Creating bridges is the motto of the first day of His Beatitude Sviatoslav's stay in Innsbruck

Sunday, 10 November 2019, 14:15

Celebrations which are commemorating the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian students of theology and the Ukrainian community in Innsbruck (Austria) began on November 8. The festivities take place with the participation of the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

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The solemn academy at the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck became the central event of the first day of celebrations. Here over two hundred Ukrainian Greek Catholic theologians have been studying for 120 years. The welcoming speech was made by: Dean of the Theological Faculty Josef Quitterer, Vice-Rector of the University Ulrike Tanzer, Bishop of the Innsbruck Archdiocese Hermann Glettler, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Austria Olexander Shcherba. Tyrol journalist Heinz Gstrein presented Patriarch Sviatoslav with his book about the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priest Myron Gornykevych, who had spent many years in exile in the city of Hall in Tirol.

The guests of the holiday were: representatives of high ecclesiastical circles of Austria, members of the Theological Faculty and the Jesuit Order, pilgrims from many European countries, Ukrainian theologians - graduates of the Theological Faculty of Innsbruck University, including Bishop Volodymyr Hrutsa, Assistant Bishop of Lviv, and Petro Loza, Assistant Bishop of Lviv Eparchy of Sokal-Zhovkva.

The speech of the Head of the UGCC left no one indifferent. In it, he combined the past and the present, like the bridges across the river Inn - for this is the etymology of the name of the city of Innsbruck. He mentioned the most prominent graduates of Innsbruck University, such as the blessed holy martyrs Nykyta Budka, Andriy Ischak, Klymentiy Sheptytsky, the patriarchs of the UGCC Josyf Slipyj and Myroslav-Ivan Liubachivsky - and also spoke about hopes for future co-operation.

The works of the Ukrainian composers Vasyl Barvinsky, Victor Kaminsky, Myroslav Skoryk performed by the youth quartet (Denys Vasylynets' and Antonina Hurska - Ukrainians from Tyrol), became a beautiful musical frame of the solemn academy.

Later, a solemn reception in honor of the Head of the UGCC took place at Innsbruck City Hall. It was attended by Mayor Georg Willi, the President of Tyrol Landtag Sonja Ledl-Rossmann, as well as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Austria Olexandr Shcherba and Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Tirol Walter Peer. An excursion to Innsbruck's most famous landmark - the balcony of the Golden Roof - became the eloquent gesture of hospitality on the part of the city administration.

Photo: Olexandr Savransky

Ordinariate for the Faithful of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Austria,
Lidia Melnyk