“I am a servant of the Lord”

Basilian Sisters honored at Jubilee Celebration

by The Sisters of St. Basil the Great
Mount St. Macrina, Uniontown, Pa.

Each year, the entire community of the Sisters of St. Basil sets aside time for community sharing and for updates by its leadership on issues of concern and interest to the membership.

Being together as a total community is a great delight for all; the added voices in the chapel and the camaraderie during mealtimes all give witness to the joyfulness of this special week in the summer.

Community days are also a time when the anniversaries of entrance in religious life are celebrated. The day chosen for the celebration this year was Tuesday, July 19, the Feast of St. Macrina. Rev. Jerome Botsko, Monastery Chaplain, and Rev. Kevin Marks, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving.

“I am the servant of the Lord!” These words stirred our hearts as Father Kevin Marks as guest concelebrant and homilist, addressed the Jubilarians and the community in the Monastery Chapel at Mount St. Macrina.

A servant of the Lord, stated Father Kevin, is a person open to listening to the Lord’s word, eager to do what is good.

He went on to note that this is best exemplified in the life of Mary, the Mother of God, the first and best of all the disciples.

These Jubilarians, as vowed religious, are servants in a unique way. Their service has comprised various ministries ranging from education and parish ministry to administration, leadership, and international and eparchial level ministry.

These Sisters have truly been “servants of the Lord,” offering a total of 405 years of a praying, healing and life-giving ministry to our Byzantine Catholic Church and beyond.
Father Kevin encouraged the Jubilarians to continue being this eloquent sign, to let the holiness of God always shine through them. Finally, he offered to the Jubilarians the congratulations of Metropolitan William Skurla together with his own personal congratulations on this joyful occasion.

Diamond Jubilarian Sister Bernarda Sevachko entered the community from St. Nicholas parish in Youngstown, Ohio. Her first 45 years of service were devoted to the teaching apostolate. The following 30 years, she had been active in pastoral and catechetical ministry for the five Byzantine Catholic parishes in the Youngstown area. There, her ministry was marked by her enthusiasm and unflagging energy. Following the completion of this ministry, Sister Bernarda returned to the Mount where she continues to offer service wherever needed with liveliness and vitality.

Celebrating 70 years of Ministry: Sister Dolores Ann Vanischak, Sister Valeria Evanyo and Sister Helen Schott

Sister Dolores Ann joined the Community from SS. Peter and Paul in Braddock, Pa. Since 1984, she has been in charge of the Monastery Library.

In past years, Sister Dolores Ann was very active in the Fayette County Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and served alternately as the society’s president and secretary for many years.

Sister Valeria is a former member of St. John the Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pa. Following her assignments in teaching, Sister Valeria worked at the Vatican in the Secretariat of State and at the Generalate in Rome. Later, she served in the Eparchy of Parma as secretary to the late Archbishop Basil Schott.

Currently, Sister Valeria offers supportive services at Patronage of Our Lady Convent in Pittsburgh.

Sister Helen entered the community from St. John in Hazleton, Pa. Besides teaching and health care ministries, she served in leadership as Councilor and then as Provincial for two terms.

At Mt. Macrina Manor, she held the post of Director of Nursing, before returning to the Monastery as Health Director for the community.

Celebrating 60 years of Ministry: Sister Elizabeth Jane Tepley and Sister Ruth Plante

Sister Elizabeth Jane came to the community from St. Mary in Trauger, Pa. After devoting her energies for over 30 years to teaching, Sister Elizabeth Jane moved on to parish ministry at St. John the Baptist Church in Uniontown, Pa., a ministry which was very dear to her heart.

Presently, Sister Elizabeth Jane devotes her time and energy to the Card Shop and Prayer Ministry at the monastery.

Sister Ruth entered the community from St. John the Baptist Church, now located in Trumbull, Conn. Like many of the Sisters, Sister Ruth served as teacher and principal for a number of years. She then served in administration as a Councilor before being elected as Provincial for two terms, and an additional term in 2015.

Currently, much of Sister Ruth’s energy and ministry is focused on managing the Religious Gift Shop at the Mount.

Each of the Sister Jubilarians has actively served the Church in a variety of ways. Each Sister, by her fidelity and commitment witnesses to the Good News of Jesus, touching countless lives.

At the festive meal following the Divine Liturgy, Provincial Sister Susan Sisko congratulated the Sisters and thanked them for their lives of prayer, witness, and service. Others offered personal tributes to each Jubilarian, highlighting the special and unique gifts each brought to her ministry.


Front row: Sister Dolores Ann Vanischak and Sister Helen Schott. Middle row: Sister Valeria Evanyo; Sister Elizabeth Jane Tepley; Sister Susan Sisko, Provincial; Sister Ruth Plante; and Sister Bernarda Sevachko. Back row: Rev. Jerome Botsko, Monastery Chaplain and Rev. Kevin Marks.