God’s Martyr: History’s Witness
“This book is being published on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the arrival in Canada of the first Ukrainian Catholic bishop, Nykyta Budka (1877-1949). To properly commemorate that event, the Ukrainian bishops of Canada commissioned a long overdue and thorough examination of the life of Budka, a pivotal figure in Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Canadian history. The truth about Bishop Budka, as revealed in Dr. McVay’s clear straightforward prose, is complicated and multi-faceted, as was the entire life of the bishop… With this publication, the name and life of Blessed Bishop Nykyta Budka will find their proper place in the history of Ukrainians in Canada, in Canadian Catholic history, and in the history of Ukraine.” ~Dr. Stella Hryniuk
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History is the teacher of life.
The appointment of Nykyta (Nicetas) Budka as the first bishop for the Greek-Catholics residing in Canada was an event of singular significance, both for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and for the entire Catholic Church. It was the first appointment of an Eastern Catholic hierarch with full ecclesiastical juris diction outside of the Old World. As such, it represented a historical turning point and a shift from the way the Roman Curia had thus far dealt with Eastern Catholics outside of their homeland. It was an example of the Roman Apostolic See's universal ministry to the needs of the Particular Churches (Ecclesiae sui iuris) as a guarantor of pluralism in situations where the local churches were not able to adequately provide for particular needs. Budka's appointment made possible the creation of a full church structure in Canada and the United States, as well as the formation of worldwide Greek-Catholic hierarchies. His nomination was the fruit of the efforts of Greek-Catholic hierarchs, most notably Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, whose aim was to create a distinct ecclesial identity for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. And the appointment was the ultimate result of the groundwork laid by missionaries of both Byzantine and Latin Rites. The latter represented an example of ecclesial cooperation between the Latin and Ukrainian Particular Churches and between various nationalities.
Nykyta Budka's story is one of immigration. Himself an immigrant in a particular phase of Ukrainian immigration, his arrival inaugurated a new era in the life of the Ukrainian community in Canada. His story illustrates how church and state attempted to grapple with the problems of immigration and assimilation. It also tells of the newcomers' determination to maintain a connection with their homeland and to preserve both their secular and religious identities. But in the context of mass emigration, expatriate Ruthenian-Ukrainians did assimilate and, as a result, many abandoned the Greek-Catholic religion. Nykyta Budka dedicated himself to preserving the faith and the culture of his fellow Ukrainian Canadians.
The life and work of Bishop Budka involved religious, political, ethnic, financial, and even legal conflicts. Both in the old and the new world religious and political forces battled for influence over the Ukrainians. In Austria-Hungary and in Canada Bishop Budka took an active part in his people's struggle for religious and civic equality and self-determination.
|Dimensions||25 × 17 × 3.5 cm|