"My first Liturgy was on the circular table ..."
Volodymyr Marhitych was born on February 23, 1931 in the village Nelipyno, Svaliava Transcarpathian region in the family of Greek-Catholics. At the end of the 10th grade he was enrolled in Lviv Institute at the Faculty of Foreign Languages, graduating in 1955. During 1956-1957 he worked as an instructor of Beregivskyy Executive Committee. At the end of 1957 he was dismissed without any explanation, and on January 28, 1958 was arrested for distributing anti-Soviet leaflets. In Uzhgorod prison he was served the custodial interrogations. Volodymyr was convicted under Article 54 to 8 years of imprisonment and 5 years of revocation of rights. He fulfilled the sentence in Mordovia, first in first camp, and then in the fourth one.
He received secret "theological and philosophical studies” with the help of other Greek Catholic fathers who were with him in camps.
In the fourth camp in May 1959 he met the Greek Catholic Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, lengthy-term prisoner of Soviet camps. And on August 19, 1960 Metropolitan consecrated him. During the camps he led an active pastoral work.
There were several attempts from the side of camp administration to induce Volodymyr Marhitych to cooperate, but he refused.
In early 1959, Volodymyr Marhitych made a complaint to the Presidium of the Supreme Council and the Board of the Supreme Court about the unjust sentence. In December 29, 1960 he received a positive response, and on December 31, he was issued a certificate and money to return home.
After returning Father initially worked as a teacher in Berehovo boarding school, taught German, French and some English, and from 1983 to 1993 – performed the duties of a tutor. At this time he also carried out active secret pastoral work, was in contact with other Greek-Catholic priests.
After Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church came out from the underground in 1989, Father Volodymyr continues his pastoral work.