Final steps to complete the establishment of this Foundation were taken in the summer of 1968. Under the leadership of its President, Mother Mary Susan Sevier, the Federation of St. Scholastica voted to accept Queen of Heaven Convent in Warren as an autonomous member. On November 19, 1968, a decree was received from Rome stating that the Foundation could function as an independent Priory.
The Sisters trace their beginnings back to 1951 when two Byzantine Rite women from Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Minersville, Pennsylvania, who eventually became Sisters Miriam and Judith Konkus, entered the Latin Rite community of Benedictine Sisters at Sacred Heart Convent in Lisle, Illinois. They came with the understanding that eventually a Byzantine Rite Benedictine Foundation would be established from that priory to serve the needs of Byzantine parishes in the United States.
In 1954, under the direction of the Prioress, Mother Aemilia Shonka, the Community Chapter of the Lisle Benedictine Sisters formally voted to establish the Foundation in Warren, Ohio. The pastor there, Father Sylvester Hladky, had asked the Lisle Sisters to open a school for Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Rite parish. The convent was named Queen of Heaven Convent when it opened in the summer of 1954, because it was a Marian Year.
Final steps to complete the establishment of this Foundation were taken in the summer of 1968. Under the leadership of its President, Mother Mary Susan Sevier, the Federation of St. Scholastica voted to accept Queen of Heaven Convent in Warren as an autonomous member. On November 19, 1968, a decree was received from Rome stating that the Foundation could function as an independent Priory.Sister Margaret Mary Schima was elected the first Prioress of this newly-established Benedictine Priory on February 2, 1969, during the formal Founding Ceremonies held at the parish convent on East Market Street in Warren. Most Reverend Stephen J. Kocisko, Bishop of the Byzantine Rite Diocese of Pittsburgh, presided at these ceremonies. Mother Aemilia Shonka and Mother Mary Louise Hartwig of the Lisle Benedictine community, and Very Reverend Monsignor Sylvester Hladky, Pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Warren, were present as well.
Sister Mary Judith Konkus succeeded Sister Margaret Mary Schima as Prioress of the community in 1977, serving a 4-year term of office. On February 1, 1981, Sister Agnes Knapik was installed as the third Prioress of Queen of Heaven Convent. She was reelected to a second 4-year term of office in 1984. On May 6, 1989, Sister Barbara Pavlik was elected to succeed Sister Agnes. In 1993, she was reelected to a second 4-year term of office. In 1997, Sister Margaret Mary Schima was elected by the Monastery Chapter to serve again as Prioress and was reelected in 2001, 2005, and 2009.
For forty days after the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Savior the Plachanitzyia (winding cloth) carried in procession during Vespers of the Great Good Friday, is placed outside the sanctuary for veneration. Before the Resurrection Matins begins, it is placed on the altar until Ascension Thursday.
Sister Barbara prepared the traditional foods for blessing, as well as the baked paska. Sister holds the hand-made cover for the basket. Baskets are blest after Resurrection Matins.
For the Feast of St. Scholastica, Patroness of the Byzantine Benedictine Sisters, Archbishop William C. Skurla visited the Byzantine Benedictine Sisters at Queen of Heaven Monastery in Warren, Ohio. All broke bread together at a dinner in the convent dining room. Great Vespers were prayed in the Infant of Prague Manor Chapel which the Sisters use daily. The local pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Very Reverend Andrew J. Deskevich, joined the Archbishop and sisters for Vespers. All enjoyed themselves during the afternoon.
in 2012, Sister Agnes Knapik, OSB, celebrated her 50th Anniversary of profession as a religious. It took place at SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church on East Market Street in Warren Ohio. Sister renewed her vows at the Divine Liturgy at 6:00 PM.
Prioress Sister Mary Bratrsovsky, OSB, and Sister Helen Jilek, OSB, from Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle, Illinois attended the Jubilee celebration.