In the spring of 1991, the head of the UGCC, Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky, returned to his seat in Lviv.
On March 30, we commemorate an event that was one of the symbols of the renewal and development of our Church in Ukraine after 45 years of persecution. It all started with the statement of 23 priests and faithful under the leadership of Bishop Pavel Vasylyk in 1987, the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Baptism of Ukraine in 1988, the resumption of the Lviv Theological Seminary, the invalidation of resolutions of Lviv pseudosynod of 1946, and blessing and confirmation of the legal status of the UGCC by Pope John Paul II. The final chord was the return to Ukraine in 1991 of Cardinal Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
“I had the honor to accompany His Beatitude on this moving journey home, to be on the same plane, to interpret these events for a wider network of international journalists who were flying with us at the time. This media coverage was effectively provided by Sonya Glutkovska (Soutus) under the general direction of Father Ivan Datsko. It is difficult to forget or overestimate the importance of this historic moment. Cardinal Lubachivsky was returning home, to his faithful, and the Church in Ukraine and in the Diaspora was finally united,” said Archbishop and Metropolitan of Philadelphia Bishop Borys Gudziak.
After 53 years of migration, realizing the momentum for the Church, Cardinal asked God for strength to fulfill the hopes of the faithful. Patriarch Lubachivsky began to develop the basic structures of the Church: he founded the curia, established four new eparchies, ordained more than a hundred new priests, established relations with the Orthodox, paid great attention to education and youth, organizing catechetical training. In the social sphere, he resumed the work of Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s clinic and founded the international charity organization Caritas in Ukraine.
Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky was born on June 24, 1914, in the town of Dolyna in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. After graduating from the Lviv Theological Academy, he studied at the Jesuit College Kanizianum in Innsbruck (Austria). He defended his doctoral dissertation on theology on the topic: “The struggle of St. Basil the Great with Arianism, expressed in his liturgy”. He has written a large number of papers, articles, manuals, and books. Three volumes of his sermons (1984-1990) were published by the Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome.
In May 1947, he went to the United States to care for Ukrainian Catholic immigrants in Philadelphia. He served in various parishes and was a spiritual director at Stamford and Washington seminaries.
On September 13, 1979, Pope John Paul II appointed Lubachuvsky Archbishop and Metropolitan of Philadelphia, and on November 12, 1979, together with the Patriarch Jofyf Slipyj and Metropolitan Maksym Hermanuk, he personally ordained him as a bishop in Sistine Chapel in Rome.
On March 27, 1980, after the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, Lubachivsky was appointed coadjutor of the Major Archbishop with the right of succession. After the death of Josyf Cardinal Slipyj on September 7, 1984, he became the head of the UGCC. On May 25, 1985, he was appointed a member of the College of Cardinals. Died on December 14, 2000. Buried in the crypt of the Saint George Cathedral in Lviv.