Metropolitan Borys Gudziak: “From heart to heart” is a proposal of an approach

One year ago, on June 4, 2019 Bishop Borys Gudziak was enthroned in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia as the seventh Archbishop of Philadelphia and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States. The beginning of his new ministry occurred in the context of the “From Heart to Heart” Week of Prayer, Celebration, Unity, and Mission. On the occasion of this anniversary, the “From Heart to Heart” documentary was live-streamed on “Zhyve TV“, an online TV channel of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.


The 17-minute film directed by Petro Didula includes scenes from the enthronement ceremony led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav. The Divine Liturgy was attended by almost half of the bishops of the Synod of the UGCC, the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the Cardinals of New York and Newark, and the former Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, as well as by some 2000 lay persons. The program of the week included an inaugural lecture by George Weigel, a theological conference at the Catholic University of America, a Youth Day, a Healing Service, a festive barbecue and even an impromptu children’s football game in which the Metropolitan played quarterback. The film’s director presents a mosaic of impressions and reflections of participants of different ages, backgrounds, and languages. The documentary features Philadelphians who prepared the celebrations and those who came from different corners of North America, Europe, and Ukraine “to hand over the bishop to Philadelphia with love” in the words of one commentator. The film touchingly presents the coming together of the diverse worlds in which Bishop Borys Gudziak has lived and served.

“This film, like the Week itself, shares a vision with the archeparchial community. It proposes an approach. Together we are searching for ways to answer the question on how to be Christians, the Church, Eastern Catholics of Ukrainian origin in the dynamic culture of twenty-first century America,” said Metropolitan Borys.

He noted that it is symbolic that the documentary is shown during the week when Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar have already celebrated the Sunday of the Pentecost, and those who follow the Julian calendar are still awaiting it. “Ultimately our ministry should be God’s work, not ours. We strive to open ourselves to the gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord, to live and share them so that His fruits — charity, generosity, joy, gentleness, peace, faithfulness, patience, modesty, kindness, self-control, goodness, and chastity— come to life,” stressed the metropolitan.

The first year has been for the Metropolitan a year of encounter and becoming acquainted with parishes, schools, the youth, and civic organizations representing all waves and generations of the Ukrainian emigration. Before the quarantine restrictions set in, Archbishop Borys visited 43 of the 63 parishes of the Philadelphia Archeparchy. “I am getting to know twenty-first century America. I was received warmly and fraternally not only by the faithful in the Ukrainian Catholic community, but also by Roman Catholic bishops, American universities, and the Catholic media,” the archbishop said. “We need to reach out and share the charisms of our Church beyond historic ethnic confines while continuing our ministry to new immigrants. The coronavirus crisis and deep divisions in American society indicate that there is great need for dedicated selfless service.”

“From Heart to Heart” was produced in Ukrainian and English. It can be viewed in both languages on the Philadelphia Archeparchy online resources.

Archeparchy of Philadelphia

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Video from June 4 Enthronement of Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak

The student choir of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) toured various cities on the East Coast of the USA in early June. A report with many photos follows