2021 marks the 120th anniversary of the enthronement of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church on January 17, 1901. Students and staff of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) reflect on the metropolitan’s significance for today. The students’ essays will be published in a collection on the theme.
Mykola Fedortsov, majoring in Ethics-Politics-Economics, wrote about the metropolitan’s achievements in various areas. For the Church, for example, he established an Eastern Christian branch of the Redemptorist Order (1913) and created the Theological Academy (1929), which led to the creation of today’s UCU.
For culture, he created the National Museum (1905), where “he gathered a unique collection of Ukrainian icons from the 14th to 18th centuries and also acquired excellent examples of European engraving.” He also supported current Ukrainian artists and initiatives to create hospitals (1902, 1930).
History major Natalia Drobot wrote about Sheptytsky rescuing Jews during the Holocaust, “maintaining constant contact with Jewish communities in the city of Lviv. It was these acquaintances which helped the metropolitan understand the situation in the city, because he himself was confined to a wheelchair. For example, during the first Bolshevik occupation, Sheptytsky became acquainted with Kalman Chameides, Chief Rabbi of Katowice, who ended up in Lviv after the German occupation of Poland.” His brother, Abbot Klymentii Sheptytsky, helped him coordinate rescue efforts. One of Drobot’s informational sources was the memoirs of Kurt I. Lewin, who himself was rescued thanks to Sheptytsky, “A Journey Through Illusions.”
Nazar Rohovskyi, majoring in IT and Business Analysis, emphasized Sheptytsky’s principles like “economic development from below, education as a key to economic success, fair trade and pricing, wider ownership of property, and the development of cooperation to balance power in the market.”
And, in this video with English-language subtitles, UCU Vice-Rector for University Mission Myroslav Marynovych talks about Sheptytsky’s idea of a fair economic system.