The B.C. Catholic: This is the second time you have been to Vancouver. How does this trip compare to the last one?
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk: The first time I came as a priest and student. I had received a scholarship from the Angelicum University in Rome to study English. I travelled from San Francisco up to Seattle then to Victoria and Vancouver. It was a sightseeing trip to learn more about the area's nature and geography and learn a little more about Canada and the U.S.
This trip is as the head of the Ukrainian Church, and basically I will be visiting the Ukrainian community to discover how the Eparchy of New Westminster is doing, what they need and what kind of support Eparch Ken Nowakowski needs, and also to project the development of our Church not only in Ukraine but here in Canada, and especially in B.C.
BCC: It's been 18 months since your enthronement as major archbishop. How has the first year and a half been?
MAS: I've been very busy! When I was elected I promised the faithful members of our church I would visit them. So all those 18 months I've been visiting. I have visited eparchies in Argentina, Brazil, the U.S., and Canada, but also our eparchies in Ukraine and in Western Europe.
It's been a time of rediscovering my Church, to hear the heart beating, to realize God's will for us and the challenges of the modern world, and to learn how we are supposed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this new era.
We feel that the UGCC today is not only for Ukrainians, but for others too, because we are a global church and we have eparchies all over the world.
We perform our pastoral activities in different countries and different cultures, and we pray in different languages, but the ministry of the head of this church is the ministry of the unity of the church. How do we keep this big church unified?Read the full interview at the B.C. Catholic website.