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Sr. Bernarda’s Legacy

February 18, 2020
Posted in: News

Sr. Bernarda’s Legacy

The Basilian Volunteer Program has continued Sr. Bernarda’s work of visiting and bringing help to the orphans and the needy of Ukraine ever since she “retired” at age 90. An additional element added to this program has been the weeklong English Catechetical camps held in various regions of Ukraine for the last 5 years.

Another spin-off of Sr. Bernarda’s work include people who have offered to support the orphanages visited by the Sisters by sending clothes, pampers, toiletries, and other supplies during the year. One such person, Olga Shonk Alvino, while battling cancer, has been making quilts for the last ten years and sending them at her own expense to orphanages in eastern and western Ukraine.

She recently wrote: “Thank you, Sister, for helping me get these quilts and other items to the needy orphanages. I was fortunate to have met Sr. Bernarda at St George Church in the lower east side (NYC). She told me that she goes to Ukraine annually to visit the orphans. At that moment my mind was made up that I had found my calling to make quilts for the orphans. I promised to use my time well to help the orphans and so the last ten years have gone by and I have been blessed. She inspired me.”

Sr Ann Laszok, OSBM and Sr. Monica Lesnick, OSBM will be shepherding eight or nine volunteers to Poltava, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Mukachevo for three English Catechetical camps along with visits to orphanages.

For more information on volunteering or supporting the Basilian Volunteer Program contact Sr. Ann at or call (412) 260-1607.

Photos: Olga Alvino packaging her tenth year quilts to Zaporizija and Buchach; Sr. Eustasia, OSBM (с.Євстахія Романчук, ЧСВВfrom Запоріжжя) along with Caritas personnel send thank you’s for the packages