Eighty-five Years Honoring the Mother of God (Pokrov)
For eighty-five years the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great have been hosting a Pilgrimage honoring the Mother of God on the grounds of their Motherhouse. This year hundreds of pilgrims seeking spiritual nourishment joined the Sisters with the Theme: “Mother of Mercy: Celebrating a Year of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis.”
Throughout the day pilgrims availed themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) prior to the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. The pilgrims also had an opportunity to enter the doors of Holy Trinity Chapel which had been designated as Holy Doors during this Year of Mercy. Our guests were also encouraged to venerate the icon and relic of Bishop, Maryr and Confessor Mykola Charnetskyi, which was placed for this purpose on the tetrapod in Holy Trinity Chapel. Another featured event was a vocation presentation and display offered by Rev. Paul Makar in the Basilian Spirituality Center. The pilgrimage also featured a children’s program and a screening of Documentary on the Life and Times of His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar.
As always the highlight of the day was the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which was presided over by the Most Reverend John Bura, Auxillary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Bishop Emeritus Basil Losten, Very Rev. Basil Salkovski, Provincial of the Basilian Fathers, the Sister’s Chaplain Msgr. Peter Waslo, and Very Reverend Archpriest Mykhailo Kuzma from the Chicago Eparchy. A procession of the hierarchy, clergy and representatives from Plast and the UAYA (SUM) preceded the Divine Liturgy. Responses were sung the choir from St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Trenton under the direction of Roman Kuczarskyy. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Grace, Bishop Bura expressed gratitude to the Sisters for providing this opportunity for spiritual enrichment for the faithful of the Archeparchy. Thanks were also extended to the hierarchy, clergy, and, especially the Faithful and youth present.
Very Rev. Archpriest Myhailo Kuzma gave the homily at the Divine Liturgy. In his homily, Father Kuzma spoke of the need to see Christ in all persons – even in those we may have a difficult time loving. He explained that this is what mercy means. It was a message Rev. Kuzma repeated at the Moleben, speaking directly to the Freshman class from Saint Basil Academy as well as to all the pilgrims, stressing once again that we must love everyone – especially those we find difficult to love. He challenged the young women from SBA to go forth and be beacons of this love. A special healing anointing was offered by the hierarchy and clergy after the Moleben.
Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, Provincial Superior, welcomed all the pilgrims, the youth, and the clergy, inviting them to enter the doors of mercy to receive a special blessing and to carry that blessing and mercy to all whom they encounter not only today but every day. Just a question here . . . when did you do this? Is it presented here as a matter of sequence or as a matter of humility? If the latter, you should move to where it fits sequentially).
The Sisters are grateful to and honored by all who participated in the holy gathering. We ask for special blessings of God on each and every one of our guests and we look forward to seeing all of you at next year’s pilgrimage (or sooner).