Institute of Eastern Christian Studies named after Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky received the highest award of the UGCC
On December 8, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) presented the highest award of the Father and head of the UGCC — the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky — to the Institute of Eastern Christian studies named after Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, which operates at the University of Toronto's St. Michael's College. The presentation took place in the Ukrainian Catholic Department in Philadelphia, according to Maryana Karapinka.
The high award on behalf of the Institute was accepted by its founder and first Director, Fr Andriy Chyrovsky, Fr. Petro Galadza, who now heads the institution, and Fr. Andriy Onuferko, long-time teacher and employee of the Institute.
With this order, the Synod of Bishops and the Head of the UGCC decided to mark the long-term work of the Institute for the preservation and study of the heritage of the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, fruitful scientific activity, education of the clergy on the foundations of education and spirituality of the Eastern theological tradition, active international, interreligious and interfaith activities.
A special merit of the Sheptytsky Institute, which was noted by the leadership of the Church, is sharing the treasures of spirituality in the social and cultural context of North America because it is the only scientific organization of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in North America.
”The Sheptytsky Institute, which for so many years shared the legacy of the Righteous Metropolitan Andrey, is one of the most worthy of this award," His Beatitude Sviatoslav said in his brief speech during the presentation of the medal. "Today, in the face of the whole community, the bishops of the Permanent Synod of our Church and in the face of the Lord God and his Heavenly Host, on behalf of the Mother Church, I offer you, dear fathers, the leaders of the Institute, heartfelt gratitude."
He noted that the leaders of the Institute did not always hear the words of gratitude from the Church but had to overcome many difficulties, and even now they are overcoming them. Presenting the order, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, and with him, all those gathered, sang to the Sheptytsky Institute "Axios" (worthy).
The head of the UGCC thanked the representatives of the Institute Foundation, who were also present at the award ceremony, and in their name to all those who support the activities of the Sheptytsky Institute. "I want to say that the Institute is worth supporting," concluded the head and father of the UGCC.
"I am glad not that the order was conferred on our Institute, but rather because the Synod of Bishops decided to name its highest order after Metropolitan Andrey because he is the restorer of our Church and a model for all to follow," commented the founder of the Institute Fr. Andriy Chyrovsky.
"Our Institute is small, but we are trying to work to raise the intellectual level of our Church in North America. Metropolitan Sheptytsky was not afraid of either the East or the West, he was open to knowledge and experience. We continue this tradition. I believe that Ukrainians, using the gift with which the Lord blessed them, can play the role of synthesizers of the best thinking of the East and the West, to make a really important contribution to the universal theological thinking,” Fr Dr. Petro Galadza said.
The order of Metropolitan Andrey, founded in September last year, is awarded for the second time, the Archbishop of Vienna, cardinal Christoph Schoenborn its first awardee in November.
During the celebrations in Philadelphia, the order was also received by Yevhen Choliy, President of the world Congress of Ukrainians.
Information about the Institute. Work on the establishment of the Sheptytsky Institute began in 1984, immediately after the death of Patriarch Joseph the Blind. The great Council of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, which was taught by Dr. Andriy Chyrovsky, approved the Institute in May 1986. Father Chyrovsky was its first Director: in Chicago and at the University of St. Paul in Ottawa. In 2014, the Institute was headed by Dr. Petro Galadza. In September 2016 the Institute became an integral part of the faculty of Theology of St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto. The Institute offers certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs and issues the theological journal "Logos".
Certificate of the order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
The Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in September 2018, cherishing the memory of the righteous Metropolitan Andrey, decided to establish the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as the highest award of the Father and Head of the UGCC for the celebration of certain persons for special merits.
The order can be awarded to individuals, public figures or Church institutions, representatives of Churches and religious communities, as well as secular persons, in particular, public activists who embody through their work the principles by which the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky lived and served the Church and the people.
The basis for awarding the Order is:
● active social and public position in opposing evil; moral authority recognized by the Church or society; selfless work in the education and protection of Christian values, such as the right to life, freedom and personal dignity; civic courage, self-sacrifice, feat ( a heroic and socially significant act);
* asceticism in the sphere of interethnic reconciliation, interreligious and Ecumenical dialogue, Church-state-public relations; statesman position, combined with high moral authority; long-term and consistent state activity on a Christian basis; implementation of the basic principles of the social teaching of the Church in all spheres of public life; protection of the interests of the Church; development of spirituality and genuine patriotism.
The set of distinctions of the Order includes a sign, a miniature, a rosette and a diploma.