"In the diaspora" where those who flee their home country are far from their "own structures," it is difficult to know "how to help them to keep their own tradition even where they are going today," the prelate explained.
"So this is world-wide question," he stated, "it was a concern of the Chaldean Church but also the same situation we have as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church."
"This is the main concern which was expressed and shared among us in those very particular for us days."
Speaking of the significance of the transfer of the relics of St. Josaphat to St. Peter's Basilica fifty years ago, the prelate highlighted how it is a great symbol of unity, because the "unique" Saint worked hard for unity in his life, and is now "present in the St. Peter Basilica, so close to the tomb of St. Peter."
"Those 50 years," he noted, "were 50 years of studies and reflection about our today's mission as fully oriental church who rediscovers and lives its own spiritual, ascetical, theological and liturgical tradition."
This tradition, continued the archbishop, is one that they "have in common with our Orthodox brethren, but we live that tradition with the full communion with the successor of Peter."
"St. Josaphat is a symbol, a symbol of unity of the Church of Kyiv with the successor of Peter in the ecclesiastical memory, so he sealed in his blood that unity that was subscribed in some, I would say, agreements."
In standing alongside Pope Francis at the altar after the celebration of the anniversary Mass, "we had a possibility to experience that personal vital communion as a synod of the bishops with new elected Pope Francis," Archbishop Shevchuk reflected.
"So St. Josaphat gave us one more gift. That communion for which he died as a martyr, he offer us today in that very unique moment of not only communion, but the meeting of the pope…to listen to him, to see him, to express who we are."
Elise Harris was senior Rome correspondent for CNA from 2012 to 2018.