Eighty-Eighth Annual Pilgrimage
Sisters of St. Basil the Great, Jesus Lover of Humanity Province, Host Eighty-Eighth Annual Pilgrimage Honoring the Mother of God
Each year, the first Sunday in October, the Sisters of St. Basil the Great of the Jesus Lover of Humanity Province welcome hundreds of pilgrims to join them in veneration of the Blessed Virgin and partake in a multifaceted program that included spiritual as well as corporal nourishment, an opportunity to replenish the body and the soul, and a day to socialize with old friends and make new ones.
This year’s 88th Annual Pilgrimage honoring the Mother of God was held on Sunday, October 6, 2019. The theme selected was “The Unity of the Trinity: That all may be one through the intercession of the Mother of God”, a reminder of the Blessed Virgin’s role in the mystery and splendor of God’s love for us and His infinite compassion and understanding and willingness to forgive us and help us make better decisions and better choices in the year ahead.
A pilgrimage is a journey, and the first step of this year’s pilgrimage hosted by the Basilian Sisters began with the same first step taken by pilgrims over the past decades: the Mystery of Reconciliation (the Sacrament of Confession).
At 10:30 Mothers in Prayer intoned the rosary, a prelude to the procession from the Holy Trinity Chapel to the Faculty House Auditorium where a bilingual Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia, Borys Gudziak. Most Reverend Basil Losten, Most Reverend Paul Chomnycky, OSBM and Most Reverend Bohdan Danylo concelebrated with the Metropolitan. The liturgical experience was augmented by the beautiful voices of the visiting choir from the Ukrainian Catholic Shrine of the Holy Family in Washington, D.C. A contingent of the Knights of Columbus served as honor guard for the procession of the Metropolitan and other Ukrainian Hierarchy.
An official greeting from Provincial Superior Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM, followed and included an invitation to explore the monastery grounds, participate in the multifaceted program of activities planned for the day.
The afternoon began with Ukrainian cuisine and ample opportunity to socialize. Pilgrims enjoyed delicious holubtsi, varenyky, and baked goods while chatting with old friends and becoming acquainted with pleasant and interesting strangers who happened to be standing in line with them or sitting at the same table. Other pilgrims wandered about the grounds, visiting familiar sites or discovering new ones.
After refreshing the body, many pilgrims returned to the Basilian Spirituality Center for special presentations. Among these was a presentation by Sean McLaughlin, Director of the Spirituality Center, who spoke about the Basilian Sisters. The second presentation, given by Dr. Cathy Szul focused on Family Unity and Faith Development.
To end the day, two other traditional components of the annual pilgrimage began: a bilingual Moleben celebrated by Most Reverend Borys Gudziak and clergy. Most Reverend Borys Gudziak directed his homily to the sixty freshmen from Saint Basil Academy. Responses were sung by the Holy Family Choir from Washington, D.C. As in previous years, departing pilgrims were given a tangible and spiritual “God speed”—a sprinkling of holy water and a brief blessing—ensuring that all would arrive home safely.