4 June 2019


The official enthronement ceremony of the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Borys Gudziak, took place on June 4 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, with participation of 50 bishops from the Eastern Catholic, Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic Churches, over a hundred of priests and members of the monastic orders.Bishop Boris became the seventh Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archeparchy (Metropolia) of Philadelphia of the UGCC.

The head of the UGCC Patriarch Sviatoslav and the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States Christopher Pierre led the Liturgy with the ceremony of enthronement.

On behalf of Pope Francis, Nuncio Christopher Pierre read out the Decree on the appointment of Archbishop Metropolitan Boris Gudziak as head of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the UGCC and handed him the papal bulla.

“The Pope highly appreciates your academic degree and the devoted service to the UGCC. Your knowledge of history and your devotion to ministry gives us confidence that you will lead the Church along the path of reconciliation and understanding,” the Vatican document said.

The secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, read the Decree of the Head of the UGCC nominating Bishop Borys the Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the UGCC.

The newly appointed Metropolitan Borys read out the “test of faith”, saying the Symbol of Faith prayer. The head of the UGCC said a prayer for the successful ministry of the new Head of the UGCC in the United States and handed him the Metropolitan’s staff, a symbol of governance.

When turning to Metropolitan Borys at the solemn Liturgy of Enthronement, the Head of the UGCC stressed that the faithful of the United States expect the Church to renew, revive and witness their faith: “You must teach people to believe in God, to cure the wounds of unbelief. Reorient people from different cultures and environments towards God, teach them to be themselves. Return our Church in the United States to the heart of the Ukrainian community, bring the living God into the heart of a modern man. We look forward to the renewal of our Church in the United States, the modernization of our church structures, the revival of the Church’s mission, and find all those in need of the Church. We look forward to communion with our Mother Church in Ukraine and across the world.”

Patriarch Sviatoslav called on the Greek Catholics in the United States to “open hearts to the action of the Holy Spirit, accept the Lord and follow Him.”

“The Lord has led me to serve in different countries. I’ve accepted this nomination in freedom and peace. Wholeheartedly, I would like to serve my brothers in episcopal ministry, clergy, religious, and faithful of Philadelphia Metropolia. To start a new life at 58 is a huge gift from God and a sacred privilege. I wish to lead the metropolia and archeparchy first of all by listening. This is the land where I was born and baptised, where my parents died and were buried. However, for the last 30 years I lived and served in Europe. Many things have changed, there are numerous challenges both in the Church and society, but I believe that the Lord, who called me to this new service, will lead me and the people entrusted to my care. Primarily, I wish to be their brother, father, and pastor”, commented Bishop Borys.

As it was previously reported, the official Vatican announced on February 18 that Pope Francis appointed Borys Gudziak as Archbishop Metropolitan of Philadelphia of the UGCC in the United States, transferring him from the Diocese of St. Volodymyr the Great in Paris.

The Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the UGCC in the United States was vacant since April 16, 2018, when Pope Francis accepted resignation of the then Archbishop Metropolitan Stefan Soroka.

The history of the Philadelphia Archeparchy, now to be led by Bishop Borys, reaches back to 1914, when the Pope Pius X created an ordinariate for Eastern Catholic faithful and appointed Bishop Soter Ortynsky as its ordinary. However, the first parish in the Philadelphia Archeparchy was opened in the 1880s. In 1924 the ordinariate was elevated to the rank of exarchate and in 1950 to the rank of archeparchy.

Today, the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the UGCC embraces 13,000 believers, 62 parishes, two missions in the state of Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Other dioceses of the Metropolis are the Dioceses of Stamford, Conn., St. Nicholas in Chicago, Illinois; St. Joshaphat in Parma, Ohio.


Borys Gudziak was born in 1960 in Syracuse, New York, the son of immigrants from Ukraine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and biology from Syracuse University in 1980 and then studied in Rome, in the circle of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. He received a STB degree in theology from the Pontifical Urban University in 1983 and then returned to America to pursue a doctorate in Slavic and Byzantine Cultural History at Harvard University, which he successfully defended in 1992. In 1995, he earned a licentiate in Eastern Christian studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

In 1992, he moved to Lviv where he founded and directed (1992-2002) the Institute of Church History. In 1993, he was appointed Chairman of the Commission for the Renewal of the Lviv Theological Academy. From 1995 until 2000, he served as Vice Rector of the Lviv Theological Academy, then as Rector from 2000 to 2002. In that year, Gudziak became Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (founded on the basis of the Academy), and in 2013 its President.

On July 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI nominated Borys Gudziak a new bishop of the UGCC for the faithful of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and ordained him as bishop on December 2, 2012. On January 19, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the Apostolic Exarchate for the Ukrainians of France, Benelux and Switzerland to the level of the complete Archeparchy of St Volodymyr in Paris.

On June 4, he officially became Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia of the UGCC.


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