Students and Graduates2019-09-01T18:00:30-04:00

Fr. Stepan Sus

JANUARY 2020 UPDATE-  Good news! UCU graduate Bishop Stepan Sus is now the youngest Catholic bishop in the world. More HERE

Father Stepan Sus is the director of the Center for Military Chaplaincy of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine. He has also helped establish chaplaincy programs for children living in orphanages and other state-run institutions and for students at state-run colleges and universities.

Father Sus recalls a touching instance in his ministry:

“Once the commander sent two cadets to clean the floor in the military chapel. This was when we were repairing the church and there was a lot to clean up. These two guys did not really want to go to church, let alone to clean up, because they were not religious. But they had to listen to their commander, and so they came.

“I remember that they didn’t help us very much that first day.  But they asked a lot of questions, like ‘Why go to church?’ and ‘What is prayer?’ They really like working in the church and they asked their commander if they could be assigned to clean up in the chapel as long as the repair work continued.

“After a month or so their attitude toward the church changed quite a bit. Later they even went to confession and received Communion. I spoke with one of them, who said some very fine words to me:

‘I am,’ he said, ‘grateful to my commander, because once he made me take two steps and clean up the chapel. A lot of the guys laughed at me, because they knew that I never went to church, even though I had a reputation as a ‘good’ cadet. But those two steps changed my live entirely, and now I know how to pray and I can help others find their way to the church.’

Father Sus has evangelized many young men, including some baptisms. He graduated from the Ukrainian Catholic University and Holy Spirit Seminary in 2006.

Egor Reznichenko

Egor Reznichenko, a student at the St. Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy, took part in UCU’s 2011 Philosophy Summer School.

“UCU’s Summer Philosophy School gives fundamental knowledge of the subject, and also an opportunity to interact with Western scholars, which is very important for researchers. Our disputes are fairly lively- we have heated discussions of problems. All the participants are very different, so discussion is always rich.

“As a future priest, I should know how to conceptualize religion in a philosophical way, for philosophy is the common language that we speak with people and the intelligentsia. Priests should know how to speak about high Christian values in an understandable language.”

Oleksandra Vakula

“UCU provided the basics, the fundamentals for graduate studies. In particular, it gave us the tools, like languages, Latin, Greek, English. We were very well-prepared when we came to Rome…

“When I studied at the Augustinianum, we three UCU graduates were the only women… Today in Rome few are surprised to see female faces at theological faculties (by the way, among them are many Ukrainian women from UCU).”

Olena Matskiv

Matskiv graduated from UCU’s Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 2003.

“I recall my fellow students and teachers, and the particular atmosphere that reigned at UCU, with great love and warmth. Because it’s difficult to call the Ukrainian Catholic University simply ‘an educational institution.’ The usual student’s formula “I sat at my desk, took a test, and then forgot everything” did not work there. Why? In my opinion, because at UCU the educational process cannot be separated from the process of forming the personality, making one’s faith solid, and deepening one’s spiritual life.”

Bozhena Zakaliuzhna

Project manager at the Centre for Cultural Management, Lviv, Ukraine

“For me the Ukrainian Catholic University was the ideal place to test myself out: all the conditions are here to discover your talents and realize your possibilities. It’s a very unique laboratory in which to ‘know thyself.’ But, above all, the university is people who accept you, who are close by and don’t walk away in difficult times. There is a certainty that remains for the future that you can be yourself everywhere.”

Mariya Makovetska

UCU graduate Mariya Makovetska (’05) is now team manager of the Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization Department of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for the Development of Ukraine in Kyiv. Previously she was executive director of the International HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis Institute.

“The Ukrainian Catholic University [UCU] is an institution that does not simply teach philosophy. At UCU they always taught us to think, to analyze the facts, to look for similarities, different accents, to correlate them.

“UCU gave me all the instruments to realize my dreams: an education that was so multifaceted and of such high quality that in my work now I feel no lack of knowledge or experience. As a student, I looked for answers, I looked for my calling. I took part in social projects and now, working in the social sphere, I can help a great number of people. In this way I am realizing myself as a theologian.”

Go to Top