Bishop Gudziak described Venerable Sheptytsky as "one of the greatest churchmen of the last hundred years." His Church had 3 to 4 million members whose communities are now found across the entire globe: Siberia, Egypt, Western Canada, and Argentina. Metropolitan Andrey visited his flock in Western Europe and the Americas.
The institute that bears his name was founded at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and moved to St. Paul's University in Ottawa in 1990.
Its new home is Windle House, a Victorian mansion built in 1897. The house includes offices for professors and administrators, a seminar room, a reading room, and a student lounge.
About 500 people attended the July 25 blessing and garden party that welcomed the center and rededicated Windle House. Attendees included Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto.
Cardinal Collins, a member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, said the institute's ministry reflects "the richness of the Catholic Church, the diversity and the beauty."
Bishop Gudziak, who is also president of the Ukrainian Catholic University, said the institute will help advance the example of its namesake in meeting the challenges of the 20th century. In the bishop's view, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has become "an unwilling expert" at "how to stand up to authoritarianism and totalitarianism."
"Today there is, globally, an increase in authoritarian rule … Whether it's for Christians of the Middle East, or Christians in the former Soviet Union, or Christians in the Far East, whether it's people of good will in many countries and contexts today - the issue of human dignity, of human freedom, is foremost," said Bishop Gudziak, according to The Catholic Register.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halych is the patron of the Sheptytsky Institute and a former student.
In the spring 2017 edition of the institute's newsletter, he said the institute's professors "have played an important role in forging a way forward for our Church in the world."
"Our Church of Kyiv is now a global Church, with structures on five continents. It is incredibly significant that the Sheptytsky Institute will now be located at one of the world's top research universities. This is a sign of our Church coming of age."
He said the institute provided "invaluable assistance" to the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, which was founded in 1994.
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