Bernard Basil Dribnenky, OSBM
Basil (Wasyl) Dribnenky, son of Paul Dribnenky and Maria Bormelo, was born on February 9, 1917 in Sand Creek, Montana. The family moved to Alberta in 1925 and settled in the Mundare-Vegreville area and later in the Boyle area.
Wasyl entered the Basilian Fathers' Novitiate in Mundare, Alberta on October 1, 1931. He chose the name Brother Bernard when he received his monastic tonsure and habit. He studied at the Basilian House of Studies in Mundare and professed Solemn Profession of Monastic Vows on October 15, 1939. Father Bernard was was ordained to the holy priesthood on March 8, 1942 by Bishop Constantine Bohachevsky, at St. Nicholas Church, Chicago, Illinois.
During his sixty-three years of priesthood, Father Dribnenky fulfilled many pastoral responsibilities and positions in the Basilian Order in Canada and the United States. He served as an Assistant Pastor and an Assistant Master of Novices, a Teacher, a Lecturer of Philosophy, Assistant Superior, Parish Administrator and Student of Dogmatic Theology. He also served as Editor of the Basilian publications of Svitlo later of Beacon.
In November 1949, while serving as the Basilian Press, Toronto, Father Bernard founded the nearby St. Basil's Parish. He served as Superior and Pastor of St. Basil's Monastery & Parish, Edmonton from 1971 to 1976. He also served as Pastor of the following parishes: St. Basil's, Winnipeg, 1978-1981, Holy Trinity, Vegreville, 1981-1985, and St. Mary's, Vancouver, 1985-1986.
Father Bernard devoted his last years as an author, publishing several books and writing many articles for Beacon magazine. He was devoted to the Holy and Divine Liturgy and strove to deepen his the faithful's knowledge and appreciation of it. Basing his research on Holy Scripture and the original languages (Greek, Church Slavonic), Father Bernard offered significant contributions to the English Ukrainian Catholic translations of the Liturgy. In 2004, he participated in a North American conference English translations of the Divine Liturgy.
Father Bernard had the rare and joyous privilege of celebrating his 60th Anniversary of priestly ministry with a Divine Liturgy of thanksgiving at St. Basil's Parish, Edmonton, on August 25, 2002.
Father Bernard Basil Dribnenky, OSBM died peacefully in the Lord at University Hospital, Edmonton, on Friday, September 30, 2005, at the age of 88 years, 74 years of religious life, 63 years of priestly ministry.
Monastic Parastas was celebrated at St. Basil's Church, Edmonton, on Thursday, October 6. Pontifical Funeral Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Friday, October 7 at Sts. Peter and Paul, Mundare. Interment followed in Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church Cemetery.
Zi svjatymy upokoj, Xryste, dushu raba Tvoho, Ieromonaxa Vernarda Vasylija. Vichnaja pam'jat!