HomeNewsPrestigious award for Sisters of St. Basil

Prestigious award for Sisters of St. Basil

The Sisters of Saint Basil the Great recently received Catholic Extension Society’s 2023-24 Lumen Christi Award during a celebratory dinner at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown. The award is the highest honor given by Catholic Extension to a person or institution.

“I’m proud to be a Sister of Saint Basil the Great,” said Sister Joann Sosler, Provincial Superior. “I can say that (this award) has definitely united all the Sisters within the Order. We feel as one. When one part of the body is in pain, the others do what we can do to alleviate that pain. Being a part of the effort to pray for Ukraine definitely emphasizes that we need to contribute as much as possible.”

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The Sisters received the award for their humanitarian efforts during the war in Ukraine. When the war began, they began by helping with the evacuation of residents. In Ukraine, they visited the elderly and delivered bags of supplies, food, drinking water and cooking gas. They became a shelter to people fleeing occupied territories, and housed women and children whose husbands had been conscripted into military service.

In Philadelphia, the Sisters shine the light of Christ not only by organizing donations to their fellow Sisters in Ukraine. The Saint Basil Support Ministry, set up by Sister Teodora Kopyn, OSBM, helps hundreds of families in the Philadelphia area.

Sister Kopyn takes donations she receives and delivers them throughout Kensington, which is at the center of the opioid crisis. She pulls up in her minivan and distributes everything from food and clothing to comfort. 

“The Sisters made such a contribution and are doing so today in Philadelphia and I think it’s wonderful that Catholic Extension is recognizing them,” said Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic  Archeparchy of Philadelphia. “The Sisters are there, showing the face of Jesus and seeing the face of Jesus in the eyes of the most destitute. We’re very grateful for the Sisters and their mission.”

Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, added, “God calls us to go where people are suffering and (the Sisters) are doing it so beautifully. Our purpose is to be with people like you to make sure God’s presence is among the poor.” Anyone interested in supporting the Sisters’ mission may do so by making a donation online at stbasils.com or mailing a check payable to “Sisters of St. Basil” to 710 Fox Chase Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046. ••

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