The Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy on the 70th anniversary of the centralization of Basilian Sisters

Thursday, 03 June 2021, 13:40
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the Basilian Sisters all over the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the promulgation of the decree of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches which united all the Basilian Sisters into one Order of papal right. On this occasion, in the Basilica of St. Sophia's in Rome a Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy was attended by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

The solemn Divine Liturgy was concelebrated by the Most Reverend Dionysius Lachovicz – Apostolic Visitator for the Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Italy and by the Most Reverend Giorgio Demetrio Gallaro, Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Other co-celebrants included Fr. Genesis Viomar, Protoarchimandrite of the Basilian Order, Fr. Luis Cassian, Rector of the Papal Ukrainian Collegium of St. Josaphat, and priests of the Byzantine and Roman rites.

Consecrated religious attending from the Order of Sisters of St. Basil the Great were General Superior M. Marcela Runcan, General Councilors Sr. Emanujila Vishka, Sr. Terenya Shynal and Sr. Mykolaya Romakh. In addition to the members of the General Administration also present were Basilian Sisters ministering in Rome, Catechist Sisters of St. Ann, Franciscan Sisters, students of the Papal Collegium and other guests. Hundreds of Basilian Sisters had the opportunity to prayerfully join the event through a live stream.

During his pastoral homily, Bishop Dionysius Lachovicz emphasized the importance of love in the consecrated life, the love which is rooted in the unity of the Holy Trinity. Although this anniversary takes place during the crisis of a global pandemic, this crisis can be a moment of grace and blessing, a moment of hope. "Open wide your hearts also", Bishop Dionysius invited all present, quoting St. Paul (2 Cor 6:13).

After the Divine Liturgy, Cardinal Sandri addressed the Basilian Sisters, encouraging them to use the anniversary as an opportunity to return to their sources, to the spirituality and charism of St. Basil the Great. "For St. Basil, the monks were not a separate state, they were true Christians, those who love God the Father, who is the beginning and end of community life, in which Jesus Christ is the center and the Holy Spirit is the space," said the Cardinal.

Archimandrite M. Marcella Runcan OSBM thanked God and all those who, with their presence and help in organizational matters, contributed to the celebration of the 70th Anniversary Liturgy, especially Fr. Marko Semegen, Rector of the Basilica, and the Sisters from the Ukrainian Province mission community, ministering at the Basilica of St. Sofia. “Together with Mary today at this Liturgy we can say: «My soul gives glory to the Lord! » This anniversary is the opportunity to look back on our history, to be grateful for every moment of grace, to explore the courage and devotion of our predecessors and to move forward courageously, to be open to the needs of our time and to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

The Basilian Sisters have been a united Order since 1951, governed by the Constitutions approved by the Apostolic See, under the supreme leadership of the General Administration.


Reported by Sr. Emanujila Vishka OSBM,

General Councilor


Photos by Fr. Efrem Konchak OSBM


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