On 5 February, commencement ceremonies were held at the Ukrainian Catholic University. There were 120 graduates, masters in theology, Christian pedagogy, history, the School of Journalism and Communications, the Law School, and the Institute of Leadership and Management, and, in particular, these faculties: Theology and Philosophy, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

The ceremonies began with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy at the University Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, presided at by the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk. In his sermon, His Beatitude noted that there is snow all around outside, but inside the church it is harvest time.

“Today at the Divine Liturgy we thank God for each of you that you chose UCU and we were able to serve you on the road of higher education,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav said to the graduates. “And now, go serve your nation, all those who taught you. You know how to and you can. Be servants of your homeland, because you see that today there are many who want to rule over our people. Be those ‘ants’ which daily work to move forward to the paschal freedom of our people.”

During the ceremonies, UCU Rector Fr. Bohdan Prach spoke to the graduates. He called the students not to fear to move forward, look into the heart of the needy person and give him or her your hand. “Don’t be afraid to go into an environment that is not always favorable or sincere – be open! I think that in the walls of our university you have experienced this in full.”

UCU Rector Fr. Bohdan Prach

The Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv, Fr. Ihor Boyko, added: “Do not be afraid to look up, because danger will never come from there. The merciful and loving face of God Our Father will always be turned to you. Being the elite means knowing how to see far, to make decisions, to take responsibility, and to always keep before you the value and dignity of human life. May the knowledge, wisdom, and experience which you acquired within the walls of UCU help you serve our society.”

Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv, Fr. Ihor Boyko

The keynote speaker to the graduates at the 2022 ceremonies was the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, UCU Grand Chancellor His Beatitude Sviatoslav. He called upon the graduates to love their people and to be patriots of their homeland: “Wherever life takes you, be active, responsible children of your nation. Some of you may remain here, some may go to the West. Wherever you may be, do some good for your people. Even when The Lord calls you outside Ukraine, everything that you will gather and learn there you will one day bring here. Gather in order to give back: this is the logic of a true patriot. For that patriot who only loves to gather and fill his pockets is a patriot who, finally, does not understand the word ‘patriotism.’”

The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, UCU Grand Chancellor His Beatitude Sviatoslav

As is traditional, during commencement ceremonies the valedictorian addresses the graduates. This year it was Mariya Pavlichuk, a graduate of the Non-Profit Management Program of UCU’s Institute of Leadership and Management and co-founder of Junior Z, a project to develop sports among school children. She shared her experience of the practice of service, which she acquired within the walls of UCU.

“A leader is someone who serves. Yes, we’re different. The roads of some of us may part. But each of us well knows that common denominators are sewn into our identity. They give strength not only to us ourselves but to Ukrainians and Ukraine. I sincerely hope that none of us will lose his or her path, don’t leave the community, but continue to witness, serve, communicate with a positive sum,” said the valedictorian of the commencement exercises, Mariya Pavlichuk

After turning their tassels, the UCU graduates received diplomas according to faculty.

We congratulate all our graduates for earning their master’s diplomas! We hope that they will continue forward without stopping, with ease conquer all life’s challenges, and never give up! The world around us is changing quickly, but remain faithful to yourselves and the values which you found within the walls of your alma mater!

We note that this year’s commencement ceremonies occurred with all quarantine norms observed, and so parents and invited guests were able to watch online.