Friday, December 28, 2012

Bishop Borys Gudziak Comes Home


The red brick church with green domes has stood proudly on Tipperary Hill in Syracuse for almost 125 years. Founded and built by Ukrainian immigrants, St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church has ably served as a source of cultural identity as well as a wellspring of strong Catholic faith and tradition.

Its proudest moment is about to occur on Sunday, Dec. 30. Bishop Borys Gudziak will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. for the first time in his home parish since his ordination as the 49 member of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv, Ukraine, on July 21.

Bishop Gudziak, has been named apostolic exarch for Ukrainians in France and appointed titular bishop of Carcabia. In addition to France, the exarchate also includes Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

“This will be a reward, not only yours, but especially a reward to our parish whose son you are. For everything that happens in the church happens mutually – Ukraine, the Ukrainian diaspora, and our parish can all be proud for the Ukrainian Catholic Church to have such a Bishop,” said Father Mykhaylo Dosyak

Gudziak was born in Syracuse in 1960, the son of Dr. Alexander and Jaroslava Gudziak. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Lviv, Ukraine, and Dr. Gudziak became a successful dentist in the community.

Borys and his younger brother, Marko, attended the parish school of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church through eighth grade, and attended high school at the Christian Brothers Academy. He was an altar server at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, and parishioners remember him attending liturgy daily when he was already a young adult, kneeling by himself, deep in prayer.

“Besides being genuinely spiritual, kind, altruistic and brilliant, the then younger Bishop Borys was (and still is) also quite funny, an accomplished athlete (no one could beat him in ski races), and to this very day, my favorite dance partner at Ukrainian “zabavas” (dances) for his skills in lightning-fast spinning polkas and disco dancing,” reflected Lida Buniak, who grew up in this same Ukrainian community.

Borys graduated from Syracuse University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Philosophy.

Bishop Borys moved to Lviv, Ukraine, in 1992, to establish and head the Institute of Church History, and he became the first rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (formerly, the Lviv Theological Academy) in 2002.

Following the Liturgy, a Banquet will be held at Pensabene’s Casa Granda on State Fair Boulevard. Advance tickets for the banquet can be purchased at the Self Reliance Federal Credit Union on Tompkins St. until Dec. 14, or by calling Rosemarie Fruscello at 488-5401.

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