Lizabeth Scott was born in 1922 into a Carpatho-Rusyn family in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. She was born Emma Matzo, the eldest child of John and Mary (Penyak) Matzo. Her parents were Ruthenian immigrants from *Dubrinics, later Bercsényifalva in Ung County, Austro-Hungary (present day Dubrynychi, Ukraine). Her father came to the United States in 1914. By 1920 he was working as a chauffeur for his brother in law John Munchak's retail grocery business. John Matzo was the son of Alexander and Anna (Gotolich) Maczo. He married the former Mary Penyak on January 27, 1921 at St. Mary's Greek (Byzantine) Catholic Church on 310 Mifflin Avenue in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Mary was the daughter of Peter and Julia (Stegwarn) Penyak. By August of 1927 John was self-employed. He had a combination grocery store and home constructed on Ash and Capouse Avenue in the Pine Brook section of Scranton for a cost of $17,000. Emma's father died in 1968 at the age of 74 after being stricken with a heart attack at his home. He was survived by his widow; daughter Emma; and sons, John and Augustine.
This institution began operating on September 1, 1922. The school, convent and chapel were consecrated and blessed at the same time. After the dedication Mass, the Ruthenian Ladies Guild offered a concert in honor of Monsignor Nicholas. The guild named him the “Founder of the Boarding School and Protector of the Basilian Sisters.” The initial sisters who came to Presov were Mother M. Magadalene Humeniuk, Mother M. Irene Oleksiuk, Sister M. Basil Hlibovicky, Sister M. Marciana Matiyas and Sister M. Agnes Czenkner. With Monsignor Nicholas’ guidance and support, the sisters began their ministry to educate Greek Catholic youth and to administer orphanages. This work continues in Presov. The Sisters of Saint Basil are the major Greek Catholic religious women’s order to our present day.
Seeing the need for a bishop in the Eparchy, he appealed for assistance. On October 27, 1922, Bishop Dionysius Nyaradi was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Presov by the Holy See. Bishop Nyaradi reappointed Monsignor Nicholas in his post as his talents were critically needed. By 1930, the tide of upheaval had dissolved, the faithful saw through the agitation of the dissenters. During this period the Presov Greek Catholic Eparchy counted approximately 140,000 members. Realizing the need for education, Monsignor Nicholas will be forever remembered as establishing the Basilian Sisters within the Eparchy. On August 25, 1922 a convent was established. The idea to bring the sisters to Presov had originally been realized by Bishop Basil Takach during his days at the Uzhorod Seminary. Monsignor Nicholas expanded upon this idea. He began an orphanage along with a school for the education of Greek Catholic youth. Realizing this very important undertaking, the well-known Rusnak poetess from Ujak (Udol) Slovakia, Irena Nevicka, joined this endeavor. She was the President of the Ruthenian Ladies Guild and also requested more Basilian Sisters for Presov. Due to Mrs. Nevicka’s urging, more sisters arrived from the Basilian Sisters Motherhouse in Stanyslaviv, Galicia (present day Ivano-Frankivsk, Western Ukraine.) Mrs. Nevicka was also instrumental in making arrangements for these sisters to settle in Presov. Since there was no convent ready in Presov, Monsignor Nicholas vacated the Bishop’s Chancery. He permitted the sisters to utilize his own quarters as a convent and school. Requests for funding were sent far and wide. The Greek Catholic faithful in Slovakia and in America gave generously. In a very short period of time a new convent and school was firmly established.
On a rainy Saturday, October 4, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey, thousands of people attended the Beatification Mass of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich. This Mass was an especially exciting event for The Carpathian Connection. Co-editors Steven M. Osifchin and Joy E. Kovalycsik were personally invited by the Sisters of Charity of Convent Station, New Jersey to attend this never to be forgotten event and the luncheon held after the service. During 2012, TCC received permission from the Sisters of Charity to write an article about Sister Miriam. The Sisters provided TCC with documentation and historical reference materials so her Cause could be made known to a larger audience. TCC is extremely grateful that the Sisters of Charity invited us to experience this once in a lifetime Beatification Mass. The Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark scheduled the Mass to begin at 9:30 a.m. However, it was filling to capacity more than an hour prior. The vast section of attendees included religious Sisters from America, Slovakia and Poland, clergy and numerous faithful who came to witness the first Beatification Mass held on American soil. This served as a major step along Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich’s road to being declared a saint. The service began with a magnificent organ prelude Salvum Fac Populum Tuum (O Lord, save thy people.) By the time the Mass began, there no longer was seating in the Basilica. Ushers brought folding chairs into the rear of the Basilica but still, it was standing room only. The Essex County Sheriffs’ Officers assisted with crowd control and they did an outstanding job. The Basilica can seat over 3,000 people alone and they kept everything running smoothly.
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Bishop Gaganec now undertook the massive task of firmly establishing the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Presov. In time, due to his outstanding administrative abilities and tireless work, the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Presov would become the best managed of all Greek Catholic eparchies. He immediately looked to improve the Cathedral which was placed directly under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist. In 1846, he installed an iconostasis which is still in the Cathedral to this day. He also constructed a Bishops residence in 1848 and began a monthly stipend to the clergy from a Religious Fund known as “congruna.” He gave strict instructions to the clergy they were to be a good Christian example to everyone, that they be properly dressed, well-groomed and always continue to be educated.
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Bishop Bachinsky petitioned the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Religious Fund for financial assistance to convert the buildings and church for use by Greek Catholics. Generous funding was provided so that the Greek Catholic faithful would have a beautiful house of worship in Presov. Bishop Bachinsky also worked tirelessly to implement religious education classes for the faithful and a place where vocations to the priesthood could receive their studies. A man ahead of his time, he realized that Eparchy of Mukachevo in present day Ukraine could not oversee Greek Catholics in present day Slovakia. However, Bishop Bachinsky’s tenure was not without struggle and trials. The Bishops of Krizevci, Bishop Josaphat Bastasyc and later Bishop Sylvester Bubanovich were firmly against the creation of a vicariate in Presov. This was very painful for Bishop Bachinsky as he was the principal consecrator of Bishop Bastasyc. These bishops desired that all Greek Catholic churches in the outlying districts of Mukachevo Eparchy be incorporated under their administration. Bishop Bachinsky strongly protested these suggestions. He wanted Greek Catholics in Slovakia to have their own seat of administration on their own soil. As Bishop Bachinsky was well known at the Royal Court, Bishop Mitterparacher and Councilor Paul Rozzos were sent to investigate this matter. They concluded their report and issued it to the government in 1806. After a very lengthy review of all issues, the Royal Court sided with Bishop Bachinsky and decided to firmly establish a Greek Catholic Vicariate of Kosice and the new see of Presov in Slovakia.
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Bishop Bachinsky was a very well respected cleric known to the Royal Court in Vienna. He labored continuously for the advancement of his people and for the Greek Catholic Church. At the time of his installation, he was responsible for over 800 Greek Catholic parishes within his vicariate and the monastery of the Dominican Fathers in Kosice. The vicariate of Kosice was established in 1787 for Greek Catholics. This was necessary as previously they were under Roman Catholic administration. The decree of the Royal Court of July 17, 1787 approved this division. On January 13, 1790 Canon Michael Bradach was installed to assist Bishop Bachinsky in his duties. The Bradach family had a long history in these regions and their estate was located at Kamionka (Hungarian name Kovesfalva) within the Spis district. It was during this period Bishop Bachinsky and Canon Bradach decided upon a more central location for the seat of the Greek Catholic Church in present day Slovakia. A vacant Monastery and church that had previously been occupied by the Minorite Fathers in Presov was chosen for this purpose. After much work and diligent preparation, the Supreme Royal Council granted a decree on December 20, 1792 wherein all the property was granted to the Greek Catholic church. This was the beginning of the Greek Catholic Eparchy in Presov, Slovakia.
Bishop Bachinsky believed that education was the most important aspect for the faithful of his church. He never tired of finding new ways to build schools, offer instructional classes and even strove to have church prayer and liturgical books printed for his clergy and the faithful. These were very satisfying but, difficult days for the bishop. Not only was he laying the foundation of the future Greek Catholic Eparchy of Presov but, he was also working to elevate the faithful entrusted to his care spiritually and educationally. There were many influences from the Epharhy of Mukachevo which did not want to see a new Eparchy for Ruthenian Greek Catholics in Presov. Bishop Andrew Bachinsky fought against these influences so Greek Catholics in Slovakia could have their own administrative see. After serving as a priest for 53 years and a bishop for 36 years, Bishop Andrew Bachinsky died on November 19, 1809. His death came at the same time the Greek Catholic metropolitan see was re-established in Galicia, present day Poland. Finally, on November 3, 1815, Emperor Francis I settled the matter once and for all. The Eparchy of Presov, Slovakia was firmly established and exists to this day due to the hard work and vision of Bishop Andrew Bachinsky.