LVIV – New bishops were recently appointed for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United Kingdom and Australia, and a new bishop was consecrated for Ukraine.
New leader for London Eparchy
On January 15, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, who previously led the New Westminster Eparchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, as the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in London, England.
Father Nowakowski had been appointed apostolic administrator of the New Westminster Diocese by Bishop David Motiuk, eparchial bishop in Edmonton, Alberta.
Bishop Kenneth was born on May 16, 1958, in Canada. He studied at St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University. After being ordained on August 19, 1989, in the Eparchy of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he returned to Rome. He studied at the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. In 1991, together with Cardinal Myroslav-Ivan Lubachivsky, he arrived in Ukraine, where he served as the major archbishop’s vice-chancellor. He became one of the founders of the Ukrainian branch of Caritas.
After returning to Canada in 2001, Father Nowakowski was the rector of the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Seminary in Ottawa, and since July 2006 – the chancellor of the Saskatoon Eparchy. On June 1, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him bishop of the New Westminster Eparchy. His episcopal consecration and enthronement took place on July 24 of that year.
Seven years ago, on January 18, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI elevated the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics to an eparchy for Ukrainian Catholics in the United Kingdom, granting it the title of Eparchy of the Blessed Virgin Mary in London. The Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians Catholics in England and Wales had been established in 1957; in 1968 its jurisdiction was extended to all of Great Britain.
New bishop named for Australia
Also on January 15, Vatican officials announced that Pope Francis had accepted the abdication of his pastoral position by Bishop Petro Stasiuk of the Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul of Melbourne, Australia.
At the same time, the holy father appointed Father Mykola Bychok (a Redemptorist hieromonk and a parish associate at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark, N.J.) as the eparchy’s new bishop. The news was reported by the UGCC Information Department.
The nominated bishop was born on February 13, 1980, in Ternopil, Ukraine. In July 1997, he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, while conducting monastic and theological formation in Ukraine and Poland after obtaining a licentiate in pastoral theology. Having taken his vows on August 17, 2003, he was ordained a priest on May 3, 2005.
Father Bychok conducted liturgies at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Prokopyevsk (Russian Federation); he was rector of the Redemptorist Fathers Monastery and Ivano-Frankivsk Parish, and a provincial provisor. Since 2015, he had served at St. John the Baptist Parish in Newark.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul of Melbourne was founded on June 24, 1982, when the Apostolic Exarchate for Byzantine Ukrainians in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (founded in 1958) was elevated. The eparchy’s territory covers all of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. Since 1992 it has been headed by Bishop Petro, who will turn 77 this year in July.
Episcopal consecration in Khmelnytsky
As reported by the Information Department of the UGCC, on December 1, 2019, Bishop Ivan Kulyk was consecrated and enthroned at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Khmelnytsky as Bishop of the UGCC Eparchy of Kamianets-Podilskyi.
The service was led by Patriarch Sviatoslav; concelebrating hierarchs were Archbishop-Metropolitan Vasily Semenyuk of Ternopil-Zboriv and Bishop Dionisiy Lyakhovich, delegate of the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine rite living in Italy.
The ceremony was attended by the bishops of both the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, priests from around the world, monastics and laypersons. Representatives of the oblast and city authorities prayed together in the church. Also attending the service was Metropolitan Antonii Makhota of Khmelnytsky and Kamianets-Podilskyi of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
“Today in Khmelnytsky, without exaggeration, a historic event took place… For the first time in the history of our Church, an episcopal consecration took place in this city,” commented Patriarch Sviatoslav. “Before your eyes, Bishop Ivan received the fullness of the grace of the Holy Spirit and now the Lord sends him as the heir of the apostles to his people of God.”
“I want to sincerely thank God for bringing us together in this temple. Thank you to Him for the gift of life, for the gift of the priestly vocation, as well as for the gift of this high episcopal ministry. Today I am grateful that the Almighty Lord has always been with me, and especially in moments of doubt: when logic prompted me to say ‘no,’ but the Lord gave me faith and strength to accept His will and follow Him,” said Bishop Ivan in his speech.
At the end of the liturgy, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, apostolic nuncio to Ukraine, addressed the congregation and congratulated Bishop Ivan and wished him all the best in his ministry.
On December 11, 2015, the pontiff had blessed the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC to establish the diocese of Kamianets-Podilskyi centered in Khmelnytsky, separating it from the territory of the Ternopil-Zboriv Archeparchy of the UGCC.