On Sunday, November 20, the Perth parish celebrated the feast of Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska
Sunday, November 20, according to our church calendar, was a special day for our entire Greek Catholic Church, especially for the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, because on this day Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska – the founder of this congregation – was born. It is interesting that the Congregation of Servant Sisters is the largest monastic female congregation (more than 1,000 nuns) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which was founded in 1892. The Sisters also carry out their service in Australia, in particular, in the city of Perth (Western Australia) Sister Nikodema Zemliak, SSMI, serves.
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On the occasion of the birthday of the founder of the largest women’s congregation in the parish of St. John the Baptist in the city of Perth, Father Ihor Holovko, the rector of the church, celebrated the festive Divine Liturgy.
In his sermon, the father spoke about the life path of Blessed Sister Josaphata. In particular, he emphasized that the image of the blessed is intertwined with the image of St. Mary MacKillop, an Australian Saint: “These two holy women were similar in that they devoted a large part of their lives to helping those in need. However, first of all they were similar in the way that despite all the trials that occur on the life path of every Christian, they did not lose their obedience to the church and their superiors. These women were above all devoted to Christ, serving Him and His church.”
The pastor also emphasized that sister Josaphat founded the congregation, which was primarily aimed at serving the needy. And then he continued: “The sisters gathered orphans around them, taught them literacy and the Word of God, and also served all the sick. Such openness and closeness to the needy people, in fact, gathered so many sisters in their time and to this day. The Sisters are motivating congregation for many vocations who want to devote their lives to the service of people.”
At the end of the Liturgy, Sister Nikodema Zemliak, SSMI, also addressed the faithful, asking that people continue to ask for the intercession of Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska in various needs: “We not only believe in miracles, but we also know that the saints intercede for us in all our needs, because they are near the throne of God Most High and pray for all of us who travel here on earth.”
On this day, the entire parish united in prayer and asked for special intercession from blessed Josaphata for the Ukrainian people, who at this time are facing severe trials – the war. They also prayed for the parish, for new vocations to the monastic state, in particular to the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, for the health of all the sisters and their service in the world. Everyone said in unison: “Venerable Sister Josaphata Hordashevska, pray to God for us sinners.”