History and Sisters of Saint Basil

The Order of the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great is a community of women dedicated to the spiritual and educational pursuits of the people of God. Founded in the fourth century by Saint Basil the Great and his sister, Saint Macrina, the community is a religious order of the Eastern Catholic Church.

Saint Basil and Saint Macrina urged their followers to be co-workers with God in the task of developing the potential of each human being through education and the development of the whole person. The Basilian tradition spread throughout Asia Minor and Europe, and by the 11th Century, this tradition became rooted in Ukraine.

The community at Fox Chase Manor was established in 1911 when the sisters were invited to come to Philadelphia to open an orphanage and a school. The young Mother Helena (only 32 years of age) was the first to volunteer for this mission. Mother Helena became the American Foundress as she journeyed with two companions to The United States.

Upon their arrival in Philadelphia, the sisters met the needs of the time teaching religion, language, and culture to Ukrainian immigrants. Evening schools gave way to the establishment of local parochial schools. In addition to a printing house, an orphanage was founded; a high school for girls (Saint Basil Academy), a college (Manor College) and a Basilian Spirituality Center.

The Sisters continue to serve at Saint Basil Academy today, bringing their witness to Eastern Catholic spirituality and their life-long love of educating young women to face the challenges of the world in which they live and work.



Saint Basil Academy was a college preparatory school for young women. Established by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great and rooted in the Ukrainian Byzantine tradition of the Catholic Church, the Academy was dedicated to creating an environment nourished by the values promulgated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Academy’s core mission was to enable young women to develop to the fullest of their Christian potential. With this in mind, we strived to educate the whole person through a process that integrates faith with excellence in education, thus promoting an appreciation of the inherent beauty of creation while encouraging our students to espouse a commitment to improving their world.


We believe in challenging students to form personal moral values based on Christian teaching, thus deepening the students’ understanding of Christ and their call to faith in Him.