The fourth youngest bishop in the Catholic communion, 40-year-old Bishop Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) has been elected the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church. Elected by the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, his election was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI on March 25, 2011. The Patriarch-elect will be installed in Kyiv on Sunday, March 27, 2011. Like Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who was 35 when he took over the helm of this Church in 1901, His Beatitude Sviatoslav brings boundless energy to the position, and will be in a position to develop a far-reaching vision for the Kyivan Catholic Church. Ukrainian is his native tongue, but he is also fluent in Russian, Polish, Italian, Spanish and English. He holds a Doctorate in Theology from the Angelicum in Rome.
In 1995 a newly ordained Fr. Sviatoslav Shevchuk attended the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute’s intensive summer program at Holy Transfiguration (Mount Tabor) Monastery in Redwood Valley, California. MASI’s Fr. Andriy Chirovsky, the new patriarch’s professor at the time, comments: ” What struck me about this young priest was his interest in very human questions of theological anthropology and morality. He is a compassionate and humble man, who brings many gifts to the very responsible position to which he has been elected.”
Fr. Andriy Chirovsky, who is also President of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation, also adds: “All of us at the Sheptytsky Institute extend to our new patriarch not only our best wishes and assurances of our prayers, but also our willingness to assist him in a variety of ways as he and the Synod of our Church forge a dynamic future for the Kyivan Church. The fact that our Church has elected such a young man as its patriarch should send a very clear message to everyone that this is a Church to be reckoned with. We are proud to have played a part in his education.” The Sheptytsky Institute has several bishops and many clergy, religious and lay leaders among its alumni.
Source: photo Wikipedia