Submitted by Patricia A. Burak
Director, Slutzker Center for International Services, Syracuse University; parishioner, St. John the Baptist Ukranian Catholic Church
The Catholic and Ukrainian communities of CNY are thrilled to host native son Bishop Borys Gudziak in Syracuse Oct. 28 to 31 for a series of events in connection with the Ukrainian Catholic University. All are invited to learn more about this spiritual leader and co-founder and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv, Ukraine. His Excellency Borys Gudziak hails from Syracuse, New York. He is a 1980 alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences of Syracuse University; he also attended Manlius Pebble Hill School and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy. The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Bishop Gudziak moved to Ukraine after earning his doctorate from Harvard University in 1992, and was ordained to the priesthood of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1998 in the Cathedral of St. George in Lviv. On Jan. 19, 2013, Bishop Gudziak was ordained a bishop and later named Apostolic Exarch of France and the Benelux Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Switzerland).
Bishop Gudziak re-established the Lviv Theological Academy, a Catholic seminary that had been liquidated on the orders of Josef Stalin in 1945. This Academy grew into the new Ukrainian Catholic University in 2002, which Bishop Gudziak has led successfully as its president since that time. University students of the UCU were very involved in the Ukrainian Maidan, the “Revolution of Dignity,” that overturned the government of former President Victor Yanukovich.
The Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation is bringing Bishop Gudziak to his hometown and to his alma mater for events Oct. 28 to 31.
Syracuse University will offer the opportunity to hear Bishop Gudziak reflect upon the “Revolution of Dignity” and engage in a powerful educational, inspirational and spiritually uplifting experience. “Ukraine’s Maidan: Revolution of Dignity – Civil Society and Education” will be held Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Maxwell Auditorium at Syracuse University. A reception hosted by the Maxwell School of Syracuse University Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs will follow.
On Saturday, Oct. 31, Bishop Gudziak and Bishop Robert J. Cunningham will concelebrate a Pontifical Liturgy at 3 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, 207 Tompkins St., Syracuse. This liturgy will satisfy the Sunday obligation for all Catholics, and will be particularly beautiful with the Ukrainian Choir singing, and responses and readings in both English and Ukrainian.
That evening, a Gala Fundraising Banquet will be held at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center, at which Bishop Gudziak will speak. A full program beginning at 5:30 p.m. will include a Welcome Dance by the Syracuse Odesa Ukrainian Dance Group and vocal artist Oksana Mukha. Ticket information is available at www.ucef.org. All who want to celebrate and learn more about a local MPH, CBA, and Syracuse University student who now can influence the world are welcome.