Opening of the Patriarch Josyf Slipyj Collegium

On 26 August 2012, the Patriarch Josyf Slipyj Collegium of the Ukrainian Catholic University opened. UGCC Head Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) and Bishop Borys (Gudziak) in concelebration with bishops and priests conducted the order of consecrating the newly-built collegium.

“We are today blessing a unique structure: our Church and, in particular, UCU is receiving a necessary instrument for forming the laity. The collegium is not a dormitory. Community will be built here. Here the Church will pass the faith on to your children, in addition to providing higher and advanced study. It will form them to be good Christians, active laypeople who will be able to take on many initiatives and responsibilities,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) in his words of greeting.

In the opinion of the head of the UGCC, UCU today stands at the avant-garde of forming laity in the Church. His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the rectorate of UCU, headed by a bishop, and also the benefactors: “This project will influence Ukraine’s future. I hope that the foretaste of great matters that we have felt today will in the future be able to be completed by the hands of those called.”

In the words of Bishop Borys (Gudziak), the newly-built collegium witnesses that UCU is trying to re-think the phenomenon of the university in the 21st century.

Today in the collegium, teachers, curators, and administrators live alongside students. Each 20-25 students have their own curator. Redemptorist nuns also live here. Diplomats, politicians, artists, and intellectuals stay in the guest quarters.

UCU’s newly-built collegium also houses the Center for Spiritual Support of Persons with Special Needs. This is unique for a university. “People who have special needs have special gifts. In a society where fear reigns, we need people who have a special gift for relations, who through all the facades and masks know how, in a wonderful and sacramental way, to pose the most important question: ‘Do you know how to love me? Because I want your love.’ Our friends from Emmaus, Faith and Light, and L’Arche are like that. So in the collegium we will form the Emmaus community. These people do not need ‘handouts’ from us. They are our ‘professors of human relations,’” says Bishop Borys.

We thank all our benefactors who made possible the creation of this collegium. These are funds, foundations, and individual donors from Ukraine and abroad, including James Temerty, Yaroslav Rushchyshyn, Dmytro Firtash, Adrian Slywotzky, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Renovabis Fund, the Antonovych Foundation, and Ukrainian credit unions in New York and Chicago.