Basilian Sisters Celebrate Jubilees
Marking significant milestones as members of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great were Sisters Gabriel Suszko, OSBM, celebrating 75 years; Sister Marina Bochnewich, OSBM, celebrating 65 years and Sister Susanne Matwijiw, OSBM, celebrating 55 years. Reverend Edward Higgins, Confessor for the Sisters and Pastor of Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in South Philadelphia, officiated at the Divine Liturgy of thanksgiving.
Prior to receiving the Holy Eucharist, each jubilarian, hand upon the Bible, emphasized her unwavering dedication to live the monastic life as a Basilian by once again pronouncing her vow to live her religious life as a member of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great until death.
At the celebratory dinner that followed, the jubilarians were greeted and congratulated by the members of their community. Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, commended each individual jubilarian for her many years of faithful service to God, the Order and the Faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church with the words “Sisters all of your lives are a deep reflection of Christ’s love. Your story is a love story – one reflected in Scripture – 1 Corinthians.”
Sister Gabriel, now retired, is from Keiser, PA and has served well in many parishes in New York, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania throughout her 75 years.
Sister Marina from Yonkers, NY has travelled many roads geographically as a principal and/or as a teacher in Syracuse, Arnold, Hamtramck, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Sister Marina attended the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She was the forerunner for the Basilian Pastoral Ministry Team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sister returned back to Fox Chase as Director of the Basilian Spirituality Center.
Sister Susanne’s teaching career led her to Hamtramck, Olyphant, Philadelphia and then finally to Fox Chase where she has served at Saint Basil Academy for close to forty years. Many young women have left the Academy with at least a rudimentary grasp of the Ukrainian alphabet; have an understanding of Ukrainian history and can say as least “Slava Isusu Christu.” This past year Sister Susanne took the girls even deeper with instructions in the spirituality and writing of icons.
Sister Dorothy Ann assured the Sisters that “if you ever start to doubt yourself and the beauty of your life…if you ever doubt the love you’ve been and given in God’s name – just look around at the admiration and love in the eyes of the Sisters. Look around at the respect and remembrance that your students have for you. Look around and remember the love God has for you.”