Bishop Andriy Rabiy: Let’s Support the Creation of the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in Kyiv

The month of November for Ukrainians, Ukrainians in the heart and people of good will is a time of honoring the victims of the Holodomor, the terrible and planned by the Stalinist-Soviet regime famine of Ukrainians in Central, Eastern and Southern Ukraine and Kuban in 1932-1933. The forced and prolonged famine of millions of Ukrainians has led to the deaths of at least 10.5 million people according to latest research data! It was a deliberate policy in response to the resistance of freedom-loving peasants against the collectivization introduced in 1928, when private land, livestock and agricultural implements were taken to form collective farms and forced to work on collective farms paying with grain not enough to feed their families. About 4,000 mass demonstrations of peasants against collectivization in the early 1930s were documented. To break the resistance of the peasants, an excessive measure of grain procurement was introduced, which forced the transfer of all harvested grain to the state, which sold it for next to nothing abroad. Peasants began to leave the collective farms en masse, taking back their property. In order to preserve the collective farms and property in the hands of the state, the regime passed a repressive decree on August 7, 1932, popularly known as the “Law of Five Ears (spikes) of Grain.” All collective farm property was equated to state property, and severe penalties were imposed for its theft. Under this law, the state punished hungry peasants for harvesting leftovers in a field by imprisonment for 10 years with confiscation of property or execution. Special groups of people were organized to search the population to seize grain by force. Such searches were accompanied by terror, physical and moral abuse. 

The decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine was made under pressure from Molotov dated November 18, 1932 on the right of the state to take from peasants not only grain but also other food and property that could be sold or exchanged for food was still incredibly cruel. Also, a specific repressive regime was introduced – “black boards”. It meant a physical food blockade of collective farms, villages, districts: total seizure of food, ban on trade and transportation of goods, ban on the departure of peasants and the encirclement of the village by military units, GPU, police. In 1932–1933, the “blackboard” regime operated in 180 districts of the Ukrainian SSR (25% of districts). Such a repressive regime was applied only in Ukraine and the Kuban – in places of compact residence of Ukrainians. 

The worst time of the Holodomor was in June 1933. Every day 28,000 people died martyrdom, 1,168 people died every hour, and 20 died every minute. 

Even today we do not know exactly how many people died during the Holodomor. Most historians and scholars claim that more than 7 million died in Ukraine and 3 million Ukrainians in the Kuban, Central Chernozem region, the Volga region and Kazakhstan. Apart from the number, it is difficult to establish the names of those killed in the Holodomor, as it was forbidden to record the actual number of deaths. Today, secret lists of some village councils with a list of those who died in 1932–1933 have been revealed. These lists are twice the official data. It is clear that such cases were not uncommon. There was a ban on recording the cause of death as “starvation”, so the death certificates indicated “from typhus”, “exhaustion”, “from old age”. In 1934, all the books of the Registry Office on the registration of deaths were transferred to a special department of the Central Prosecution office. Ukrainians died out in families, villages, and the dead were not always counted. The unreported mortality rate is unknown, but it is clear that millions have died. 

To honor the victims of the Holodomor, to collect and study the history of the Holodomor, the Ukrainian government approved the establishment of a Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor. In 2010, a memorial part was opened, recently renamed as the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide, on the banks of the Dnipro River in Kyiv. This first part of the Memorial consists of parts: two sculptures of angels, which are a symbolic entrance to the museum, the square “Mill of Fate”, around which are artistic sculptures of millstones, and in the center of the square – a sculpture of a girl called “Bitter Childhood”. The “Candle of Memory” is surrounded by a complex of artistic compositions (storks, iron crosses, stone blocks, slabs with carved years of crime against the Ukrainian people). The Memorial Hall is the central part of the Memorial, which currently serves as a museum, and the Black Boards Alley are granite slabs listing the settlements to which the special Holodomor extermination regime was applied. Right now work is underway to build the second, museum, part of the Memorial. The cost of the project is 125 million US dollars, of which 65 million is provided by the Ukrainian government for the construction of the museum, and 60 million must be raised to create and equip the museum materials, conduct research and establish a fund for its further existence and development. This is exactly what the International Charitable Foundation of the Holodomor Museum, which was created by three organizations – the All-Ukrainian Human Rights Organization “Vasyl Stus memorial”, the Public Committee for Commemoration of the Victims of the Holodomor – Genocide of 1932-1933, and the World Congress of Ukrainians. The Museum Fund has a supervisory board consisting of: 

  • Ivan Vasyunyk, Chairman of the Supervisory Board 
  • His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church 
  • His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine 
  • Victor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine 2005-2010
  •  Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia 2013-2015 
  • Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada 2006-2015 
  • Filya Zhebrovska, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of JSC “Farmak” 
  • Oksana Zabuzhko, writer, Shevchenko Prize winner, daughter and granddaughter of Holodomor witnesses 
  • Andriy Kozytsky, historian, associate professor of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv 
  • Olena Kosharna, Founder and CEO of Horizon Capital, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (ACC) in Ukraine, Vice President of the World Congress of Ukrainians
  • Natalia Yaresko, Minister of Finance of Ukraine 2014-2016 
  • Stepan Kubiv, Chairman of the Vasyl Stus Memorial NGO, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine 2016-2019 
  • Bohdan Onyschuk, Chairman of the Board of the Canadian-Ukrainian Foundation 
  • Stefan Romaniv, First Deputy President of the World Congress of Ukrainians.

 The Supervisory Board is responsible for the collection and responsible, efficient and transparent use of funds for the development of the museum. 

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, appealed in a special letter to Ukrainians, Ukrainians in the heart and all people of good will to join the fundraiser for the creation of the museum. All donors will be duly recorded and honored. We will periodically report on the progress of the collection and publish lists of donors. You can contribute as follows: 

  • Write a check to the Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, mark the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv, and mail it to Archbishop’s Chancery, 810 North Franklin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. A letter of thanks will be sent to you. 
  • Visit the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s FACEBOOK page, www.facebook.com/archeparchyphilly, find a fundraising report for the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv and can make a donation by credit or debit card. FACEBOOK will send you an email notification of receipt of funds. 
  • Visit the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s website, www.ukrarcheparchy.us, click on Donate via Paypal, then click on “Donate for Creation of the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv” and you can make your donation by credit or debit card. A letter of receipt will be sent upon request. 
  • You can make donations immediately on the Holodomor Museum’s website on the Internet platform “Grains of Truth” at https://www.zernapravdy.org/uk/campaigns/sprout-the-grains-of-truth-together-with-his-beatitude-sviatoslav/. Unfortunately, a letter of charitable donation will not be provided. 

Join the good and very necessary cause – the creation of a wonderful and much needed National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide, which will truthfully and widely cover the horrors of the Holodomor, honor the memory of all the dead and we will finally know their names, and it will remind of the atrocities of the Stalinist-Soviet regime in Ukraine . This must be done for our future generations, the future of Ukraine and to prevent such horror somewhere in the world. 

With prayer, Yours in Christ, 

Bishop Andriy (Rabiy) 

Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

 




An exhibit of the Ukrainian contemporary sacred art is underway in Philadelphia

For several months, people who visit the residences of Metropolitan Borys Gudziak in Philadelphia have the opportunity to see the exhibit of modern iconography, specially put together by the Iconart Gallery of Contemporary Sacred Art.

“This exhibition offers a retrospective of the gallery’s activities in opening a dialogue with contemporary culture that respects past traditions and spiritual experiences” noted theologian and art historian Maria Tsymbalista from Lviv.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak stressed that the goal of the exhibit is not to display modern Ukrainian art but to address damage experienced by the Ukrainian community during Soviet times. ‘Decades of brutal totalitarianism disrupted many of our traditions, left many wounds, and traumatized the body and soul of our people and our Church. It is so joyful and enlightening to see those who restore the traditions, who heal wounds through beauty’.

The communications team of the Philadelphia Archeparchy has created a short film with English subtitles about the exhibit, the iconographers, and the Iconart Gallery, so that not only residents of Lviv, where the gallery is located, or Philadelphia, where the exhibit takes place, but everyone can get acquainted with modern Ukrainian iconography.

 

Kostiantyn Shumskyy, Iconart founder

One of the tasks of our gallery is to properly promote and introduce to the world those incredibly gifted artists in the field of modern sacred art. We’ve already had a few organized projects both in Europe and the US.  When we received the invitation from Metropolitan Borys to prepare an exhibit for Philadelphia, we happily accepted. It’s a great honor for us.  

Fifteen artists are taking part in this exhibit. All of them are united by the common goal of searching for the sacred, and all of them are reimagining the tradition of Christian iconography in present day.

In Lviv, we have a large artistic community. IconArt – is a place, a platform, where an artist can meet with his art enthusiasts. We are starting in Philadelphia and have plans for this exhibit to travel and evolve. In 2015, we had an exhibit at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, where we displayed 60 works of 20 artists.

Our main goal is displaying art which possess spirituality and creativity. If an artist succeeds in combining these two, they create a new canon.

Artists share their thoughts about the exhibit, their artistic process, features of modern Ukrainian icon painting, and the gallery that united them.

Ostap Lozynskyy

The icons presented at this exhibition reflect the folk style, close to the tradition of Hutsul, Pokut, and Lemko icons. I am researching Ukrainian iconography – in particular Hutsul folk iconography. And in my work, I tried replicating one of the directions of icon painting. Now I mix everything and cannot even say whether my icon is Hutsul, Pokut, or Lemko. But regardless, the roots are in our ancient icon.

I tried to give the features of warmth and family. In this icon, the Holy Family flees to Egypt with their dog. It would seem like a small element, but in my opinion, it makes this icon relatable. 

At this point, Lviv is one of the essential platforms of contemporary iconography. In my opinion, iconography created in Lviv is clearly defined in modern art. Our circle develops sacred art in a personal manner. We can see an artist who has their defined language, their defined understanding of iconography. But what is most important is that they have an in-depth knowledge of theology. They have faith and understand what they are doing and the reason behind it. I think that’s the most important thing.

Roman Zilinko

I have been fascinated with folk art for a long time. A few of my friends and I work primarily in a folk style. In the early 90’s, when I was still a child and maturing, people were beginning their fascination with icons on glass and Hutsul iconography. From then on, it’s been my passion. I work in a museum, organize exhibits and other projects. Painting is my outlet, my attempt to express myself.

 In my personal life, the role of Bishop Borys is very significant. I was one of the first graduates of the Lviv Theological Academy. I matured and became who I am in the environment created by Borys Gudziak. My profound fascination with icons started during my student years, primarily thanks to Borys Gudziak and the people around him. Now as an artist, every time we meet, I feel his support and encouragement.

There is an excellent circle of artists united around the IconArt gallery, and with them many collaborations can be accomplished. The opportunity to go beyond the gallery walls broadens our possibilities.

Olya Kravchenko

Each of us works in a specific style; you can see the artist’s character through the piece of art. No matter what they create, the  themes they use, other works or ideas, it still portrays stylistic features of the artist.

Now I have the desire to experiment. Every time I begin a new piece, I say to myself, “I will finish this work, and then I will start experimenting,” even though I have already decided that I want to experiment. I want to create more lightness and transparency in my works.

ICONART is our family because we grew and matured with it. Here you can find exhibits of iconography. I have held three or four of my own exhibits here.

Oksana Romaniv-Triska

I started painting on glass after learning the ancient technique. I borrowed this principle from folk icons of the Hutsul region, Pokuttya, and Bukovyna, made by folk masters. of painting from them. For me, it was not interesting to use these techniques permanently, and glass itself encourages experimentation.

Personally, this technique is fascinating because you can apply a pattern and the color layer can be interpreted freely. Through gilding and other additional effects, you achieve a modern depiction of the icon. 

Glass gives a lot of visual effects. First, you work with the back of the icon, so  you need to remember that the final painting will be in reverse. If the Mother of God embraces Jesus with her right hand, she will envelop Him with her left hand when you turn the glass.

I often have doubts whether it is an icon or a painting on a religious theme. It depends on the perception of an icon. Some perceives it in a modern way, that is, it’s a symbol, and the technique doesn’t matter; others want to see a canonical image. In the IconArt Gallery, you can find many different styles iconography. The admissibility of the freedom of thought and creative interpretation allows you to expand the range of the perception of the icon or religious image.

At the exhibit in Philadelphia, my two icons of the Mother of God are displayed: The Mother of God of Hope and the Mother of God with the Child and three angels. Every year I return to the theme of the Virgin Mary and many artists to the same. The themes are eternal, and you want to go back to them. When I start a new painting project, I start with an icon of the Mother of God. For me, they are milestones that mark a particular phase.

Kateryna Kuziv

For me, the primary source of inspiration is the Scripture and my interpretation of it. I have no attachment to any color. I believe it is necessary to adhere to the canon, but the one of dogmatic theology, and not the traditional visual representation. So, even if that color is an established color for the clothes of the Mother of God, I do not consider it absolutely necessary. What is absolutely necessary is to adhere to the theological dogma and not at all to something external. 

Usually, the Holy Scriptures or irmos, kontakion, chants of the Liturgy, Vespers, Matins stimulate my deep thought process. And then, they are somehow visualized into works.

There are four of my icons now in Philadelphia. One of them – the Eucharist, which depicts the Body and Blood of Christ in the form of Holy Communion against the background of the blossoming cross. The Nativity draws a parallel with the Pieta. It depicts both maternal joy associated with the birth of an infant, along with grief that comes with the loss of a child. The pieces of cloth symbolize both the Nativity and the Resurrection highlighting the juxtaposition.

There is also an icon of the Dormition of the Mother of God, where the Virgin Mary is shown in the tomb surrounded by flowers. I was inspired by the texts of the Apocrypha, where it is said that they did not see the Body of the Mother of God but find flowers and fragrances.

The understanding of theology is inseparable from iconography. For me, iconography is the incarnation of God’s word and its interpretations. If theology is theoretical, we express it visually. Icon painting must be appropriate to present day and be relatable. It should not be a historical artifact; it should be something living to which a person can connect. In this form it is able to visually proclaim the Gospel, as the icon is intended to do. A person who does not have an extensive religious knowledge should still be able to understand the message of the icon – potentially leading them to Church.

Icon painting allows me to be as free as possible.

Ulyana Tomkevych

The Icon of the Apparition of the Mother of God to Saint Bernadette in Lourdes was painted in France at the Plein-Air organized by bishop Borys Gudziak. There is also the Holy Family and the Annunciation icon. Annunciation theme can be frequently seen in my works —I like it and it is near and dear to my heart. There are themes and plots to which I return to periodically or work with for a limited time. 

My technique is classical, Byzantine. I paint on the board with levkas with pigments and a yolk emulsion. I scratch or sand away some extra elements. That’s why the icons are not heavy as there is no layering of the paint. My icons are not too modern, I preserve traditional elements. You can see the image and the faces but I experiment with the color scheme.

I feel entirely free. But to feel free and not make mistakes, you need to know a lot. One must know what can be changed and what cannot.

All the works that are currently on exhibit in Philadelphia are the compilation of artists and pieces that one could experience over several years at the ICONART gallery in Lviv.

Team:

Halyna Vasylytsia (video and editing)

Mariana Karapinka, Allen Blehl (text)

Kylyna Kurochka, Sofia Zacharczuk, Allen (subtitles)

 




Young adults of the Archeparchy took part in the initiative of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

On October 16, 2021 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Ministry with Young Adults held its Kick Off Event at the National Shrine of St. John Neumann. It was a wonderful event to begin this vital ministry to the young adults of our region.

The young adults from the Ukrainian Catholic Archepachy participated in the event, and one of the petitions was read in Ukrainian: “We remember the sick, the addicted, the dying and grieving. May their faith be strong and may they know God’s healing. And for all prayers we hold in the silence of our hearts… We pray to the Lord”.

“Seeing so many vibrant and faith-filled participants gives me great hope! May God bless the Office for Ministry with Young Adults and all who will be served by this ministry throughout our region!”, wrote on his Facebook page Archbishop Nelson Perez.




Ukrainian Catholics Greet the Neighbor Orthodox Parish’s Sisterhood

On Sunday, October 17, deacon Volodymyr Radko, on behalf of Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, took part in the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Sisterhood of the Protection of the Holy Theotokos of Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 7th Street in Philadelphia.

Deacon Volodymyr joined the community in the prayer of the Akathist, and afterwards, he extended a greeting from Metropolitan Borys to Ms. Barbara Latsios, President of the Sisterhood, on the occasion of the anniversary and presented a gift: the icon of Our Lady of Lisko. He also passed the greetings from Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop to the rector, Fr. Bohdan Zhoba and to all community.

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral is the neighbor of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.




A group of Ukrainian entrepreneurs joined the Good Samaritan Pantry’s activity

Last Saturday, on October 9, under the guidance of Sister Theodora, a group of Ukrainian entrepreneurs took part in food distribution in the Kensington district of Philadelphia

A charity project involving regular visits to the Kensington area, also known as the “heroin ghetto,” was launched at the Archeparchy of Philadelphia a year ago. Every week, under the guidance of Sister Theodora, director of the Good Samaritan Pantry, a food bank of the Archeparchy, volunteers prepare food kits for the poor and drug addicts. Every week, a group of people visits the Kensington area to distribute food and hygiene kits to the needy.

More than a dozen men and women from Ukraine who visited Philadelphia responded to Metropolitan Borys’s invitation to take part and visit the Kensington district. Impressions from the visit included emotions of fear, anger, compassion, and admiration for the sacrifice of volunteers.

Olha Bolyukh: “Personally, I associate Kensington with fear: fear of the hopelessness of the human soul that does not know where it is. It is not in the body; it is nowhere. Their heads are so intoxicated with drugs that they cannot understand where they are”.

Andriy Havryliv:  “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It is hard to imagine that people can fall that deep, but I am more interested in why this happens. We, people with a Soviet past, immediately think that such a rich country as the US could easily deal with the problem; but on the other hand, maybe it is democracy that manifests itself in such a way. I don’t know why such a state of people exists. That’s something on which I should reflect”.

Natalia Havryliv: “I was very much impressed by the kindness of the nuns and priests. At first, I was furious at those drug addicts – people who allow themselves to inject drugs on the street openly and without hiding. It was quite a shock for me, and what else was striking was that they were quite normal-looking people; one would never guess that they are drug addicts. Some come with kids and strollers. That was the scariest part to me…”

Yaroslav Kolodiy: “I saw how it looks when a person lowers itself to the level of total apathy. When their souls want to leave this world behind and to do so, they destroy their bodies. This happens as a result of the pain those people have experienced. They do not want to live in this world anymore. However, there is also another side. I was astonished how many people, those who were volunteering that day, were showing to the souls that had fallen that life goes on. That they are ready to help, ready to clean, bring food and medicine. It gives support to the people and shows that have a chance to go back and live, and enjoy the world in which God gives so many opportunities”.

Viktoriya Kolodiy: “I am amazed by the sacrifices of people that help drug addicts to survive. They spend time, their money, and attention not on their families or close ones, but help others. I started thinking that we in Ukraine also have this problem, but it exists behind closed doors. Here, in the US, it is on the surface, where we can see everything. What can we do in Ukraine? How to transfer that helping experience? How to prevent these things from happening? The majority of drug addicts that we have seen here were young people. They can live, have children, be creative and helpful. Something happened in their lives that brought them to such a dramatic stage.

Oksana Gudzovata: “I saw God’s people at the end of their earthly journey.”

Compiled by Kylyna Kurochka

Photo from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/10/magazine/kensington-heroin-opioid-philadelphia.html




Ambassador Oksana Markarova visited Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia

On October 9, 2021, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Oksana Markarova together with her husband Danylo Volynets and children, visited the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Metropolitan’s residence in Philadelphia.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak conducted a brief tour of the icons currently on display in the residence. Fr. Roman Pitula, rector of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral showed guests the Cathedral and explained its history and construction. Deacon Volodymyr Radko showed them “Treasure of Faith” museum. During lunch, the Ambassador had the opportunity to communicate with the newly arrived priests from Ukraine.

“During a conversation with Bishop Borys and his team, and a visit to the Cathedral in Philadelphia, which alludes to St. Sophia in Constantinople and has not only spiritual but architectural value I kept thinking that our Ukrainian superpower is in the intertwining between deep Ukrainian traditions and the pursuit for the novelty and innovation, in our love for freedom and willingness to fight for it,” noted Ambassador Oksana Makarova on her Facebook page.




New Sisters Coming to Assumption Parish and School in Perth Amboy, NJ

On Sunday, October 10, Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia; Fr. Ivan Turyk, pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God; and Mrs. Lissette Shumny, principal of the parish school joined with the faithful to celebrate the arrival from Ukraine of Sister Maria Veronica, Superior of the Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM). Sister Maria Veronica was accompanied by Provincial Superior, Mother Mary of the Immaculate Conception Ambrogio, along with six other sisters.

After the Divine Liturgy they discussed the Sisters’ future mission at Assumption in both the parish and the school. Sister Maria vid Khresta’s (of the Cross) arrival is expected Sunday, October 18. Until then Sister Maria Veronica resides in the congegation’s Brooklyn monastery.

“As Sisters establish their first Byzantine Catholic Rite mission in the United States, we strongly believe that while fulfilling their main role of ‘prayer’ their presence will be an instrument of evangelization in our parish and school,” remarked Fr. Turyk on his Facebook page. The Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, originally a Latin Church congregation, established its Eastern branch in Ukraine in 1998.

The Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará will be the second religious congregation serving at Assumption in Perth Amboy, NJ. The Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God served in the parish and school 1963-2018.




An honorary doctorate of the Ukrainian Catholic University was presented to Michael Yarymovych in Philadelphia

Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia and President of UCU Borys Gudziak presented an honorary doctorate of the Ukrainian Catholic University to Michael Yarymovych, inventor in the field of space flight in the USA, an active member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and an honored member of the Society of Ukrainian Engineers of America.

The award was presented on  October 10, after a Liturgy at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Philadelphia. Also present at the ceremony were UCU Vice-Rector Myroslav Marynovych, relatives of Mr. Yarymovych, a group of UCU benefactors from Lviv who travelled for the Perelaz folk ball, and parishioners of the Cathedral.




Saint Michael’s parish in Jenkintown hosted UCU fundraiser  

The Perelaz folk-ball, a charitable party to support the Ukrainian Catholic University, was held in the Philadelphia (USA) area,. Approximately 300 participants partied for seven hours, donating more than 100.000 USD in support of UCU on October 9. St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, hosted the event. ” It’s a great honor to be the first place in America to continue a wonderful tradition like Perelaz in support of the Ukrainian Catholic University,” Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia Andriy Rabiy greeted the guests.

Among the guests there was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States, Oksana Markarova. She noted that for her this was not just a protocol event, but an opportunity to continue the tradition of supporting UCU. “My family and I did not miss a single UCU event in Lviv or Kyiv. Now, when such a first event takes place here in America, of course, I could not miss it, not only as an Ambassador to the United States, but also as a longtime member of UCU’s circle of friends, “said the Ambassador. Before visiting Perelaz, Mrs. Markarova and her family visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia and met with Metropolitan Borys Gudziak.

Metropolitan Gudziak thanked all the donors of the evening, and noted that the circle of friends of UCU is a network. “Philadelphia is one of 20 cities with UCU-supporting committees. This network of support and love, I am convinced, will further transform the university community,” he said. He stressed that supporting UCU also helps the church in the diaspora, as for example, most of  the priests he invited to serve in the Archeparchy are the graduates of UCU and the Lviv Holy Spirit Seminary.

UCU Vice-Rector Myroslav Marynovych, in turn, thanked the global community of Ukrainians for giving UCU its leaders. “Without Bishop Borys Gudziak, a graduate of Syracuse and Harvard, a Ukrainian from Belgium, Fr. Mykhailo Dymyd, and a number of other diaspora Ukrainians, UCU would be a faceless university, unable to overcome the genetic flaws of communist education. In turn, UCU has united around itself those Ukrainians who were suffocating in the musty atmosphere of the “Soviet legacy”. They found in UCU a place for creativity and inspired work.”

An integral part of Perelaz traditionally is a charity art auction. Philadelphia was no exception – guests had to compete for 14 lots, including icons and graphics of famous Ukrainian artists, necklaces, and artisanal Christmas decorations.

The musical atmosphere for the evening was created by Viktor Morozov.  A special surprise for the guests was an ethno-disco DJed by Oleh Skrypka.

Although this is the first time Perelaz has been held in Philadelphia, it is a long-standing tradition for UCU. Last June, the 14th folk ball was held in Lviv. To convey the atmosphere, not only UCU Vice-Rector Myroslav Marynovych came to Philadelphia, but also more than 40 Ukrainian entrepreneurs, old friends and donors of UCU.




Archeparchy of Philadelphia Announces Teams Responsible for Implementing Pastoral Plan

On Monday, October 11, clergy and laity discussed via Zoom the Archeparchy’s Pastoral Plan, which is a small part (“a plan within a plan”) of the UGCC’s Pastoral Plan for 2030. The meeting detailed what will be needed at the Archeparchial level to help realize the Church-wide 2030 Plan. During the meeting Archbishop Borys Gudziak and Ms. Sofia Zacharczuk presented the final version of the preparatory phase of the Archeparchy’s Pastoral Plan and identified the teams responsible for implementation. The monitoring process was also one of the evening’s key themes.

Bishop Bohdan Danylo of the Parma Eparchy made introductory remarks regarding the UGCC’s 2020 Plan, “The Vibrant Parish: A Place to Encounter the Living Christ.” He also spoke about the process for 2030 as seven main points have already been approved by the Bishops’ Synod. The letter formally announcing the 2030 Plan is expected to be published in the coming weeks.

The preparatory phase of the Archeparchy’s Pastoral Plan will end in December 2022. By then, with God’s help, the process will have strengthened the Archeparchy of Philadelphia to help the entire Ukrainian Catholic Church realize its 2030 Plan. The resolutions and discussions of the Archeparchial Sobor meetings that took place October 2019-January 2021 serve as the foundation for this preparatory phrase. “We tried to reach out to lay people and in particular young people who have taken a role or even a lead in our pastoral planning,” emphasized Metropolitan Borys Gudziak at the beginning of the meeting.

After the Metropolitan’s remarks, Ms Sofia Zacharczuk presented the final version of the Plan and enumerated its four goals.

  • Goal 1: Strengthen existing evangelization and pastoral initiatives and develop new ones
  • Goal 2: Communicate “Why-What-When” regarding the Goals of the Archeparchial Plan to strengthen understanding and solidarity
  • Goal 3: Promote pastoral conversion and secure support for ambitious Archeparchial repositioning; invite priests, religious, and lay people to serve in the Archeparchy; develop strategy to foster succession plan for those on leave of absence or retiring
  • Goal 4: Develop necessary temporal resources to ensure sustainable support for the Archeparchy’s operations in the short term and long term

Afterwards, Ms Zacharczuk presented the four teams and their leaders responsible for realizing the Plan and for evaluating progress. At the end of the meeting all participants of the Zoom conference had the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas, and visions for the development and implementation of the preparatory stage of the Archeparchial Pastoral Plan. Soon team leaders will conduct follow up meetings to discuss their respective responsibilities.

It is worth noting that this was the second general meeting held on Archeparchial pastoral planning. The previous meeting took place August 11-13 and discussed general information on the overall process as well as the first draft of the Plan’s preparatory phase.