Sister Emellia Prokopik, 95, a former principal at St. Basil Academy and academic dean at Manor College, died of heart problems Thursday, Dec. 17, at her order's monastery in Abington.
Sister Emellia's impact on the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great and their monastery was vast. She wrote the province's history, held high-ranking posts in Rome from 1971 to 1989 and as superior general, and visited Basilian sisters throughout the world, including Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Australia.
"You were called principal, provincial councilor, mother general, general councilor," Sister Dorothy Ann Busowski, the order's provincial superior, said in her eulogy for Sister Emellia. "But no matter where you served or under what title, you were a mentor to many and shaped many lives. You were a leader, a pathfinder, a trend-setter that pushed above and beyond the edges that others were often too timid to test."
One of nine children, Sister Emellia was born in Arnold, a small community along the Allegheny River north of Pittsburgh, in 1920 and took her initial vows in 1939. Her superiors saw her potential and supported her desire to pursue a college education, Sister Dorothy Ann said.
She got her bachelor's degree from Catholic University of America in Washington and her master's from Villanova University, majoring in Latin at both schools.
In addition to serving as principal of St. Basil, Sister Emellia also led schools in Illinois, New York, and Michigan.
She is survived by a sister, and nieces and nephews.
All services will be held at the monastery, 710 Fox Chase Rd., in Holy Trinity Chapel. They will begin with viewings from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, followed by a Parastas service. A second viewing is at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, followed by a Requiem Liturgy at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at the convent cemetery.