/ Church in Ukraine / :
June 23-27, 2001    
Church in Ukraine

A Survey of Christianity in 21st Century Ukraine
Orthodox Churches in Ukraine
The Catholic Churches of Ukraine
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the Underground
A Brief History of Christianity in Ukraine
Ukrainian Religious Heroes
Roman Catholic beatifications (June 26, 2001): Short biographies
Greek Catholic beatifications (June 27, 2001): Short biographies
Twentieth Century Leaders of the UGCC
List of Bishops of the UGCC
The Byzantine Rite
Charitable institutions of UGCC
Monastic orders and religious congregations of the UGCC
Sanctuaries of UGCC
Structure of UGCC
Catholic Educational Institutions in Ukraine

Biographies of those to be beatified by the Holy Father while he is in Ukraine

All of those listed here are Greek Catholics except for Fr. Horazdowski (#29) and Archbishop Josyf Bilczewski(#30), who were Roman Catholics.




The Servant of God Sister LAURENTIA HERASYMIV was born on 31 September 1911 in the village of Rudnyky, Lviv District. In 1931 she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, and in 1933 she made her first vows. In 1951, she was arrested By the agents of the NKVD and sent to Borislav. Thereafter, she was exiled to Tomsk, Siberia. She was in very poor health and therefore on 30 June 1950 She was relocated to the village of Harsk, Tomsk and made to share a room with And attend to a paralysed man because nobody else would share a room with a tuberculosis-infected tenant. She continued to pray much and did much demanding manual labour. She patiently endured sub-human conditions. She finally died on 28 August 1952 in the village of Kharsk in the Tomsk Region of Siberia.


Servant of God Sister TARSYKIA MATSKIV was born on 23 March 1919 in the village of Khodoriv, Lviv District. On 3 May 1938 she entered the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. After professing her first vows on 5 November 1940, she worked in her convent. Even prior to the Bolshevik arrival in Lviv, Sr. Tarsykia made a private oath to her spiritual director, Fr. Volodymyr Kovalyk O.S.B.M, that she would sacrifice her life for the conversion of Russia and for the good of the Catholic Church. The Bolsheviks were determined to destroy the monastery. On the morning of 17 July 1944 at 8 a.m., a Russian soldier rang the convent door. When Sr. Taryskia answered the door she was shot without warning, and died.


The Servant of God Sister OLYMPIA BIDA was born 1903 in the village of Tsebliv, Lviv District. She entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph and served In various towns and villages as a teacher of catechism, director of novices, attendant to the aged and infirm. She had a special charism for youth and personally attended to education and raise of a number of young women. She was appointed superior of the convent in the town of Kheriv, and did her best to see to the spiritual and social needs of the people in spite of the Communist pressure surrounding their work. In 1951, she was arrested with two other sisters, imprisoned for a while then exiled to the Tomsk region of Siberia.
Under conditions of heavy forced labour, Sr. Olympia tried to perform her duties as superior and organised her Sisters and other Sisters in other camps to come together and to pray and support each other. Succumbing to a serious illness, she died after a relatively short period on 28 January 1952.



The Servant of God VOLODYMYR PRYJMA was born on 17 July 17, 1906 in the village of Stradch, Yavoriv District. After graduating from a school for cantors, which was under the care of Metropolitan Sheptytsky, he became the cantor and choir director in the village church of Stradch. On 26 June 1941 agents of the NKVD mercilessly tortured and murdered him along with Fr. Nicholas Konrad in the forest near their village as they were returning from the home of a sick woman, who had requested the sacrament of reconciliation.



The Servant of God Bishop NICHOLAS CHARNETSKY was born on 14 September 1884 in the village of Samakivtsi, Horodensk District. Upon his graduation from the seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood on 2 October 1909. He obtained his doctorate in Dogmatic Theology from Rome and became a spiritual director and professor at the seminary in Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk). In 1919, he entered the novitiate of the Redemptorist Fathers in Zboysko, near Lviv. In 1926, Pope Pius XI, upon the request of Metropolitan Andrew, appointed Father Nicholas as the Apostolic Visitor to Ukrainian Catholics in Volyn and Polissya. The ceremony of his ordination to the episcopacy took place on 2 February 1931, in Rome. During the first Bolshevik occupation Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky re-appointed him as the Apostolic Exarch in Volyn and Pidlyashia. On 11 April 1945 he was arrested by the NKVD (KGB) and Sentenced to six years of forced labour in Siberia. On 2 April 1959 he died in Lviv.


The Servant of God Bishop MYKYTA BUDKA was born on 7 June 1877 in the village of Dobomirka, Zbarazh District. In 1905, after graduating from Theology in Vienna and Innsbruck he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky. He was consecrated Bishop in Lviv on 14 October 1912. That same year he was appointed by the Holy See as the Bishop for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. In 1928, he became Vicar General of the Metropolitan Curia in Lviv.
On 11 April 1945 the Soviet government imprisoned him with a sentence of eight years. He died on 1 October 1949.


The Servant of God Bishop GREGORY LAKOTA was born on 31 January 1883 in the village of Holodivka, in Lviv District. He studied Theology in Lviv and was ordained to the priesthood 1908 in the city of Premeshyl (Przemsyl). In Vienna in 1911 he received his Ph.D. in Theology. In 1913, he became a professor at the Ukrainian seminary in Peremeshyl, later becoming its rector. On 16 May 1926, he was ordained to the episcopacy and was appointed auxiliary bishop of Peremyshyl. On 9 June 1946, he was arrested and imprisoned for 10 years in Vorkuta, Russia. He died as a martyr for the faith on 12 November 1950, in the village of Abez, Vorkuta.


The Servant of God Bishop GREGORY KHOMYSHYN was born on 25 March 1867 in the village of Hadynkivtsi, Ternopil District. After graduating from the Seminary he was ordained to the priesthood. His Theological education was enriched during further studies in Vienna from 1894-1899. In 1902, Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky appointed Fr. Gregory as Rector of the Seminary in Lviv. Fr. Gregory was ordained bishop for Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk) in St. George
Cathedral in 1904. In 1939, he was arrested for the first time by the NKVD (KGB). His second arrest was in April of 1945, after which he was deported to Kyiv. He died in Kyiv's NKVD prison on 17 January 1947.


The Servant of God Bishop JOSAPHAT KOTSYLOVSKY was born on 3 March 1876 in the village of Pakoshivka, Lemkiv District. He graduated with a degree in Theology from Rome in 1907, and later in that same year on October 9 he was ordained to the priesthood. Not long after that he was appointed to be vice-rector and professor of Theology at the Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk)
Seminary. On 2 October 1911 he entered the novitiate of the Basilian order. He was ordained to the episcopacy on 23 September 1917 in Premeshyl. In September of 1945 the Polish authorities imprisoned him. He died a martyr For the faith on 17 November 1947 in a Kyiv prison.


The Servant of God Bishop SIMEON LUKACH was born on July 7, 1893 in the village of Starunya, Ivano-Frankivsk District. His parents were simple villagers who worked the land. In 1913, he entered the seminary. His studies were interrupted for two years during the First World War, but he was able to complete his studies in 1919. That same year he was ordained a priest by Bishop Gregory Khomyshyn. He taught Moral Theology at the seminary in Ivano-Franksivsk until April 1945, when it is suspected that Bishop Gregory secretly ordained him a bishop. On 26 October 1949 he was arrested by the secret Soviet police and was not freed until 11 February 1955. He functioned as an underground member of the clergy, but in July 1962 he was arrested for a second time and appeared in court with Bishop John Sleziuk, who too was an underground bishop. While in prison, he was stricken with tuberculosis, which hastened him to his death on 22 August 1964.


Servant of God Bishop JOHN SLEZIUK was born on January 14, 1896 in the village of Zhyvachiv, Stanislaviv (Ivano-Frankivsk) District. After graduating from the seminary in 1923 he was ordained to the priesthood. In April of 1945 Bishop Gregory Khomyshyn ordained him as his co-adjutor with right of succession in the event that the Bolsheviks should arrest or kill Bishop Khomyshyn. However, shortly thereafter on 2 June 1945, Bishop John was arrested and deported for ten years to the labor camps in Vorkuta, Russia. At the beginning of 1950 he was transferred to the labor camps in Mordovia, Russia. After his release on 15 November 1954 he returned to Ivano-Frankivsk. In 1962, he was arrested for the second time and Imprisoned for five years in a camp of strict regiment. After his release on 30 November 1968 he had to often go to the KGB for regular "talks." The last visit was two weeks before his death, which was on 2 December 1973 in Ivano-Frankivsk.


The Servant of God Father LEONID FEODOROV was born to a Russian Orthodox family on 4 November 1879 in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1902, he left his Orthodox seminary and travelled to Rome, where he became Catholic. He studied in Anagni, Rome and Frieburg. On 25 March 1911, he was ordained a Greek Catholic priest in Bosnia. Also in Bosnia in 1913 he became a monk of the Studite monastery. Afterwards, he returned to St. Petersburg and was subsequently arrested and sent to Siberia. In 1917, he was released and appointed to be the head of the Russian Greek Catholic Church, with the title of Exarch. His second arrest came in 1923; he was sent to Solovky and to Vladka for ten years. He died as a martyr for the faith on 7 March 1935. In 1937, with the help of the Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky, the process for his beatification was undertaken.


The Servant of God Father PETER VERHUN was born on 18 November 1890 in Horodok, Lviv District. He held a Ph.D. in Philosophy. On October 30, 1927 he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky at St. George's Cathedral, and was appointed to be the priest for Ukrainian Catholics in Berlin, Germany. Sometime later, he became the Apostolic Visitor to Germany. In June 1945, he was arrested and sent to Siberia. He died as a martyr of the faith on 7 February 1957 in the village of Anharck, in the territory of Krasnoyar.


The Servant of God Archimandrite CLEMENT SHEPTYTSKY, the younger brother of the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky, was born on 17 November 1869 in the village of Prylbychi, Lviv District. In 1911, he entered the monastery of St. Theodore the Studite as a late vocation; by so doing he renounced his successful lay-career. He received his Theological education in Innsbruck. On 28 August 1915 he was ordained to the priesthood. For a long time he was the Ihumen (Prior) of the Studite monastery at Univ, and in 1944 he became the Archimandrite (Abbot). During World War II, he gave refuge to persecuted Jews. On June 5, 1947, he was arrested by NKVD (KGB) agents and sentenced to eight years of hard labour. He died as a martyr for the faith on 1 May 1951 in the Volodymyr prison.


The Servant of God Bishop Teodor Romzha was born on April 14, 1911, in the village of Velykyj Bychkiv, Transcarpathia. From 1930-1933, he studied philosophy. His theological education was spent in Rome from 1933-1937, culminating in a Licentiate. Shortly thereafter, he became an administrator of the parish in Berezovo. Beginning in 1939, he was a professor of Philosophy at the seminary in Uzhorod. On September 24, 1944, he was ordained to the episcopacy for the Mukachiv eparchy. During the Red Army presence in Carpathian-Ukraine, he was tireless in his defense of the rights of the Greek Catholic Church there. On October 27, 1947, the Bolsheviks attempted to kill Bishop Romzha. Heavily wounded, he was taken to the hospital in Mukachiv, where he was subsequently poisoned and died on November 1, 1947. Thanks in due part to Bishop Romzha, many of the faithful in the Transcarpathian region left Orthodoxy and returned to their Greek Catholic origins.



The Servant of God Father EMILIAN KOVCH was born on 20 August 1884, near Kosiv. After graduating from the College of Sergius and Bachus in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1911. In the spring of 1943, he was arrested by the Gestapo for aiding Jews. On 25 March 1944 he was burned to death in the ovens of the Majdanek Nazi death camp. On 9 September 1999 he was awarded the recognition of being a "Righteous Ukrainian" by the Jewish Council of Ukraine.


The Servant of God Fr. SEVERIAN BARANYK was born on July 18, 1889. On 24 September 1904 he entered the Krekhiv Monastery of the Order of Saint Basil the Great and made his final vows on 21 September 1910. He was ordained to the priesthood on 14 February 1915. In 1932 he became the hegumen (Prior) of the Basilian monastery in Drohobych. On 26 June 1941, the NKVD (KGB) took him to prison, after which he was never seen alive again, however a boy later witnessed to seeing the tortured corpse of Fr. Severian, marked with a cross-shaped knife slash on his chest.


The Servant of God Father ZENON KOVALYK was born on August 18, 1903 in the village of Ivakhiv, not far from Ternopil. He entered the Congregation of the Redemptorists, where on 28 August 1926, he made his religious vows. His Philosophical and Theological education was received in Belgium. After returning to Ukraine on 4 September 1937 he was ordained to the priesthood. He worked in Volyn and on 20 December 1940, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, he was arrested in a parish while he was giving a homily. In 1941, he was martyred by the Communists in a mock crucifixion against a wall in the Bryhidky prison (formerly a convent of the Sisters of St. Bridgette) on Zamarstynivska Street, Lviv.


Servant of God Fr. ROMAN LYSKO was born on 14 August 1914 in Horodok, Lviv District. He graduated from the Lviv Theological Academy. He was joyfully together with his wife for youth. On 28 August 1941 he was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky. On 9 September 1949, he was arrested by the NKVD (KGB) and put into a prison on Lontskoho Street in Lviv. It was initially believed that the young Fr. Roman lost his sanity because Of the tortures, because he was heard loudly singing the Psalms in the prison. Such accounts abounded, as well as one that Fr. Roman was sealed into a wall and left there to die, which he did on 14 October 1949.


The Servant of God Bishop BASIL VELYCHKOVSKY was born 1 June 1903 in Stanislaviv. In 1920, he entered the seminary in Lviv. In 1925 he took his first religious vows in Holosko, near Lviv and was ordained to the priesthood. Fr. Basil became a teacher and missionary in Volyn. In 1942, he became the hegumen (prior) of the monastery in Ternopil, where he was later arrested in 1945 and taken away to Kyiv. While there, his death sentence was commuted to ten years of forced labour. He came back to Lviv in 1955. In 1963 he was ordained an archbishop. His second imprisonment occurred in 1969 when he was given a three-year sentence. This confessor of the faith, already near death, was released to travel to Rome and then to Winnipeg, Canada where he died within a year on 30 June 1973.


Servant of God Fr. NICHOLAS TSEHELSKY was born on 17 December 1896 in the village of Strusiv, Ternopil District. In 1923, he graduated from the Theological Department of Lviv University. On 5 April 5, 1925, Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky ordained him to the priesthood. He was a zealous priest who took care of the spirituality, education and welfare of his parishioners. He was the parish priest in the village of Soroka, Hrymailivsk deanery, where he built the church. After the war the era of total repressions began. Father Nicholas personally experienced intimidation, threats and beatings. On 28 October 1946, he was arrested. On 27 January 1947, he was sentenced to ten years in prison. Although he had a wife, two sons and two daughters, he was deported to labor camps in Mordovia. He lived in extremely horrid conditions, in a camp that was notoriously strict and cruel. He suffered from severe pain. He died on 25 May 1951 as a martyr for the faith and is buried in the camp cemetery.


The Servant of God Father OLEKSA ZARYTSKY was born in 1912 in the village of Bilche, in the Lviv District. In 1931, he entered the seminary in Lviv. He received his ordination to the priesthood from Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky in 1936. In 1948, he was imprisoned for ten years and deported to Karahanda. After his early release in 1957 he was shortly thereafter imprisoned again for a three-year term. He died as a martyr for the faith on 30 October 1963 in a labor camp in a village in Karaganda.


The Servant of God Father ANDREW ISHCHAK was born on September 20, 1887 in Mykolayiv, in the Lviv District. He gained his Theological education at the universities in Lviv and Innsbruck. In 1914, he received his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Innsbruck and was ordained. Beginning in 1928, he taught at the Lviv Theological Academy. He was able to combine his professorial duties with his pastoral work in the village of Sykhiv, near Lviv. It was there that he met his death on 26 June 1941, thus becoming a martyr for the faith at the hands of soldiers of the retreating Soviet Army.


The Servant of God Father IVAN ZIATYK was born on 26 December 1899 in the village of Odrekhiv, near Syanok in present day Poland. After graduating in Theology in 1923 he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1935 he entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). During the Nazis occupation he was appointed to be hegumen (Prior) of the monastery in Ternopil. On January 5, 1950 he was arrested. At first he was staying in Zolochiv prison, but afterwards was sent away to Ozerlah, Irkhutsk, Russia.
On Good Friday in 1952 he was severely tortured and he died on 17 May.


The Servant of God Fr. VITALIY BAYRAK was born on 24 February 1907 in the village of Shvaikivtsy, Ternopil District. On 4 September 1924, he entered the Basilian monastery and was ordained a priest on 13 August 1933. Beginning in 1941 he was appointed Ihumen of Drohobych. On 17 September 1945 the NKVD (KGB) arrested Fr. Vitaliy and on 13 November his property was confiscated and he was sentenced to eight years in a labor camp. Just prior to Easter of 1946, Fr. Vitaly died after having been severely beaten in the Drohobych prison.


The Servant of God Fr. YAKYM SENKIVSKY was born on 2 May 1896 in the village of Haji Velyki, Ternopil District. After graduating from Theology in Lviv, He was ordained as a priest on 4 December 1921. His Ph.D. in Theology was obtained from Innsbruck. In 1923 he became a novice in the Basilian order in Krekhiv. After professing his first vows he was assigned to serve in the village of Krasnopushcha, and later to the village of Lavriv. From 1931 to 1938 he occupied various positions at the St. Onufry monastery in Lviv. Later, in 1939, he was appointed to be proto-ihumen at the monastery in Drohobych. On 26 June 1941 he was arrested by the Communist authorities and on June 29 he was martyred by being boiled to death in a cauldron in the Drohobych prison.


The Servant of God Father NICHOLAS KONRAD was born on 16 May 1876 in the village of Strusiv, Ternopil District. Both his Philosophical and Theological educations where obtained in Rome, where he received his Ph.D. In 1899, he was ordained to the priesthood. He initially taught in a high school in Berezhony and Tereboblya. In 1930, Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky invited him to teach at the Theological Academy. Metropolitan Andrew later appointed him to be a parish priest in the village of Stradch, near Yaniv, where the Bolsheviks subsequently martyred him on 26 June 1941.



Sister Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska was the first member of the Sisters Servant of Mary Immaculate. In 1869, Mykhailyna Hordashevska was born in Lviv. At the age of 18, she decided to consecrate her life to God through the monastic life in the contemplative Basilian Sisters,then the only Eastern-rite woman's congregation. Then the Basilians decided to establish a woman's congregation that focused on the active life, Mykhailyna was elected to be the first leader. After they received her approval, she was sent to the Felician sisters to give her the experience of active monastic life. Mykhailyna took the name Josaphata, in honor of the Ukrainian martyr Josaphat. She was the first teacher of the young sisters there, training them in the spirit and charisma of the Sister Servants: "serve your people where the need is greatest". At the age of 49, she died amidst terrible suffering from bone cancer. Her remains can be found in the main building of the Sister Servants in Rome. The process of her beatification started in Rome in 1983. More...


The Servant of God Fr. ZIGMUND HORAZDOWSKI lived from 1845 to 1920. At the end of his second year of law studies he decided to enter the Roman Catholic seminary in Lviv. He finished his studies there and was ordained to the priesthood in 1871. From the time of his childhood he was afflicted with a lung ailment, however that did not prevent him from helping others. He organized "The Affordable Public Affordable" and "The House for Workers," both of which were places for the poor, hungry and homeless. He founded a dormitory for poor students of the local teacher's college. He also founded the house of the Child Jesus, which gave refuge to single mothers could stay with their children and to abandoned children. In 1884, he founded a convent for the Sisters of Mercy of St. Joseph, in order that there might be a community of sisters to assist in the aforementioned works of charity. Fr. Zigmund also wrote catechisms and many other books for parents, teachers and youth.

30. Josyf Bilczewski, Archbishop [ROMAN CATHOLIC]

Josyf Bilczewski, Archbishop of Lviv for the Latins, was born on April 26, 1860 in the village of Bilamowycz, the first son in the poor family of Francyszk and Anna (Faykisz). He finished four years of school in Kenti and later entered the high school in Wadowicze. In 1880 he passed his final exams with high honors. He entered the seminary in Krakow, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1884. He was a zealous pastor and catechist. He continued his studies in Vienna, Paris and Rome. He was professor of dogmatic theology at Lviv University and from 1900 to 1901 he was the rector.

On January 20, 1901 Josyf Bilczewski was ordained to the episcopacy and became archbishop of Lviv for the Latins. He actively supported the building of new churches and chapels, encouraged charitable activities, helped in the development of education and, above all, spread devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and Blessed Jakov Strepa. Pope Pius XI said that Josyf Bilczewski was "one of the greatest bishops of his time."

Faithful to his motto "God is Love!" he served with sacrificial love to the end. He died in Lviv on March 20, 1923. According to his request, he was buried among the poor in Yaniv Cemetery in Lviv. In 1925 the faithful established a memorial to their archbishop in the chapel of Blessed Jakov Strepa in Lviv's Roman Catholic cathedral.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II signed a decree regarding the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Josyf Bilczewski, on December 18, 1997.

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