Archbishop Borys Gudziak – Biography


Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Ph.D.

The official enthronement ceremony of Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Borys Gudziak, took place on June 4, 2019 in the Ukrainian Catholic 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 of Philadelphia of the UGCC.

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.

Borys Gudziak was ordained as a priest  on November 26, 1998.

In 2012 he was appointed Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Switzerland. Archbishop Borys also serves as a member of the Permanent Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and as a head of the Department of External Church Relations. In 2016, with the help of American consultants with experience in church administration as well as business, Archbishop Borys launched a program of strategic pastoral planning to create an eparchial vision for its future activity and growth, increased the number of priests and parishes, established a new financial model for the eparchy’s sustainability, and widely engaged the laity.

During the 2013-2014 Maidan movement for human dignity, Archbishop Borys was an active supporter and appeared regularly on leading global TV channels and media providing expert commentary.

Archbishop Borys has received numerous awards and distinctions. In 2015 he became a Cavalier of the Order of Legion of Honor (Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur), the highest decoration in France. In 2016 he was awarded the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański Award in Wroclaw, Poland, in recognition for his work in shaping civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2018 he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Syracuse University, and a literary award from the Ukrainian chapter of PEN International.  In June 2019, Archbishop Borys was presented with the Notre Dame Award from Notre Dame University.  He travels globally with lectures and talks on theology, history, spirituality, education, society, and current challenges in Ukraine.

He speaks English, Ukrainian, Italian, Polish, French, Russian, and German. Archbishop Gudziak is the author of a number of scholarly works, among them a doctoral dissertation on sixteenth-century church history, published as Crisis and Reform: The Kyivan Metropolitanate, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Genesis of the Union of Brest (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), as well as numerous articles in European and North American academic journals. He has also penned articles in popular magazines, newspapers, commentary on political, cultural, and religious affairs, position papers on academic curricula and educational reform, and introductions to scholarly and spiritual publications. Archbishop Borys is among the authors of A Pope Francis Lexicon,edited by Cindy Wooden and Joshua J McElwee (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2017) and a collection of essays about the future of Europe.

He continues to be an active member of the “Plast” Ukrainian Scouting Organization and the head of its supervisory board.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak is an honorary citizen of Lviv.




The Coat of Arms of Archbishop and Metropolitan Borys Gudziak


The coat uses a laconic modern style reflecting the semiotics of a contemporary logo.

The Trinitarian, Christocentric, Eucharistic, and Old-Kyivan accents are clearly discernible. The coat of arms is not in the form of a militaristic shield, but of a chalice as symbol of the Pascal bloodless sacrifice.

The trident, the main element, is a sign of St. Volodymyr the Great’s acceptance in 988 of the faith in the Triune God and symbolizes the fullness of Divinity. Its crimson color represents the sacrifice of Christ, the martyrs, and wine of the Eucharistic.

Gold is the color of Divinity and of bread. The Son of God becomes man and sheds his blood, accepting death on the cross to witness in this world to God’s eternal love and glory.

The cross in the center symbolizes the Savior’s Easter victory. Through the Cross – to the Resurrection. This devotion to Christ and the Cross is shown by the princes and passion-bearers Sts. Borys and Hlib, sons of Volodymyr, representatives of the first generation of the baptism of Rus’-Ukraine, and the first saints canonized on Kyivan land. Their bowed heads – vivid fraternal benevolence – exemplify an interpersonal relationship of harmony, peace, and joy, reflecting the interpersonal love in the Holy Trinity.

The motto Ευχαριστώ (“thank you” in Greek) stands for both the Eucharistic sacrifice and gratitude for the grace and generosity of God.