Bishop Borys Gudziak appointed as Metropolitan and Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia

On February 18, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis, accepting the recommendation of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), has appointed Bishop Borys Gudziak, Eparch of the Eparchy of Saint Volodymyr the Great in Paris, as Metropolitan and Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Eparch of Holy Family Eparchy in London, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Paris Eparchy.

Bishop Borys Gudziak lead the Eparchy of Saint Volodymyr the Great that serves the Ukrainian Greek Catholic faithful in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland since January 19, 2013. On that day, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine Rite to the rank of Eparchy and Bishop Borys was appointed as its first eparch. He previously held the position of the Apostolic Exarch, to which he was appointed on July 21, 2012. His episcopal ordination took place in Saint George Cathedral in Lviv on August 26, 2013, and enthronement on December 2, 2012, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Before his episcopal nomination he was rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, as well as one of its founders.

Bishop Borys Gudziak was born in 1960 in Syracuse, New York, in a family of refugee immigrants from Ukraine. He studied at Syracuse University and in Rome in the circle of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj. Bishop Borys earned his doctoral degree in Slavic and Byzantine Studies from Harvard University.

“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”, commented Bishop Borys.

The Apostolic Exarchate of Saint Volodymyr the Great, with its center in Paris, was erected in 1960 to satisfy the spiritual needs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics who settled in Western Europe after World War II. During the last two decades the number of faithful of the exarchate and later eparchy grew considerably due to a new wave of immigrants from Ukraine. In 2017, in order to learn the needs of new immigrants, Paris Eparchy in partnership with the Ukrainian Catholic University conducted a sociological survey.  

During the last six and a half years the number of parishes and mission grew from 20 to 44, and the number of priests increased from 9 to 23. Faithful in Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg were enabled to experience a regular liturgical life. In 2013, through the support of Ukrainian donors, the Eparchy purchased a church building in the town of Senlis, outside Paris. It is in this medieval town that Queen Anne, daughter of Prince Yaroslav the Wise,  lived in the eleventh century. The Eparchy started a new parish of the Holy Princes Borys and Hlib and launched the Cultural Center of Anne de Kyiv. Through the efforts of the clergy and the laity the eparchial pastoral plan “Christ is Our Hope” was developed and is currently being implemented.

“Our principal achievement and blessing are unity and peace in the Eparchy. They are unique means that can assure sustainability and development of the projects we initiated”, stressed Bishop Borys.

As mentioned above, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna of London is appointed as Apostolic Administrator. During recent years he was closely engaged in the pastoral projects and initiatives of the Paris Eparchy.

“The nomination of Bishop Borys as  metropolitan is humanly speaking the acknowledgement of his continuous work for the good of the Church, especially in Ukraine, France, Switzerland, and Benelux countries. However, it is first of all a sign of his readiness to serve where the Church sends him. The Holy Father, after the recommendation of the Synod, appointed me to lead temporarily the pastoral work in the Paris Eparchy. I ask the clergy and faithful of both eparchies to pray for me and to support me. It is not our achievement but God’s work. Let it bring glory to God’s name and to the faithful greater love of God”, Bishop Hlib commented.

“Bishop Hlib is a true friend of our eparchy, he personally knows our priests and their families. He knows our strengths and weaknesses”, noted the syncellus of the Paris Eparchy, Rev Mykhajlo Romaniuk .

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.

“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”

The enthronement of new metropolitan and archbishop will be held in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia on June 4, 2019.

Bishop Borys Gudziak

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, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Bishop 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.

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

Bishop Hlib Lonchyna

Bishop Hlib Lonchyna was born in the USA in 1954. He attended Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Schools in Detroit, as well as the School of Ukrainian Language and Culture.

He studied philosophy and theology at the Urban University in Rome (1971-1979), and defended his doctoral thesis at the Oriental Institute in Rome (2001).

In 1975 he entered the Studite Monastery in Grottaferrata (Rome) аnd professed final vows in 1976. Ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Patriarch Joseph Slipyj in 1977. Was associate pastor (1983-85) and pastor (1990-92) of St Nicholas Church in Passaic, NJ.

Ordained a bishop by Cardinal Lubomyr Husar (2002). Held the position of Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainians in Italy (2003-08), Spain (2004-2008) and Ireland (2004-present); curial bishop (2002; 2006-09). Since 2009 heads the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Great Britain: as Apostolic Administrator (2009-11), Exarch (2011-13), then Holy Family Eparch of London (2009-present).