Celebrating a century of ministry

Editor | January 3, 2020

The Sisters of St. Basil of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province are planning a yearlong celebration to commemorate a Century of Ministry in the Byzantine Catholic Church in America.

Founded on Jan. 19, 1921, the years of the Province closely parallel the years of our Church and its people. Very Rev. Gabriel Martyak, Apostolic Administrator, invited Mother Macrina Melnychuk, who was Superior in Philadelphia at that time, to form a second branch of the Order to serve the people of Ruthenian descent. Mother Macrina and two other Sisters accepted this invitation to begin a new foundation for this purpose.

The initial help for the new foundation came from Father Joseph Hanulya, pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Father provided a 10-room house which became the first formal novitiate. As did the others who came to this new land, they immediately went to work. Initially, the small community began caring for orphan children; later including teaching and catechesis.

The Greek Catholic Union played a significant part in the lives of the Sisters and the Greek Catholic faithful. In order to care for the many orphans, the GCU built St. Nicholas Orphanage in Elmhurst, Pa. The Sisters responded to the call of the GCU to staff this institution. Continue reading

Christmas says, “You are loved”

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | January 3, 2020

Pope Francis celebrates Jesus’ birth in Dec. 24 homily. VATICAN CITY — Christmas night tells each person, no matter how poor or sinful, that they are utterly and totally loved by God, Pope Francis said as he celebrated Jesus’ birth. … Continue reading

Getting into the habit of kindness

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick | January 3, 2020

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick posts videos of her reflections each week at the Facebook of the Sisters of St. Basil the Great. View them at: https://www.facebook.com/sistersofstbasil.uniontown/. This is a transcript of her July 13, 2019 reflection and is Part 4 … Continue reading

What do you do with the mad that you feel?

David Mayernik Jr. | January 3, 2020

There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” in which writer Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) asks Joanne Rogers (Maryann Plunkett), the wife of Fred Rogers, if it’s difficult living with a saint. Joanne is taken aback by the … Continue reading

St. Nicholas celebration

Editor | January 3, 2020

Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Greensburg, Pa. held its annual namesake St. Nicholas Day celebration with a Dec. 8 lunch in the church hall. Father Regis Dusecina is pastor. It started in church before the Liturgy, where a group … Continue reading

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MIROVANIJE: THE ANOINTING WITH HOLY OIL: A Traditional Custom of the BYZANTINE RITE

On solemn Holydays, the faithful of the Byzantine Rite are anointed with holy oil and receive a piece of bread blessed for this sacramental on the vigil of the feast. This venerable custom among the Ruthenians is known as ” Mirovanije” or an anointing. It is a remnant of two distinct practices of ancient times, the all-night vigils held in the church and the lighting of the oil lamps in front of the icon of the Feast. In order to better understand this relatively simple ceremony of the anointing, an explanation of the all-night vigil with Litija and that of the lighting of the lamp of oil in front of the icon of the feast is necessary. Continue reading