Every second Saturday of the month, Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ.
3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday. Next: 12th December 2020

Every Sunday - 9am Divine Liturgy in English (fully or mostly) at the Holy Family Cathedral

Owing to public health regulations, services will be sung only by one reader or cantor. There is no singing by the people for the moment. If you wish to attend on Sunday, booking is essential on this phone line: 07956 066727. Masks must be worn and distance maintained.

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email for details.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Ukrainian Catholic University

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Embassy to London at Holland Park hosted a reception to celebrate and promote the achievements of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, the only Catholic university institute of higher education in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The Society was represented by Fr John Salter, Chairman, Alan Worsfold, Treasurer and Fr Mark Woodruff, Vice-Chairman, who was also representing the Society for Ecumenical Studies.

Its origins lie in the Lviv Theological Academy founded by Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky in 1928, whose first rector was the future Josyf Cardinal Slipyj. It flourished for nearly two decades until 1944, following the Soviet invasion and the systematic persecution and suppression of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Slipyj continued the work in exile in Rome, founding a Ukrainian Catholic University at San Clemente, which in turn produced associated institutions in other countries of the Ukrainian diaspora. Then in 1994, two years after Ukraine's independence, plans for the restoration of the old Theological Academy bore fruit: it was re-established in Lviv, gaining recognition from the Congregation for Catholic Education in 1998. Pope John Paul II laid the foundation stone of the new Ukrainian Catholic University in 2001 (pictured) and the newly re-registered body finally received recognition from the education department of the Republic of Ukraine in 2002 for its liberal arts programmes, followed in 2006 with accreditation for its theology faculty.

There is a warm and active collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, which is the oldest Catholic university in the world. From Brussels it co-ordinates support to education and the Christian development of civil society in Ukraine, especially through the work of the Ukrainian Catholic University, through the organisation Edukraine.

The rector, the Revd Dr Borys Gudziak, told us of the impressive progress at UCU in just a few years. There are 1,000 students on a "rigorous, classical Christian curriculum in the humanities", 250 seminarians preparing for the priesthood, a thriving programme of summer schools - English and Ukrainian language, iconography, spirituality, art and culture - and an extensive and growing research library.

A very important new development for the Ukrainian Church's relation to wider society is its Lviv Business School, alongside existing work on public policy and social development. A cornerstone of its work is the promotion of the highest ethical standards in public and commercial life, stressing honesty, probity and anti-corruption.

An education school is also resourcing state and Church in religious education and also Catholic Christian principles on the rights and dignity of the human person, offering to post-Soviet Ukraine an authentic pedagogy based on a distinctively Christian ethos. This includes a particular strength in the education, engagement and inclusion of the disabled and those with special educational needs.

Perhaps of even greater interest further afield is the Institute of Ecumenical Studies. It is led by a Russian Orthodox lay theologian, Dr Antoine Arjakovsky, Director, and the Rev Dr Iwan Dacko, Chancellor of the Lviv Eparchy, President and Founder. Its mission is firmly "toward an ecumenism of love", in the conviction that after so much suffering in the Church and strife among Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Latin Catholic and Protestant Christians in the region, only generous loving forgiveness and mutual respect and collaboration can be the way forward for Christians as, together, they rebuild their nation's society and promote the Kingdom of God more widely in Europe and the world. Thus the IES not only has the support of Pope Benedict and Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in Rome - but also the Revd Dr Konrad Raiser, former General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Orthodox Archbishop Athanasius of Tirana and All Albania (co-President of the WCC), Archbishops Anthony, Vsevolod and Augustin of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as Cardinal Barbarin of Lyon and Archbishop d'Ornellas of Rennes.

A welcome contribution to the Church worldwide is its distance learning Masters' programme, with teachers from across Europe contributing to the existing strengths on the faculty. A particularly interesting aspect of this is "ecumenical hagiography", led by Dr Didier Rance, devoted to what Pope John Paul called the search for a 'new memory' about the Churches' shared histories of martyrdom and mutual persecution, asking how unity, co-operation and solidarity in the modern world can be established among Christians through the power not only of honour for the innocent suffering on all sides but also of forgiveness. A similar movement has been underway in England over the last few years in London, at Charterhouse, and in Oxford.

The Society warmly wishes Father Borys and the Ukrainian Catholic University every success in its exciting and growing work and witness, and we assure him of our prayers for God's abundant blessing.

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