The scholarly activities of the Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Fr. Bohdan Prach, are significant. Fr. Prach became a laureate of the prize of the international Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych Foundation for his book “Clergy of the Peremyshel Eparchy and the Apostolic Administration of the Lemko Region in 2 volumes, Volume 1: Biographical Sketches (1939-1989), Volume 2: Documents and Materials (1939-1950).” The awards ceremony was held at the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA on 22 October.
The work of Fr. Bohdan Prach is dedicated to the history of the Peremyshel Eparchy and the Apostolic Administration of the Lemko Region in the stormy and tragic period 1939-1989. These were years when the Church suffered the evils of war, Soviet, German, and Polish repressions, and the violent liquidation, imprisonment, exile, and deportation of clergy and faithful.
Work on the books lasted more than 20 years.
The award notation mentions “this collection of thoroughly prepared information about the Greek-Catholic clergy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Peremyshel Eparchy and Lemko lands.” The author searched for, gathered, compiled and deciphered valuable but often limited materials and evidence. He created a rich collection of original documents that will be useful to many scholars, researchers, and writers.
In his words of thanks, Father Bohdan Prach stated that the research work was enormous. During years of work in archives and interaction he managed to collect 5 thousand eye-witness accounts and 100 thousand archival materials. “For me it was important to establish a memorial to the people who went before us, in the form of this book. When my wife and I opened the pages of archival documents which contained an exceptionally great tragedy and, at the same time, the even stronger strength of the human spirit, we were fascinated,” says Fr. Prach.
In February 2016 the Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University for this work received the Ad Fontes Award of the Gudziak Family.
About the Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych Foundation
Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych created their foundation in 1982 in Washington, where they then lived. The goal of the foundation is “to help develop the culture of Ukraine, including but not limited to the fields of Ukrainian literature, history, religion, and the humanities, to stimulate, support, and encourage achievements in these fields and to support mutual understanding between the Ukrainian and American peoples.”
The Antonovych prize is awarded yearly and among the 60 prizes the laureates include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Robert Conquest, Timothy Snyder, and Bishop Borys Gudziak.