Martyrdom and Miracles: Archbishop Borys Gudziak Gives a Presentation for the Philadelphia Chapter of Legatus
On July 13, Archbishop Borys Gudziak took part in the monthly gathering of the Philadelphia Chapter of Legatus — an international organization of Catholic laymen and laywomen. The meeting started with a Divine liturgy. Despite the fact that for many participants this was the first experience of the Byzantine Liturgy, they joined in singing. After the Liturgy, the Archbishop made a presentation about the history of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the XX Century titled “Martyrdom and Miracles: The Extraordinary Story of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church”.
In his speech he explained the context of the turmoil that the Ukrainians and other nations under totalitarianism experienced: famines, purges, forced displacements, and religious persecutions. “There are profound scars that remain from the fear of totalitarianism,” he said.
“We live in a time of great anxiety and fear. Many times in the Scriptures, Jesus tells us: ‘Have no fear’ and I hope that we all can go home with hope,” stressed the Archbishop. The source of hope, as he explained, we can find in the recent history of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church which was illegally liquidated in 1946, existed under severe persecution in catacombs for 44 years, and was revived when the Soviet Union was collapsing.
“I have had the privilege of living through the miracle,” testified Metropolitan Borys. As a young seminarian he studied in Rome at the Ukrainian Catholic University established by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, who spent 18 years in Soviet gulags and was released in 1963. Borys Gudziak was also on the plane with His Beatitude Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky during his historical return to Ukraine from the exile in 1991, interpreting for the foreign journalists.
Archbishop Borys showed the statistics of how the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine was able to re-establish and develop its structures, restore the number of the clergy and the seminarians, and rebuild lost and ruined churches.
Legatus is an international organization of Catholic laymen and laywomen founded by Thomas S. Monaghan and comprised of CEOs, Presidents, Managing Partners, Business Owners and their spouses.