Sister Josaphat Slobodian Creates Ukrainian Easter Eggs with Pysanky

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian dyes an egg while she does Ukrainian eggs, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

In May of 1990 I was working on a feature story for the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fact that nuns were getting older and new nuns were not taking their place. The 132 acre province was home to the dwindling order of Sisters of Saint Basil The Great in Glenside. I believe I spent a day and a half there making pictures. It was a time when newspapers would give a photojournalist the time needed to capture images that would illustrate a story and do it justice. They also allotted a good amount of space for it with the Neighbors sections.

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodan heats up an egg to melt wax while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysnaky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) 

 

While I was wandering around the motherhouse grounds I met a few nuns that were kind enough to allow me to hang with them as they went about their day. One sister tended to horses, another maneuvered a tractor across the lawn, one nun was tending her garden and yet another was washing outdoor furniture. Some of the nuns taught at St. Basil Academy. The one I have never forgotten is the sister I met in one of the buildings of Manor College. Upstairs far above the classrooms was an attic which Sister Josaphat Slobodian used as her workspace. There, every Easter, she made Ukrainian Easter Eggs with a technique referred to as “Pysanky.” According to pysanky.info, Pysanky is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist (aka batik) method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write. Design motifs on pysanky date back to pre-Christian times–many date to early Slavic cultures, while some harken to the days of the Trypillians, my neolithic ancestors, others to paleolithic times.”

 

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian places wax on an egg while doing her Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

It is a really interesting process to watch. Sister Josaphat allowed me to hang around while she made the eggs. Some of the details in the eggs must have taken her hours to finish. They were so detailed with indicate patterns. I must say, it was some of the most inspiring art work I had seen in a while.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sadly, Sister Josaphat passed away a few years ago. I just found that information out a few days ago. But with Easter coming, I thought it appropriate to share some of the images I made while she created her Ukrainian Easter Eggs May 1, 1990. A few days after I made these images, a small box showed up in the mail at the office. It held a very cool Ukranian Easter Egg that Sister Josaphat had made. It was one of the finished eggs in her collection that she noticed me admiring the day I was at the Motherhouse. In the box was a nice thank you note.

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Sister Josaphat Slobodian draws a pattern on an egg while doing Ukrainian egg decorating, or pysanky, Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

Twenty eight years later, I still have that egg. It rests on my mantle.

Every time I look at it I think of Sister Josaphat.

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

A batch of finished Ukrainian Easter eggs created by Sister Josaphat Slobodian are shown Tuesday, May 01, 1990 at Sisters of Saint Basil The Great motherhouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

 

Stations of the Cross for Good Friday in Bensalem, Pennsylvania

I had not been back to Our Lady of Fatima since grade school almost 25 years ago. Tonight, I went there to photograph the Stations of the Cross at the church grounds in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The re-enactment is a very well produced presentation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as part of the Easter celebration. Check out some of the images in a slideshow below. Also, be sure to click the full frame option.

The Last Supper Held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Quakertown, Pennsylvania

On Monday evening I photographed the Last Supper. Well, not really. It was a rehearsal for the re-enactment, no…recreation of Michelangelo’s Last Supper that Trinity Lutheran Church has been doing in the church the Thursday before Easter for the last 14 years. It looks really cool.

Check out the video where Ray Fox explains the process.

Oh, and I must admit, I did ask Jesus if he could do something about the abnormal temperature this spring. He’s working on it.

Ash Wednesday Celebration In Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Had a nice time making pictures at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Doylestown, Pennsylvania this past Ash Wednesday. Luckily, Father Paschal Onunwa spoke to me on camera and explained a bit about Ash Wednesday. After 12 years of catholic school, you’d think I’d have remembered some of it. Heres some of the images below and the video.
Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday

I’ve also attached a pdf of the page so you can see how the image was used in the newspaper.DAILY_CMI_INT_A003_021915.arc

Happy Easter 2014

Happy Easter!!!

Here are some Easter images made in the past week.

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA - APRIL 12:  A young girls finds and Easter egg with some help from family during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – APRIL 12: A young girls finds and Easter egg with some help from family during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

SOUTHAMPTON, PA - APRIL 17:  The Easter Bunny accompanies Lucille Deigendesch during an Easter Egg hunt for residents at Southampton Estates April 17, 2014 in Southampton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

SOUTHAMPTON, PA – APRIL 17: The Easter Bunny accompanies Lucille Deigendesch during an Easter Egg hunt for residents at Southampton Estates April 17, 2014 in Southampton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA - APRIL 12:  The Easter Bunny, portrayed by Diana Nordtveit waves goodbye to Lily Nahill (C), 7 and Alaina Sottile, 4 of Morrisville, Pennsylvania during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – APRIL 12: The Easter Bunny, portrayed by Diana Nordtveit waves goodbye to Lily Nahill (C), 7 and Alaina Sottile, 4 of Morrisville, Pennsylvania during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

HILLTOWN, PA - APRIL 19:  Congregation members hold candles as they participate in the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil and Holy Eucharist at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church April 19, 2014 in Hilltown, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HILLTOWN, PA – APRIL 19: Congregation members hold candles as they participate in the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil and Holy Eucharist at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church April 19, 2014 in Hilltown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA - APRIL 12:  Children dash off to find Easter eggs during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – APRIL 12: Children dash off to find Easter eggs during the YMCA Easter Egg Hunt April 12, 2014 in Fairless Hills Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)

More Easter images @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/search?I_DSC=easter&I_DSC_AND=t&_ACT=search