His Beatitude Sviatoslav SHEVCHUK – biography


His Beatitude Sviatoslav SHEVCHUK has been a member of St. Sophia Religious Association since his elevation as the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) in 2011.

     His Beatitude was born to Yuriy and Vira Shevchuk on May 5, 1970, in Stryi, Lviv region.  During the period of underground activity of the UGCC, Greek-Catholic priests regularly served the Divine Liturgy in the Shevchuk family home.  After graduating from Secondary School No. 10, He studied at the Boryslav Medical Collegiate. During His time at the medical collegiate between 1983 and 1989, His Beatitude Sviatoslav simultaneously attended courses at an underground Greek-Catholic theological seminary.

From 1991 to 1992, He studied at the “Don Bosco” Center for Philosophical and Theological Studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After which, He returned to study in Ukraine, at Lviv Holy Spirit Theological Seminary until 1994 when He was ordained a sub deacon by Bishop Julian Voronovsky. He was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Filimon Kurchaba and His presbyteral ordination took place on June 26, 1994 by His Beatitude Myroslav Ivan Cardinal Lubachivsky.

     From 1994 until 1999, He studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy, where He obtained a doctorate summa cum laude in Theological Anthropology and the Foundations of Moral Theology of the Byzantine Theological Tradition. During His studies in Rome, He provided pastoral care to Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in Athens

     In 1999 to 2000, He was Prefect, and from 2000 to 2007, He served as Vice-Rector of the Lviv Holy Spirit Theological Seminary.  In 2001 He became the Vice-Dean of the Theological Faculty of Lviv Theological Academy (now the Ukrainian Catholic University,) and from 2002 until 2005, He was the Head of the Secretariat and personal secretary to His Beatitude Lubomyr Cardinal Husar and Head of the Patriarchal Curia in Lviv.

     From June 2007, His Beatitude Sviatoslav was Rector of Lviv Holy Spirit Theological Seminary and on January 14, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church to appoint Him Rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit as Auxiliary Bishop of the eparchy of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The new bishop received the titular throne of Castra di Galba.

     His episcopal ordination took place on April 7, 2009, on the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv, Ukraine. In the presence of His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, His main consecrator was His Eminence Bishop Ihor Wozniak, Archbishop of Lviv, and His co-consecrators were Bishop Mykhailo Mykytsei, Bishop of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, and Bishop Julian Voronovsky, Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych, Ukraine.

     On April 10, 2010, He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, which had become vacant following the resignation of the previous eparchial bishop, Mykhailo Mykytsei.  In September of that year, the Synod created a special commission, composed mainly of young bishops, including then Bishop Sviatoslav. This commission was tasked with formulating a ten-year development plan for the UGCC. Upon completion of the commission’s work, Bishop Sviatoslav was already at work in another group aimed at developing specific mechanisms for implementing the provisions determined by the commission. Throughout His episcopate, Bishop Sviatoslav continued to teach. When he returned to Ukraine for the Synods, He gave lectures at the Ukrainian Catholic University and the Lviv Theological Seminary. While in Argentina, he also delivered a series of lectures on theological anthropology.

     On March 23, 2011, Bishop Sviatoslav was elected Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church at the Electoral Synod of UGCC Bishops, which was attended by 40 bishops from all over the world. On March 25, His election was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. His Beatitude Sviatoslav was enthroned on March 27, 2011, in Kyiv, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.

In addition to his native language, His Beatitude Sviatoslav is fluent in English, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Latin, Greek, and Church Slavonic.