Consecration of University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God
In Lviv on September 11, 2016 the Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, consecrated the unique, three-section University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, which is located on the territory of UCU’s new campus.
The University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God is a special shrine for Ukraine. It is three churches at once: The Crypt of the Lord’s Tomb, the Lower Church of St. Clement I, Pope of Rome, and the main University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God with the pastoral center. The architecture of the church presents the main moments of salvation history and calls visitors to a pilgrimage through the sacraments to a joyful mission in the world. The ramps between the churches invite spiritual companions to a liturgical procession “from glory to glory.” Because movement, a common pilgrimage, and solidarity are the visible alternatives to stagnation, theoretical abstraction, and individualistic alienation.
“I think it is important that we ask ourselves to whom this church is dedicated, who is that wisdom which we want to worship in this holy church. If someone thinks that this wisdom is the capacity of you and me to be wise, he is mistaken. If someone thinks that this wisdom is the capacity of the human being to be wise, great, successful, modern and knowing, he is mistaken. For if we worship all these things, you and I would worship idols. And so we state, we emphasize, that this church is the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God,” stated His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk during his sermon.
His hope for teachers and students is that this church will become the most important “classroom” of the university, in which great wisdom can be attained.
Also participating in the ceremonies connected with the consecration of the church were: Liliya Hrynevch, Ukraine’s MInister of Education and Science; local officials Oleksandr Hanushchyn, Head of the Lviv Regional Council, Lviv City Mayor Andriy Sadovyy, and Oleh Syniutka, Head of the Lviv Regional Administration; and also clergy of the UGCC, and teachers, students, and benefactors of UCU.
Liliya Hrynevych was a Senator of the university and commented on its rapid development. “As Minister I want to testify that UCU is a leading institution in the non-government area which is both very popular and demanding. Young people with the highest entrance exam scores come here. For us today this is a source of valuable ideas and academic honesty. I hope the university will flourish and I express great gratitude to all UCU’s builders. For the university is marching ahead, a great future lies ahead. May the whole country experience the development of this university,” added Liliya Hrynevych.
On the occasion of the celebration the Head of the UGCC thanked all who worked, dreamed of, and built this holy church. He expressed special gratitude to the President of the University, Bishop Borys Gudziak, and the Rector of the University, Fr. Bohdan Prach, PhD. He also granted a patriarchal honor to the church’s architect, Ivan Bereznicki.
On the occasion of the celebration the Patriarch of the UGCC also blessed commemorative markers of founders and benefactors who donated to the building of the church.
“May the All-Merciful Lord award you all for your dedicated work and spiritual accompaniment in the building of this church. I hope that you will continue and complete all further work so that the University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God becomes a reflection of God’s glory here on earth. We pray that Our Heavenly Father give us good health and plentiful spiritual gifts for the service of the Church and the Ukrainian people.” So His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked all who worked, dreamed of, and built this holy church.
As part of the ceremonies on September 11 there was a spiritual evening, “Let us know the world in order to know God,” during which national artists together with UCU students explored the theme of the “wisdom-quality” of the newly-built University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God.
The concert program included theatrical performances by national artists and UCU students and spiritual music. The Hlas and Eteria choirs performed, in addition to a string quartet directed by Oksana Turnko, Natalka Polovynka and the Irmos Studio, and Oksana Mukha.
According to the plan, the University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God will become the spiritual core around which will revolve the academic and spiritual and liturgical life of the university. This is a unique church which is a symbol of unity and an incarnation of the Wisdom of God.