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Sometimes diasporas can become closed in on themselves. The diaspora of the Church of Kyiv must not be that kind of phenomenon. Sometimes diasporas look backwards so much at their ancestral homeland, that they forget about taking care of their own life and vibrancy. The diaspora of the Church of Kyiv, must not be like that. I can tell you that your brothers and sisters in Ukraine are deeply grateful to the Ukrainian diaspora in the West for all the support you have shown for decades, but especially in the last few months. We are even more grateful for the fact that you have become such a vital element of the leadership of various democracies like Canada and the United States, because you have helped these countries become the allies of the people of Ukraine in their struggle for freedom and human dignity. That is the proper role of our diaspora: not to live for Ukraine, but to live: to be a strong and lively link between the country that is your home and the country of your ancestry, whether that ancestry is ethnic or spiritual, because, as I have emphasized, there are many non-Ukrainians who are members of the Church of Kyiv and that spiritual ancestry is even more important than ethnic ancestry. For us, the ancestry of Baptism is deeper than the ancestry of blood.
Founded in 1986 at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago by the then still very young Fr. Andriy Chirovsky, who was a professor there, the Institute was moved in 1990 to Ottawa’s Saint Paul University at the request and under the aegis of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchy of Canada, under the leadership of the late Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, himself a biblical scholar and a lover of learning, the first editor of Logos, the Ukrainian Catholic theological journal he founded in 1950. The Sheptytsky Institute resurrected that journal in 1994 after a decade of its silence, renamed and reformatted it as Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. It is published regularly to this day in three languages: English, Ukrainian, and French, the only peer-reviewed theological journal published on a regular basis in the worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Church. The Institute from its beginning is very pastorally minded. While it demands intellectual rigor and academic excellence, this stringency is applied for the life of the Church. An intensely ecumenically engaged operation, the Sheptytsky Institute has always been involved improving understanding and concrete relations among the various Eastern Christian Communities, Catholic and Orthodox, and between the Christian East and West in general. Following the lead of its patron, Metropolitan Andrey, the institute is also devoted to inter-religious rapprochement and dialogue, especially with the Jewish Community.