10 Facts about His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk
On March 27 we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk as Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. For this occasion, we prepared for you 10 interesting facts about our Patriarch.
- Sviatoslav Shevchuk was born May 5, 1970 in Stryj, Lviv Region, Ukraine. His younger brother, Vsevolod, is also a priest and serves in the Saint Josaphat Eparchy of the UGCC, which is headquartered in Parma, OH.
- He graduated from a school of music and is an accomplished violin player. His favorite composer is Antonio Vivaldi.
- After finishing musical studies, he completed medical training in Boryslav, Lviv Region. He then served as a paramedic in the Soviet Army as part of a battalion belonging to the Luhansk Higher Military Aviation School.
- He joined the underground seminary before the UGCC’s legalization and underwent formation in Buenos Aires and Lviv. As a graduate student he served Ukrainian immigrants in Greece. He received his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, finishing Summa Cum Laude.
- He served as priest in various positions: prefect, vice-rector, and rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv; vice-dean of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy of the Lviv Theological Academy (later the Ukrainian Catholic University); chief of staff of the Curia of the Head of the Church in Lviv; and personal secretary of Lubomyr Cardinal Husar.
- On January 14, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev. Sviatoslav Shevchuk auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Mother of God in Buenos Aires. He was ordained bishop on April 7, 2009 at the Cathedral of Saint George in Lviv. On April 10, 2010 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy in Buenos Aires. There he met Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis.
- On March 23, 2011 he was elected Head of the UGCC by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops’ Synod. On March 25 Pope Benedict blessed his election, and he was enthroned on March 27 at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of the Lord in Kyiv.
- During his first 10 years of service he ordained 17 bishops, including Metropolitan Borys Gudziak as well as Bishops Bohdan Danylo and Andriy Rabiy. He created new Metropolitan Provinces, Eparchies, and Exarchates in Ukraine and throughout the diaspora.
- He is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, and Greek. He also knows Latin, Ancient Greek, and Church-Slavonic.
- His mother shared in an interview that as a child he liked to wake up early in the morning to watch the tulips open in the garden.