January 26, 2001 – February 10, 2011 he served as a Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, on February 26, 1933, Lubomyr Husar fled from Ukraine with his parents in 1944, ahead of the advancing Soviet army. He spent the early post-World War II years among Ukrainian refugees in a displaced persons camp near Salzburg, Austria. In 1949, he emigrated with his family to the United States of America. From 1950 to 1954, he studied at St. Basil’s College (Ukrainian) Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut. He continued his studies at Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and at Fordham University in New York. He was ordained a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest of the Eparchy of Stamford on March 30, 1958. From 1958 to 1969 Fr. Husar taught at St. Basil’s College Seminary, and also between 1966 and 1969 was the pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish in Kerhonkson, New York. In 1969, Fr. Lubomyr went to Rome, where he earned a doctorate in Dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Urbanian University in 1972.
During his stay in Rome he joined the Ukrainian Studite monastic community at the Studion Monastery not far from Castelgandolfo, Italy, and was elected hegumen (superior) of the monastery in 1974. He was consecrated a bishop in 1977 in the Studion monastery chapel in Castelgandolfo by Patriarch Josyf Cardinal Slipyj. He was named Archimandrite (Abbot) of the Studite Monks in Europe and North America in 1978. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he returned to his native country and served as spiritual director of the newly re-established Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv.
In 1994, he established a new Studite monastery near Ternopil, Ukraine. The Synod of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops elected him Exarch of the Archiepiscopal Exarchy of Kyiv-Vyshhorod in 1995. In 1996, the Synod elected him as auxiliary bishop with special administrative delegated authority to His Beatitude Myroslav Ivan Cardinal Lubachivsky, Major Archbishop of Lviv. Upon the death of Cardinal Lubachivsky on December 14, 2000, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Husar apostolic administrator of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv. In January of 2001, the Synod elected him Major Archbishop of the Church and Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The following month, he was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II. In 2001, Cardinal Husar along with the Catholic bishops, clergy and faithful of Ukraine welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first visit to a former Soviet Republic.
His Beatitude also became the first Chancellor of the newly established Ukrainian Greek Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. Under his leadership in August 21, 2005, the major archiepiscopal see of Kyiv-Halych was officially transferred to Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. On 10 February 2011 Pope Benedict XVI announced that he has accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar, father and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and major archbishop of Kyiv-Halych in accordance with 126 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches. Cardinal Husar remained active in ecclesial and social life of Ukraine. Memory Eternal!
UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA AND USA MEET IN GLEN COVE, NY
Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka
The Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada and USA held their annual meeting from May 2nd thru May 4th, 2017 in the Library Building of the Ukrainian Catholic Basilian Fathers at St. Josaphat Monastery located in Glen Cove, NY. A very comfortable and prayerful environment was generously provided through the hospitality of Very Rev. Basilio Salkovski, OSBM, Provincial Superior of the Basilian Fathers of St. Josaphat, OSBM.
Participants in the meeting were Most Rev. Stefan Soroka, Metropolitan for USA and Archbishop of Philadelphia, Most Rev. Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan for Canada and Archbishop of Winnipeg, Most Rev. Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Bishop of the Eparchy of Stamford, Bishop David Motiuk, Bishop of the Eparchy of Edmonton, Most Rev. Ken Nowakowski, Bishop of the Eparchy of New Westminster, Most Rev. Bryan Bayda, CSsR., Bishop of the Eparchy of Saskatoon, Most Rev. Bohdan Danylo, Bishop of the Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma, Bishop John Bura, Auxiliary Bishop for the Philadelphia Archeparchy and Bishop Emeritus Basil Losten of the Eparchy of Stamford.
The Canadian hierarchs shared their experience of their ‘ad limina’ visit made with the Catholic Bishops of Western Canada to the Holy Father. Topics to be considered at the upcoming Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church were discussed, as were the consideration of themes for an upcoming Sobor of our Church to be held in 2020. The ongoing implementation of the Vibrant Parish initiative in our eparchies was discussed, as were the preparations for the upcoming visit by the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission to Canada and USA. The provisions of the Particular Law of our Church were reviewed as were proposed statutes for the Winnipeg and Philadelphia Metropolias. The Bishops discussed the use of social media and explored ways to combine our efforts in various social media initiatives in eparchies. A committee was formed to develop a core marriage preparation program for implementation in all of our eparchies via social media. A North American Liturgical Commission was formed to advise the Bishops in the ongoing developments in Liturgy. Clergy formation and the state of consecrated life in our eparchies were also reviewed among other topics of common concern.
A half day visit to the recently opened National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City and to St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church were included during the meeting days. The annual meeting of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of USA and Canada facilitates close fraternal sharing and the development of initiatives of common concern. There is much wisdom in journeying together as the Bishops endeavor to meet the ever changing needs in pastoral ministry in our Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Chicago Bishop Announcement
The hierarchy, clergy, religious and faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA joyfully rejoice with the good news of the Holy Father Pope Francis’ appointment of the Most Reverend Venedykt (Valery) Aleksiychuk, M.S.U., as the Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saint Nicholas in Chicago. Bishop Aleksiychuk has up until now served as Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv, Ukraine. He will be the 5th Bishop of St. Nicholas Eparchy, succeeding the Most Rev. Richard Seminack, an American born bishop who served the St. Nicholas Eparchy for 13 years until his death on August 16th, 2016 from illness. The St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy includes most of central and western USA, including Hawaii and Alaska.
Most Rev. Venedykt Aleksiychuk, M.S.U., was born in Ukraine on January 16th, 1968 and is a Ukrainian Studite monk. He was ordained a priest in Lviv, Ukraine twenty-five years ago and as a Bishop on September 5th, 2010. Bishop Venedykt Aleksiychuk will be installed as the Bishop of St. Nicholas Eparchy in the coming months. Let us offer prayers of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessing of a new chief shepherd for the St. Nicholas Eparchy. Let us offer prayers for Bishop Venedykt as he joyfully undertakes this new journey, under the protection and guidance of the Mother of God.
+ Most Reverend Stefan Soroka
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States
April 20, 2017
Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka was the Main Celebrant at the Hierarchical Paschal Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia, PA on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. Concelebrants included Deacon Michael Waak, Fr. Roman Sverdan and Fr. Roman Pitula. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! (Photo: Teresa Siwak, The Way)
Deafness and blindness are great personal tragedies, but deafness and blindness of the soul is more tragic. On Palm Sunday, Jerusalem was blind and deaf. Its people did not recognize the true mission of Jesus. Many in the crowds wanted a revolutionary and conqueror who would fulfill their expectations and help them realize their nationalistic hopes. Their souls were unmoved. In a few days, the crowds of people will change its heart and will call out for the crucifixion of Jesus. The disciples will flee and hide. Peter will deny Jesus three times. Imagine the loneliness felt by Jesus.Continue reading
Our Great Fast Meditations have meditated on the sinfulness of living with feelings of entitlement. Today’s Gospel tells of how two apostles who blatantly asked Jesus to sit on either side of him when he comes into his glory. It brought out feelings of animosity among the other ten apostles. Is this not true of life – our life, when we strive for being regarded as in some way superior and thereby more entitled to life’s privileges than others? It occurs among all of us, between people of all ages, ethnic groups and races, people with different levels of education, amidst hierarchy, clergy, faithful, and so on. It causes dissension, envy and brutality amidst us. Jesus was calling his apostles to a change of mind, to live with a new vision. It was not easy for them to understand that greatness meant becoming a servant of others. Like the apostles, we are slow to grasp Jesus’ vision of joy and peace, slow to accept the truth that sets us free. Can we grasp the hand of Jesus Christ with His promise that we will not walk in darkness if we follow Him? Jesus taught that “whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all” (Mk 10:45). Our Holy Father recently reminded us not to be hypocritical in the celebration of our faith. As we make plans for Easter celebrations, plan to make the entire journey with Jesus Christ, by participating in the Vespers and Exposition of the Holy Shroud on Good Friday and entering through His sacrifice into the celebration of Pascha, the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I urge you not to be hypocritical with God by choosing to enjoy the blessing of Easter foods and participating in Easter Sunday services without having entered through the door of Christ’s passion and death on the cross.
The Gospel tells us of a time when Jesus returns from the mountain top to find his apostles baffled, helpless, and ineffective. The apostles had fallen into despair and could not help the father with his ill son. Jesus later explains to them that this kind of cure demanded prayer. The apostles had been equipped with power, but needed prayer to maintain it. Great Fast awakes us to rekindle our relationship with God through more fervent and steadfast prayer.
Do we take our relationship with the Lord for granted, seeking Him when we are challenged or hurting, and presuming His presence in times of stability and joy? Do we harbor doubts as to the power of the Lord’s help? When coming face to face with Jesus, the father of the ill boy exclaimed, “I do believe! Help my lack of trust!” (Mk 9:24). To approach anything in the spirit of hopelessness is to make it hopeless. To approach anything in the spirit of faith is to make it a possibility. Participating within a community of faith which is vibrant in its prayer life is the surest way to ensure living in the spirit of hope. Your parish offers the gift of growing and sharing in prayer life. We come to realize the need for one another in our journey of faith. We come to realize the power of Christ’s presence and His healing when journeying with others in shared prayer. Rekindle your relationship of prayer with Christ together with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ within your parish this Great Fast!