“Gifts of the Spirit”

Jubilee Celebration at Mount St. Macrina


Front row: Sister Theodosia Alishofski, Sister Theresa Bavol and Sister Petronilla Puhak. Back row: Sister Elaine Kisinko, Sister Ruth Plante and Sister Caroll Petrasovich.

In a spirit of gratitude and with great joy, the total community of the Sisters of St. Basil gathered July 30 in Uniontown, Pa. to celebrate the 405 years of dedicated service to God. Each of the Sisters in her own unique way expressed her commitment to be a praying, healing and life-giving presence in our Metropolitan Church and in the world beyond.

Sister Mary Ann Vasilchek, as the senior of the group, celebrated 75 years as a Basilian Sister. Throughout her religious life, Sister Mary Ann was called upon to serve as a teacher and catechist as well as to offer supportive services for the Sisters in the parish missions.

Sisters from the Monastery joined in celebration at Mt. Macrina Manor. In the Manor Chapel an abbreviated service of the Akathist to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was sung by the Sisters Following this, all gathered in the Oaks Dining Room to congratulate Sister Mary Ann, to enjoy refreshments and to share stories.

Sister Theodosia Alishofski, Sister Theresa Bavol, and Sister Petronilla Puhak each marked 70 years of joyful service as Sisters of St. Basil. Serving for most of their religious life as teachers in the parish schools, each Sister then moved on to parish and/or pastoral ministry.

Sister Theodosia is presently serving in parish ministry in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and surrounding parishes. While visiting the sick is the primary focus of this ministry, she also is involved in catechetical ministry in the parish. Sister Theodosia’s gift as an iconographer is evident in the many icons that can be seen around the monastery.

After serving in parish schools for close to 50 years, Sister Theresa and Sister Petronilla are both now sharing their gifts of compassionate care at Mt. Macrina Manor. There, each Sister brings a ray of light to the residents who look forward to their presence. This same spirit also brings comfort to the families of residents, especially when the Lord comes to take their loved ones home to Himself. Both Sister Theresa and Sister Petronilla share with the residents of the Manor, the same loving presence that were theirs as teachers.

Sister Elaine Kisinko and Sister Carol Petrasovich also began their ministry as Sisters of St Basil in the educational apostolate, both serving as teacher and principal for a number of years. Other and varied ministries then became part of their lives which included serving on the Provincial Council.

Presently Sister Elaine serves as secretary to Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla, the third Archbishop whom she was called to serve in this capacity. Added to her responsibilities for the Archeparchy, Sister Elaine is the copy editor for The Byzantine Catholic World. Sister Carol, whose background is in Formative Spirituality, continues in her position as Director of the House of Prayer. Offering spiritual direction individually, retreats and workshops is the main focus of this ministry.

Additionally, Sister Carol is the coordinator for the annual Pilgrimage. The epistle read at the Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving was from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which he speaks of the gifts of the spirit. In listening to this reading, one could not help but reflect upon the many gifts poured out in the lives of our Sister Jubilarians.

At the festive dinner following the Liturgy, Sister Ruth Plante, Provincial, congratulated the Jubilarians and thanked them for so generously offering the treasures of their gifts throughout these many years. For all of them, she wished that each could now draw interest from this treasury, as they continue to be a praying, healing and life-giving presence.