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Sisters Win Lumen Christi Award!

November 2, 2023
Posted in: News

The Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great have been awarded the 2023 Lumen Christi Award from Catholic Extension Society. The Lumen Christi Award was created in 1978 to highlight those who radiate the light of Christ in the communities where they serve. Archbishop Borys Gudziak submitted the Basilian Sisters for consideration.  “They stand with those caught in the middle of war. They stand, simply and profoundly, as the Lumen Christi, the light of Christ serving as Jesus would.” Catholic Extension said.

In the U.S., over 10,000 Ukrainians have arrived in the Philadelphia area since the full-scale Russian invasion began in February 2022. The St. Basil Support Ministry, directed by Sister Teodora Kopyn, immediately jumped into action. The Support Ministry was founded in December 2020 during the COVID pandemic to provide food, clothing, and other necessities to those in need. The number of clients grew exponentially in 2022 as word spread among Ukrainian refugees in the Philadelphia area, pushing the Support Ministry to its limits. Fortunately, Sister Teodora is closely assisted by Sister Monica Lesnick, Sister Olga Marie Faryna, and a dedicated corps of lay volunteers, some of whom are themselves refugees. This talented team works assiduously week after week to serve the Support Ministry’s clients.

For the last year and a half in Ukraine, the work of Holy Trinity Province in Ukraine has focused on war victims. Since February 2022, about 5 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, while about 6 million have fled the country altogether. Moreover, the number of people in Ukraine needing humanitarian assistance in 2023 is estimated to be 17.6 million. In the early days of the war, the Sisters of Holy Trinity Province were helping people leave Ukraine for safety abroad by driving them to the border. Simultaneously, they were opening their monasteries to those seeking shelter–a concrete expression of harboring the harborless.

Credit Catholic Extension

Between the American and Ukrainian provinces, the Sisters of St. Basil the Great have been ministering to Ukrainian war victims on both sides of the Atlantic. They began this work in the earliest days of the invasion and have not wavered. For this reason, Archbishop Borys nominated the Sisters for the Lumen Christi Award. Catholic Extension announced a field of 41 nominees in June, and in August it was pared down to seven finalists. The Sisters were announced the winner in October, and they are grateful beyond words to Archbishop Borys, Catholic Extension, and all their friends and supporters.
To read more from the Catholic Extension on the 2023 Lumen Christi Award, please visit