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.”
Public relations expert for MTS-Ukraine, Western Territory Board
Khitsyak graduated from UCU’s Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 2004. He worked as a journalist for leading publications of Lviv and was the editor of “Makler,” a real estate periodical. Since 2009 he has worked for MTS-Ukraine, Ukrainian Mobile Communications, UMC.
“I can say that this academic discipline [theology] constantly influences my life. In addition to a wealth of knowledge, UCU gave me a formed worldview, a system for conceptualization, the ability to analyze, to look for non-standard approaches. Furthermore, as I communicate with many UCU graduates, in particular those who have realized themselves in other fields – in addition to philosophy, theology, or history – I know that they are truly able to constantly break stereotypes, to be the best among their peers who have corresponding diplomas or work experience. My direct supervisor has great respect for an UCU diploma and, when he presents me at business meetings, he always mentions my education.”
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.”
A 1999 graduate, Zaviyskyy now teaches at UCU and in July 2011 became the first Ukrainian citizen to defend a doctorate in theology at Oxford University.
The advisor for Zaviyskyy’s dissertation was Prof. George Pattison of Oxford and the independent reader was the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. The defense of the dissertation was held in Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the head of the Church of England.
Zaviyskyy was born and grew up in Lviv, where he earned an engineering degree. After graduating from the Lviv Theological Academy (now UCU) in 1999, Zaviyskyy earned a master’s degree and licentiate at the Catholic University of Leuven (formerly known as Louvain) in Belgium. He then taught theology at UCU and in 2005 started doctoral studies at Oxford. He also taught at UCU’s branch in London.
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.”
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.