On January 11, 2012, Father Roman Rytsar successfully defended his dissertation entitled, “The Kenotic Theology of Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh (1914-2003), in Anthropological Perspective.”
The director of the doctoral work, the Very Rev. John Jillions, commented that Father Roman’s thesis topic was both unique and providential: “There is probably no one in the world who knows the work of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom better than Father Roman Rytsar. He focuses on two key themes that run throughout Metropolitan Anthony’s work: how Christ on the Cross identifies with the God-forsakenness so many people experience, and God’s faith in the human being. We always think of our need to have faith in God, but Metropolitan Anthony turned this around: God not only loves us, he has FAITH in us. And God’s faith in us gives us the courage we need to believe in others and help lift them up. Father Roman, in his dissertation, intertwines deep thought, spirituality and pastoral sensitivity. This is precisely what Metropolitan Anthony did, and it is the mark of genuine Eastern Christian theology.”
The examiners during the defence were Dr. Catherine Clifford (Professor, Saint Paul University), the Very Rev. Dr. Peter Galadza (Professor, Sheptytsky Institute, Saint PaulUniversity) and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Andriy Chirovsky (Professor and Founder of the Sheptytsky Institute, Saint PaulUniversity). The Rev. Dr. Michael Plekon (Professor, Baruch College of the City University of New York), the fourth examiner, was unable to attend the defence but sent in his questions for Father Roman. The proceedings were chaired by Dr. Devinder Ghandi, appointed by the Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral studies at the University of Ottawa.
Father Roman gave a moving speech following the positive outcome of his defence. He thanked the many people who supported him in various ways throughout the six-years of his work, and in particular thanked his wife for her continued support during the process.
“I am delighted for Father Roman and proud of his accomplishment. I believe that it was well deserved. I have observed his personal journey over the years as a student and former staff member at the Sheptytsky Institute and I commend him for his perseverance,” said the Very Rev. Stephen Wojcichowsky, Director of the Sheptytsky Institute, Saint PaulUniversity.
Originally from Lviv,Ukraine, Father Roman came to Canada in 2005 with his wife Liliya and son Darko to study at Saint Paul University through the sponsorship program of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) provided to qualified students of the Ukrainian Catholic University for study at the Sheptytsky Institute at Saint Paul University.
Rev. Dr. Roman Rytsar currently serves St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church in Kingston, is enrolled in his second unit of the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Saint Paul University, and is teaching a graduate course in Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University.
We at the Sheptytsky Institute wish him and his family many blessings! Mnohaya Lita!