Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 15, 1999
Basilians find room for new students
By PAUL PRYSTAJECKY
Special to the WCR
A group of Ukrainian Catholic monks has taken over the former convent of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Fourteen men preparing to serve as members of the Order of St. Basil the Great of St. Josaphat are now living at the former St. Vincent Convent, now a monastery, at 12909-113 Ave.
In 1997, Father Dionysius Lachovicz, general superior of the Basilians, announced the re-establishment of a house of studies for the order in Canada.
This announcement ended a period of more than 20 years in which vocations to the Canadian province of the order were educated outside the country.
The first students were housed at St. Basil's Monastery, near St. Basil's Church in south Edmonton, in 1997.
In 1998 and 1999, more students arrived from Ukraine and, in June 1999, the order bought the convent from the Sisters of Charity to accommodate not only the current students, but to have room to grow in the future.
Currently, six students of the Canadian province of the order and eight from the American province live in the residence.
On Sept. 26, Bishop Lawrence Huculak, himself a Basilian, blessed the house of studies. About 400 people attended the blessing and an open house.
The liturgy included the Order of the Blessing of a New Monastery during which the bishop and the co-celebrants sprinkled holy water in the main rooms of the monastery. All others in attendance remained in the chapel and the student brothers chanted psalms.
After the prayer service, a program was held during which Father Matthew Drury, director of the house of studies, had each of the students, most of whom have immigrated from Ukraine, introduce themselves.
As well, one of the Sisters of Charity said the Basilian purchase of the building was an answer to the sisters' prayers who wanted it to continue to be used "for the mission of Jesus Christ."
One of the Basilians, Serafym Hryhoruk, will make his solemn profession of monastic vows Nov. 14 at the 11 a.m. Divine Liturgy at St. Basil's Church.