to pursue advanced doctoral studies (at Villanova University); her doctoral dissertation was entitled “Free Radicals from Perlargonia, Pentadecanoic and Octadeconis Anhydrides.” But her interests included artistic as well as intellectual challenges; Sr. Bohdonna was also a certified ceramics teacher, holding a degree in this genre from Montclair State College in New Jersey. In later years, she continued to expand her horizons by teaching herself about the intricacies of the internet and other modern-day media.

Sister Bohdonna’s ministries were as diverse as her education, but focused predominately on education. She served as teacher and/or principal at St. Basil Academy in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania; at St. John the Baptist School in Pittsburgh, Pa., St. John the Baptist School in Newark, New Jersey; at SS Peter and Paul in Parma, Ohio; and at St. John the Baptist School in Northampton, Pa.. She later served as professor of Chemistry and Biology at Manor Junior College, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Basil the Great and is now Manor College.

Sister Bohdonna served as Provincial Superior of the Jesus Lover of Humanity Province twice: a one-year term from 1954 to 1955 and a five-year term from 1970 to 1975. In 1981 she was appointed by then General Superior Sister Emilia Prokopic to serve as foundress of a new Basilian delegature in Mississauga, Canada. This was a long-term assignment (1981 to 2002) during which Sister Bohdonna found it prudent and expedient to become a citizen of Canada as well as a citizen of the United States, thus becoming one of the few people in either country to hold dual citizenship. Sister Bohdonna was also an active member of the Rosary Organization and the Ukrainian Foundation.

After a long illness, Sister Bohdonna Stephanie Podney, OSBM, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, just two months after celebrating her 101th birthday. Visitation and Funeral Liturgy were held at the Holy Trinity Chapel on the grounds of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great in Fox Chase Manor, Pennsylvania. Internment followed at the Sisters’ cemetery. Predeceased by her parents, her brother John Podney, and her sister Laverne Podney Arnold, Sister Bohdonna is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

Among those who will miss this strong and remarkable woman are the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus, Lover of Humanity Province, who worked with her and lived with her and prayed with her and learned from her. The eulogy delivered by Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, underscored Sister Bohdonna’s diverse and far-reaching interests, her pioneering spirit, her eagerness to learn and teach new things and new concepts, her boundless appreciation for the universe and nature, an appreciation that propelled Sister Bohdonna to practice and teach conservation and respect for the earth we inhabit. Sr. Dorothy Ann also reminded those present of Sr. Bohdonna as a woman of foresight who, as Provincial Superior, mandated that all the Sisters under her charge should sign up for Social Security, a practice that was not universally adopted by other religious orders until much later. Sister Dorothy Ann also praised Sister Bohdonna as a fearless trailblazer “who led us through the challenges of Vatican II.” But the most telling comment in the eulogy focused not on the political nor pragmatic but rather on the human condition at its core: “You taught us the value of being cheerful and happy because you learned that unhappiness is determined not by our circumstances but by disposition.”

 

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

 

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