The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church organizes a number of scientific, religious and cultural events in many cities of Ukraine in the framework of the Year of Patriarch Joseph Slipyj to celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth. “The slogan of the anniversary is ’The familiar and the unknown’. Familiar – because a lot of people heard about him, but he is still unknown to a great number of people,” said Glib Lonchyna, Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Bishop of Diocese of the Holy Family in Great Britain, Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainians of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Ireland, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Jubilee Celebration of the125th anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Joseph Slipyj, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop emeritus, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 2001-2011, stressed that Joseph Slipyj was not only an honored citizen, but also a true spiritual leader. “His work had a distinct spiritual aspect. […] He worked with a deep love for God and love for the neighbor,” said Lubomyr Husar. “We also need to realize that the best way to honor the memory of our spiritual father is to try to follow him. There are a lot of people who want to do something positive. And they do a lot, but I think our people should follow his spiritual motivation to achieve true development”.
Oleg Turiy, vice rector and director of the Institute of Church History of the Ukrainian Catholic University, coordinator of the scientific program of the Jubilee celebration, noted that the Patriarch, despite the extremely difficult circumstances, managed to combine pastoral service and profound service to science. It was Joseph Slipyj, who founded the Ukrainian Catholic University. Iryna Yasinska-Graves, patriarchal activist lay movement, a former employee of Cardinal Joseph Slipyj, reminded that largely thanks to him the Greek Catholic community became stronger and avoided assimilation with Catholic or Orthodox community.
“The main idea of this program is to create an opportunity for those, who knew and worked with His Beatitude, to meet and to tell the younger generation about him while these people are among us – noted Oleg Turiy. – We live in the post-truth time, when we are told that nothing is true, nothing is eternal, that everything is relative and everyone has his own viewpoint. There is the only way out of this dilemma – eyewitness testimony. If we hear such witnesses, and draw inspiration and love from communication with them, we, as the people and as the church, will get good chances. “
Today, February 15, at 5 pm, Great Academy will be held at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. On February 16, at 9:30 am, round table “Patriarch Cardinal Joseph Slipyj – known and unknown” will be held at UCU Center in Kyiv.
On February 17, at 11 am, jubilee celebrations will begin in the Museum and memorial complex “Mother house” in the village of Zazdrist, Terebovlya district, Ternopil region (his native village). On February 19, at 11 am the Pontifical Divine Liturgy and Requiem with the participation of His Beatitude Sviatoslav and UGCC bishops will be held in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.
On April 7-8, Student Scientific Conference of the UGCC seminaries “Patriarch Joseph Slipyj and development of Ukrainian theological education and science in the 20th – early 21st centuries” will be held in Lviv. On July 8-16, Summer School for Young Scientists “Figure of patriarch Joseph Slipyj in the context of international religious and political relationships” organized by the Institute of Church History and St. Pope Clement Institute together with the Religious Community “St Sophia” will be held in Rome.
In March, visiting sessions will be held in Kharkiv, Poltava, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod, Chernigiv, Zhytomyr and Ostrog. In May-June and September-October lectures and exhibitions will be held in major cities of central and eastern Ukraine.