Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Archpriest Ivan Muzyczka (1921–2016)




Mitred-archpriest Doctor Ivan Muzyczka was born 15 November 1921 in the village Pukiv in Stanyslaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk) province, the son of poor farming stock. Having received his early education in his native Pukiv, he entered the Rohatyn High School on a scholarship from the local Cooperative Union, and subsequently continued his studies on scholarships from the wealthy Lviv property owner, Ivan Tyktor.

Perhaps the strongest formative influence on young Ivan was his local parish priest, Vasyl Solovii. In addition to his profound sermons, Muzyczka was also enamoured by the singing of the church choir, which was directed by the pastor. This is where two life callings, to the priesthood and to music, were nurtured in the soul of this young boy.

In 1941 Ivan became an elementary school teacher in the village of Putyatyntsi, and the following year at the elementary school in his native village. In 1943 he graduated from the department of music theory and violin from Rohatyn teacher’s college.

Convinced by the views and authority of Professor Mykola Uhryn-Bezhrishnyi, in 1943 he joined the “Galicia” Division. After basic training, “volunteer” Muzychka was assigned to the Division’s orchestra but, due to a long illness, he was forced to abandon the orchestra and became a duty nurse and interpreter.

In the last months of the Second World War, most of the Division came under British captivity was interned on the east coast of Italy, near Rimini. In July 1945 several priests were sent from Rome to minister to the internees. Due to the intervention of the Holy See, especially via Bishop Ivan Buchko, in the autumn of 1945, the British allowed two dozen of them to study at the Pontifical St. Josaphat College in Rome. Thus Ivan Muzyczka took his first step along the road of his priestly vocation.

During his seminary years, Muzyczka's musical training bore much fruit. In 1949 he began directing the seminarians choir for the Ukrainian Liturgies broadcast on Vatican Radio and, after his ordination, contributed many recorded sermons for VR broadcasts. He was the first to transcribe Izydor Dolnytsky's Hlasopisnets (church melodies) from the old 4-line staff and tetrachord scale into modern musical notation in the keys of F and B flat. The book was printed in manuscript form for internal use in 1951 and published under the name of Napivnyk in 1959. 

Muzyczka obtained a baccalaureate degree from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome (Propaganda Fide) in 1947. He defended his dissertation, entitled "On [the use of] water in the Byzantine Liturgy" on 27 June 1953, and was granted the doctoral degree in liturgical theology from the Urbaniana following the publication of the dissertation by the Vatican printing press. 

Ordained a priest by Bishop Buchko on 3 May 1951, and unable to return to Ukraine under Soviet rule, Father Ivan was assigned to the Ukrainian Catholic mission in England. There he faithfully served for the next 24 years, principally in the West Midlands. After completing his doctorate, he was assigned to Rochdale in 1953 and Wolverhampton the following year. The latter was to remain his pastoral base for the surrounding area until 1975. A great admirer of the British, especially after having been interned under their "civilised" captivity; a fact for which he was always grateful, Muzyczka went on to become a naturalised British Subject.

Metropolitan Yosyf Slipyi was released from the Soviet Gulag in 1963. From 1970, Muzyczka began to assist Slipyj in his project to establish a Ukrainian Catholic University. Finally, in 1975, Father Ivan gave in to Slipyi’s insistant demands that he move to Rome permanently, to dedicate himself to the project. Thenceforth, Doctor Muzyczka concentrated on lecturing in music, homiletics, pastoral theology. He was responsible for publishing the Ukrainian Catholic theological-historical journal Bohoslovia, as well as the opera omnia of Cardinal Slipyi, together with Bishop Choma. In 1976 Slipyi named hi pro-rector of the fledgling "University" (Slipyi was titular rector) and rector of St. Sophia College-Seminary in 1985.

Throughout the dark period of Ostpolitik, Muzyczka served as one of Cardinal Slipyi's inner council, as one of his closest advisors. Slipyi is even thought to have looked upon Muzyczka as a successor, for a time. For faithful service he was named canon of the Lviv Chapter (in exile) and mitred archpriest. In fact, Slipyi would often refer to him affectionately as "mitrat zolotyi" (golden mitred).

Father Ivan was present when Slipyi secretly ordained three bishops on 2 April 1977: Lubomyr Husar, Ivan Choma, and Stefan Czmil. Having refused the accept the episcopate himself, he nevertheless agreed to act as the sole witness and also to cantor at the Divine Liturgy of episcopal chirotonia. Two of the three bishops were later recognised by Saint John Paul II, in 1996: Husar succeeded Slipyi as Major-Archbishop in 2001, Choma became UGCC procurator to the Holy See, and Czmil is famous for having being spiritual advisor and teacher to Jorge Maria Bergoglio (the future Pope Francis) in Argentina. Czmil died in 1978, before the papal recognition could occur.

The church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus had been given to the Kyivan Metropolitan in 1641. After having served as the seat of the metropolitan’s procurator and, from 1897, the Pontifical Ruthenian College, the church and adjacent residence became the General Curia of the Basilian Order. After the Basilians moved to the Aventine Hill, the properties were eventually re-acquired by Cardinal Slipyi, and Sergius and Bacchus was raised to the status of a “personal” parish of the Diocese of Rome. In 1976 Father Ivan was appointed its first parish priest, and served in this capacity until 2001.

Following independence in 1991, Father Ivan travelled annually to his homeland. In Ukraine, he was invited to public lectures in various state and church institutions. He also contributed numerous articles on the history of theology and spirituality in Ukraine, social issues, catechetics and Christian morals, inter-religious and inter-church relations, and spiritual themes in Ukrainian literature.

In 2006 Muzychka was also named rector of the church of St. Sophia, where he served hundreds of Ukrainian migrant workers and was also responsible for the Ukrainian Catholic pastoral mission in the city of Naples.

On 3 March 2011, after the election of Sviatoslav Shevchuk as Head of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Father Ivan delivered a moving oration to the patriarch. In welcoming him to Saint Sophia, he traced the history of the sobor, built by Shevchuk's predecessor Slipyi in 1969 as a Hagia Sophia for Ukrainians in exile.

In 2013, he received a doctorate honoris causa from the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

Upon his arrival in Rome in 1975, Father Myzyczka remarked: "So here I am and I won't be leaving." Following years of ardent toil, exhausted physically but not spiritually, he spent his final years at Saint Sophia's in Rome. After having been hospitalised several times for a lung illness, Father Muzyczka died in his room at Saint Sophia's at 8:06 PM, on 22 February 2016, at the age of 94 years.

Father Ivan had been looking forward to the arrival of Patriarch Sviatoslav and his permanent Synod, for their annual meeting. Alas, they missed him by an hour. Together with Metropolitan Volodymyr Viityshyn and Bishop Venedykt Alekseychuk, the patriarch prayed panakhyda over the mortal remains of Father Ivan. Hearing the news of his death, prayers were offered for his eternal repose across the globe, from Kyiv to Sydney, Australia. Ivan Muzyczka's passing to eternity marks the passing away of an entire epoch in the history of our Church. 

The first priestly parastas was celebrated on Tuesday evening, 23 February, by Kyr Hlib Lonchyna, Eparch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, assisted by Kyr Dionisio Lachovicz, Apostolic Visitor for Ukrainians in Italy, and Kyr Venedykt Alekseychuk, auxiliary of Lviv, with many priests concelebrating including Father Genesio Viomar, Basilian Protoarchimandrite and Archpriest Bohdan Prakh, Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

Memorial services were celebrated throughout the day at St. Sophia on Wednesday and Thursday, 24–25 February. The Hierarchical Funeral Divine Liturgy was celebrated at 4:00 PM on Thursday 25 February by Patriarch Sviatoslav, with Metropolitan Volodoymyr and Bishops Hlib, Borys, and Venedykt concelebrating, as well as numerous priests including four who came from England especially to pay their respects. A large number of religious sisters were present, including the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Basilian Sisters, and the Sisters of Saint Anne. Many faithful also arrived from abroad to do the same, and Father's Roman parishioners attended in great numbers. 

A letter was read, addressed to Patriarch Svaitoslav from Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, expressing condolences to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church from the Apostolic See, and offering praise and thanksgiving for Father Muzyczka's long and dedicated mission.  And his homeland also paid its respects in the person of the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Holy See.

Ivan Muzyczka was interned in the sobor's crypt, next to his co-workers, Bishops Ivan Choma, and Stefan Czmil, and also near Archbishop Yosyf Sembratovych, who died in Roman exile in 1900.

Angels sing thee to thy rest.  Вічна йому пам’ять!

Additional Ukrainian-language links on the life of Father Muzyczka:




sources: wikipedia  UGCC News  Additional article  AUGB  FrSCkuj, Article by Kyr Borys

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Church Snatching in the Borderlands


Time and again, we hear certain voices claiming that the Greek-Catholics ("Uniates") "devastated" three Russian eparchies in western Ukraine after the fall of communism in the 1990s. Coincidentally, these eparchies were only founded with the Soviet takeover of the area at the end of the Second World War. 

Historically, western Ukraine had been part of Kyivan Rus', the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Poland, the Austrian Empire (when it took on the name Eastern Galicia) and, finally, the Second Polish Republic. It has also been a prosperous independent principality in the eleventh century (Halych) and was briefly an independent state (the Western Ukrainian National Republic) at the end of the First World War. Aside from a brief Russian occupation at the outset of both world wars, it had never in its history been ruled by Moscow, and the Russian Orthodox Church had no historical presence there. From 1945 it simply became the religion of the occupying power.

At the end of the Eighteenth Century, the Tsarist Empire began suppressing the Uniate churches in the territories it acquired in the partition of Poland.  These lands were liberated from the Russian yoke in 1915, with the occupation of the Austrian and German armies. Immediately, the issue of the many former Uniate churches came to the fore.

In preparing an article about the Chełm/Kholm region, I came across the following report from the Apostolic Nuncio in Vienna, Rafaele Scapinelli di Leguino, dated 8 October 1915: 

"It would simply be an act of justice, and therefore a duty, to ask that all the properties which, in the space of 142 years since the first partition of Poland, were taken from the Greek-Uniate Church by the Russian Government and given to the schismatic church [Russian Orthodox], be returned to their rightful owner."

"It is clear that the violence and persecution of a despotic power with which, on more than one occasion under Catherine II, Nicholas I and Alexander II, the Greek-Uniate Church in Russia was destroyed, cannot be considered as a proper claim to the acquisition of these properties from the Uniate Church to the schismatic one. From the very beginning, the bad faith of the new possessor was so evident as not to permit a legal settlement. The schismatic church entered into possession of the properties of the Greek-Uniates without any juridical claim, but solely by violence and fraud."

A rare example of Alexei's appeal to UGCC
A similar argument might be used when the Russian Empire, in it's Soviet incarnation, extended its occupation to western Ukraine and transferred the remaining "Uniate" churches to the Russian Orthodox Church, with the kind assistance of the NKVD and its local collaborators. This event is known historically as the 1946 Pseudo-Synod of Lviv, and was preceded by a printed appeal to the Uniate clergy by the newly-created Soviet Patriarch. The appeal would not appear in the official journal of the patriarchate, and was never officially acknowledged.

In response to this proselytism and to the arrest of the entire Greek-Catholic episcopate, Venerable Pope Pius XII issued an encyclical letter entitled Orientales omens Ecclesias, in which he stated: "Who does not know that Patriarch Alexius I, recently elected by the dissident bishops of Russia, openly exalts and preaches defection from the Catholic Church in a letter lately addressed to the Ruthenian Church, a letter which contributes much to the persecution?"

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Nykyta Budka's University Diaries Discovered


            At the beginning of the current year, Nykyta Budka’s diary from his seminary-university years (1902–1905) was discovered by the archivist of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, Gloria Romaniuk.  The 20 by 17cm notebook had been left by Bishop Budka at his chancery residence at 511 Dominion Street in Winnipeg, when he departed for Europe in December 1927.  Having been ordered to resign as bishop for Canada in November 1928, Budka was never permitted to return nor retrieve any of his belongings. His personal property was entrusted to the care of his brother Danylo, who had emigrated from western Ukraine (part of Poland, at the time) to Canada, earlier that year.  Although some of the bishop’s records passed to his successor, many of Budka’s effects were sold off and a quantity ended up in the possession of Ukrainian poet and church goodsman, Yakiv Maydanyk.  In the late 1950s Budka’s second successor, Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, repatriated many of these items to the ownership of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
            During the 1980s, the first archivist of the Archeparchy, Sister Cornelia Mantyka, oversaw a complete reorganization of Bishop Budka’s correspondence, but the university diary was not inserted in this archival collection.  Metropolitan Maxim had kept them in his possession and, following his death in 1996, the diary was placed in one of several boxes containing his books and papers. After Hermaniuk’s successor, Metropolitan Michael Bzdel, retired in 2006, the boxes were consigned to the care of archeparchial archives. At first, they were stored in a room on the second floor in the old bishop’s palace, near the chapel. In the spring of 2015, the archivist began examining the contents of the boxes and discovered the diary. Romaniuk was able to identify the contents by Budka's name, clearly written on a number of theology textbook receipts and on other loose papers inside the notebook. She was then able to identify the handwriting in the journal and, from a cursory examination of the contents and the title "Моя теольоґія в Інсбруку" (my theology [studies] in Innsbruck), realized that she had discovered a memoir from Budka’s student days. 

       Given this source’s historical importance, Romaniuk immediately brought it to Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak and noted the journal’s discovery in her March 2015 report from the Archives, indicating that it would be added to the Nykyta Budka fonds (NB) within the Archives of the Archeparchy. Metropolitan Lawrence gave his blessing to me to consult the work. Upon my arrival in Winnipeg at the beginning of July, I digitally photographed each page and loose insert, which included textbook receipts, some history and theology class notes, and a photograph taken with two other men in the mountains (perhaps the Alps) during a vacation or outing.
Budka began writing the diary on 1 November 1902, although he backdated the entries to begin in Vienna, on the day after he completed his year of military service, 1 October 1902. The diary ends on 23 July 1905, the day he passed his last theology exam and was packing his books and personal effects, in preparing to leave Innsbruck. At the time, Budka’s written language was an archaic, western Ukrainian dialect.
            Most of Nykyta Budka’s extant writings are in the form of official correspondence with hierarchs, clergy, church congregations, and individual faithful.  This diary represents a rare example of his personal reflections, which he committed to writing primarily for private reference. It is possible that Budka, whose correspondence contains several references to his awareness of the importance of historical witness, also intended these reflections for posterity.
Alpine outing circa 1903
            Having only been discovered this year, this important source was not available to me when I was composing God’s Martyr, History’s Witness. Still, the information contained in the diary does not change the overall narrative of this biography for the years 1902–1905, which Prof. Oleh Turiy and I had based mainly on letters from Budka to Sheptytsky from the Central State Archives of Ukraine in Lviv (ЦДАУЛ).
        Nevertheless, the diaries contain more frequent personal information absent from Budka’s formal correspondence. The diary clarifies certain facts which were missing from my research. Among these details are the following: detailed chronology of his life as a seminarian and university student; the identities of his closest friends and associates during these years, in particular future-bishop Yosyf Botsian, both of whom lost younger sisters in 1904; additional information pertaining to his decision to pursue doctoral studies in Vienna, following the completion of his initial theological curriculum in Innsbruck; that his 18-year-old sister was named Hanya (Anna), and that the cause of her untimely death in the Spring of 1904, was an aneurism. Budka was not able to attend the funeral but had the opportunity to visit his grieving parents shortly thereafter, during the university Easter break. 
            The fact that Blessed Nykyta kept a diary in his youthful years raises the possibility that he might have committed other personal reflections to writing in later years, which have not yet come to light.  If such documents exist, did they survive and where are they now?  A closer examination of the Budka papers in the Lviv State Archives as well as unexamined materials in Ukrainian Catholic archives in Canada might, perhaps, result in the unearthing of as-yet-undiscovered writings of this important historical and religious figure.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's Heroic Virtues Proclaimed


Kyr Andrey toward the end of his life
In the afternoon of 16 July 2015, Pope Francis received in a private audience the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato. During the audience, the Holy Father approved decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of several Servants of God. The first among these was Andrey Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky (1865–1944), Metropolitan-Archbishop of Lviv-Halych. This formal declaration represents one of the penultimate stages in the beatification process. Once a miracle attributed to the intercession of Sheptytsky is formally recognized, Kyr Andrey will be declared a Blessed of the Universal Church. The cause for his beatification had been introduced in 1958. With this declaration, the "Servant of God" becomes "Venerable" Andrey.

Interview with Christopher Wells for Vatican Radio 

Україномовна стаття Ватиканського Радія

Press release of Sheptytsky Institute, Ottawa

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

"The Holy Father is unable to receive him."


“Regarding the proposed audience to Minister Göbbels: The Holy Father regrets that he is unable to receive him.”
- Pius XI to Cardinal Pacelli, 13 May 1933

“I explained to the Ambassador [of Italy] that, after the Holy Father, on Christmas Eve, had made such a great public protest against religious persecution in Germany, it would naturally have been painful for him to read in the papers last night and this morning [...] a glorification to the level of delerium of Hitler and National Socialism. And this, at a moment wheb there is not a single piece of reassuring news from Germany, not from Nunzio, nor from the bishops, nor for anywhere else, as regards the Government.”
- Cardinal Pacelli, Papal Secretary of State, 8 January 1938

“During the Audience the Holy Father remained firm in his view [not to receive the Polish foreign minister], and as to the distinction between the Minister and the person of Mr. Beck, He responded with indignation that they wanted him to play the part of Pilate and that he did not want to give the world a bad an example. [...] As for the disastrous consequences that are expected to come from such a refusal, the Holy Father he was sorry, but added that no one can prevent every bad thing from occuring. Rather, it was necessary to enlighten Mr. Beck and let him know the reality a situation that does not depend on the Holy See.”
- Pacelli to Polish Chargé d’affairs, 1 March 1938


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Budka Biography Receives Manitoba Archives Award


The Manitoba Archives Association has selected the author of God's Martyr, History's Witness to be one of 10 recipients of the Manitoba Day Award. The Association established the Award in
2007 to recognize users of archives who have completed an original work of excellence. which contributes to the understanding and celebration of Manitoba history. The 9th annual presentation was held at University of Manitoba Archives Special Collections, Fort Garry Campus, 330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, on 27 May 2015. The award was accepted by the author's parents, Professor Gerald and Irene McVay, together with Gloria Romaniuk, Archivist of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, who assisted in the compilation of the book.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Budka Biography Presented in Rome



The presentation of God's Martyr, History's Witness, the historical biography of Blessed Bishop-Martyr Nykyta Budka, took place on 18 March 2015, at Centro Ecumenica in Borgo Pio, near the Vatican. Presentations were given by: Bishop Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Eparch of France and Benelux and President of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv; Father James McCann, SJ, Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Dr. Gianpaolo Rigotti, Archivist of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and Professor of the Oriental Institute, and the author. Father McCann acted as moderator.  Among those present were: His Beatitude, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church; Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Ukrainian Eparch of Great Britain and Apostolic Visitor of the Irish Republic, Bishop Irenaeus Bilyk, Canon of the Liberian Basilica of Mary Major, Her Excellency Tetiana Izhveska, Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See, clergy, religious, historians, archivists and other scholars. The presentation began with the singing of Царю небесний (O Heavenly King), led by Patriarch Sviatoslav.



Wednesday, 25 February 2015

News of Bishop Budka's Death Reaches Rome


New icon of Blessed Budka
from St. Basil's Seminary,
Stamford, CT

On 26 November 1956, the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Church (known today as Congregation for the Eastern Churches) published a notice in it's publication, Servizio Informazione delle Chiese Orientali (Information Service of the Eastern Churches). The notice stated that word had finally reached the Vatican of the death, seven years previously, of Bishop Nykyta Budka. 

Recently, the source of this information was discovered in the Archives of the Congregation. On 28 September 1956, Archbishop Ivan Buchko, Apostolic Visitor for Ukrainian Catholics in Europe, sent a letter to the head of the Congregation, Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, stating:

I am only now able to confirm to Your Most Reverend Eminence, that I have definitively ascertained the sad news that, on the 6th [sic] day of October 1949, His Excellency Bishop Nykyta Budka, titular bishop of Patara, died in a forced-labour camp at Karaganda. The city of Karaganda is located at the geographical intersection of the 50th degree of latitude and the 73rd degree of longitude. [...]

Contrary to what had been claimed, until now, that he had been reduced by mistreatment to a state of semi-consciousness, these rumours have now proven to be false (and were probably spread by the Bolsheviks themselves). It is now known with certitude that he truly heroically endured all the persecutions and died as a Confessor of the Faith, while thanking the Lord for having allowed him to suffer insults for Jesus. [...]

The source of this information is not yet known. Following the death of Stalin, in 1955 Bishop Ivan Liatyshevsky was released from the gulag and allowed to return to western Ukraine. The following year, he wrote to Father Hryniokh that Budka had died, but did not provide a date.  On 20 January 1956, Pope Pius XII issued an apostolic letter entitled Novimus nos, to mark the millennium of St. Olha's baptism in 955. In the list of of addresses, the later Bishop Budka's name still figured, as the Apostolic See did not learn of his death until September of that same year.

Soviet documents discovered in the 1990s, allegedly reporting Budka's death and burial, give the date of death as 28 September, coincidentally the same date Buchko wrote to inform the Apostolic See. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Interviews and Press Releases

Archbishop Cyril Vasil, SJ
Secretary of the Vatican department
 for the Eastern Churches,
receives the Budka biography

"Russia and Ukraine: A Violent Past, a Cloudy Future," Dorothy Cummings McLean for Catholic World Report. Includes info on the Budka Biography

"Historian Takes a Hard Look at Budka's Accomplishments" Ramon Gonzalez for Western Catholic Reporter

"Biography of Bishop Nykyta Budka Launched in Edmonton" Press release of CIUS (Українською)

Budka Book Launch (CIUS) with photos

"Banff Symposium a Timely Examination" Press release of UofA Wirth Institute

Video Interview with Jan Bentz for EWTN
English  German

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Budka Biography Launch

Participating in the presentation: Jars Balan (CIUS), Father Peter Babej (St. Josaphat Cathedral) Volodymyr Kravchenko (CIUS), Father Peter Galadza (MASI), Orest Eveneshen and Serge Cipko (Budka Society), Father McVay, Bishop David Motiuk.  


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Praise for Budka Biography


Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies has issued the following communique, announcing the publication of the God's Martyr, History's Witness: Blessed Nykyta Budka the First Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Canada:

Sheptytsky Institute Co-publisher of Groundbreaking Biography

Father Athanasius McVay, a Canadian Ukrainian Catholic who has spent years working in the Vatican archives, has just published his long-awaited biography of Bishop Nykyta Budka. The Sheptytsky Institute was pleased to be the co-publisher along with the Eparchy of Edmonton. The 614-page book is meticulously researched and illustrated with rare photographs. 

“With this publication, Father McVay has established himself as the premier historian of the modern Ukrainian Catholic Church,” said Fr. Peter Galadza, acting director of the Sheptytsky Institute. “We await many more publications from this outstanding scholar.”

Following the official launch in Edmonton on 24 October 2014, the book will be available for purchase from Sheptytsky Institute and the Edmonton Eparchy.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Patriarch Sviatoslav Receives Budka Biography


Metropolitan Lawrence, Patriarch Sviatoslav,
Bishop David, Bishop Ken (photographer)
On 10 September 2014, during the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Lviv, Ukraine, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major-Archbishop of Kyiv-Haklych and Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, was very pleased receive a copy of my biography, God’s Martyr, History’s Witness: Blessed Nykyta Budka the First Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Canada. It was presented to him by Bishop David Motiuk and Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak.

Reported by 
Eparchy of Edmonton 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Budka Biography Published


God's Martyr, History's Witness: 
Blessed Nykyta Budka 
the First Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Canada 

has been published by the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton 
and the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky
Institute of Eastern Christian Studies.

An abridged table of contents of the 615 page book may be found here.

A private launch for contributors and benefactors took place on 22 August (photo)

Copies are available via the Edmonton Eparchial Chancery
and Sheptytsky Institute 
at a cost of $25

The publication is announced at Edmonton Eparchy,
the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, and RISU.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Internment of Ukrainians in Canada

With Dr. Karen Lemiski,
curator of the Basilian Fathers Museum, Mundare, Alberta
Vatican Radio’s Christopher Wells spoke with Fr Athanasius McVay, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest from Canada, and an expert in early 20th-century ecclesiastical history. Fr McVay says that, in addition to the positive commemorations of the men and women who sacrificed themselves during the war, it is important also to remember the victims of the war, at home and abroad. “Alongside the brave soldiers who gave their lives, there were our own Canadian citizens and immigrants… who were deprived of their civil rights, and many were interned in internment camps during the war.”
During the war, he says, it was “not so much the government, but the general population, [that] became very suspicious and fearful.” Although the government needed to take steps to ensure there was no activity that could be detrimental to the war effort or the morale at home, Fr McVay says, “I think it’s generally recognized today that they exceeded their mandate, because the internment was really not necessary, and it was really not caused by anything these people had done.”
Fr McVay says: “These commemorations should be about remembering. History is often called the memory of mankind, and I think that we owe it to history to remember these events and to make some symbolic redress – but to move forward, and learn from our mistakes, and to make a better value world, to promote our Catholic values.”
Christopher Wells interviews Father Athanasius McVay on Internment of Ukrainian-Canadians