St George Ukrainian Catholic Church

St George Ukrainian Catholic Church

Our Patriarch


On January 14, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to appoint Reverend Dr. Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit, as Auxiliary Bishop of the eparchy (diocese) of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The new bishop received the titular throne of Castra di Galba.

The episcopal ordination took place on April 7, 2009, on the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv, Ukraine. In the presence of His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, the main consecrator was His Eminence Bishop Ihor Wozniak, Archbishop of Lviv; co-consecrators were Bishop Mykhailo Mykytsei, Bishop of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, and Bishop Julian Voronovsky, Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych.

On April 10, 2010, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, which had become vacant following the resignation of the previous eparchial bishop, Mykhailo Mykytsei. He met Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the current Pope Francis, during this period. “When I was sent to Argentina for episcopal service, I never even imagined that I would ever leave Argentina. I really tried to immerse myself in that culture, that way of life and thinking, and to go through the process of inculturation. I tried to become part of Argentinian society and to be everything to the people entrusted to my pastoral care. I keep in touch with those people to this day, I worry about what is happening in this or that parish,” His Beatitude Sviatoslav reminisced.

In September 2010, the Synod created a special commission, composed mainly of young bishops, including Bishop Sviatoslav. This commission was tasked with formulating a ten-year development plan for the UGCC. Upon completion of the commission’s work, Bishop Sviatoslav was already at work in another group aimed at developing specific mechanisms for implementing the provisions determined by the commission. Throughout his episcopate, Bishop Sviatoslav continued to teach. When he returned to Ukraine for the Synods, he gave lectures at the Ukrainian Catholic University and the Lviv Theological Seminary. While in Argentina, he also delivered a series of lectures on theological anthropology.

On March 23, 2011, Bishop Sviatoslav was elected Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the Electoral Synod of UGCC Bishops, which was attended by 40 bishops from all over the world. On March 25, this choice was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. His Beatitude Sviatoslav was enthroned on March 27, 2011, in Kyiv, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, with more than 20,000 faithful from around the world in attendance. One of the most notable delegations was the Argentinian one, which came to see “their Archbishop.” It was impressive to hear the Ukrainian Argentinians, who had come to their ancestral homeland for the first time, and conversed in the well-preserved language spoken by the people of Western Ukraine one hundred years ago.

In addition to his Beatitude Sviatoslav native language, His Beatitude Sviatoslav is fluent in English, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Latin, Greek, and Church Slavonic.

Coat of Arms of His Beatitude Sviatoslav

At the base of the coat of arms is a shield, half-beveled on both sides and half-spread; the upper green field depicts an open golden book, in front of which flies a silver dove with a golden halo. The right-hand field in blue depicts the figure of Saint James with a golden halo, in silver clothing, holding a silver staff in his right hand and a golden book in his left. The left golden field contains the Mother of God with a golden halo, in a blue tunic and red omophorion, holding a silver veil in her hands. The emblem is placed on a purple mantle lined with ermine, surmounted by a golden miter with a red lining. A golden bishop’s staff and a processional cross protrude from both sides. A motto is inscribed in gold on a green ribbon under the shield: “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” The coat of arms was designed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav and Andriy Grechylo, who executed the design.

Герб Блаженнішого Святослава

Основою герба є щит, наполовину скошений обабіч і наполовину розтятий; у верхньому зеленому полі розгорнута золота книга, перед якою летить срібний голуб із золотим німбом, у правому синьому полі стоїть святий Яків у срібному одязі з такою ж палицею в правиці та золотою книгою в лівиці й золотим німбом, у лівому золотому полі стоїть Богородиця із золотим німбом, у синій туніці та червоному мафорії, зі срібною хусткою-покровом у руках. Щит розміщений на пурпуровій мантії, підбитій горностаєм, увінчаній золотою митрою з червоним підкладом. Обабіч виходять золоті єпископський жезл і процесійний хрест. На зеленій стрічці під щитом девіз золотом: «Господь просвіщеніє мое и Спаситель мой». Герб склали Блаженніший Святослав і Андрій Гречило, виконав Андрій Гречило.

The Mother Church of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church

St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv.