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Павло Василик (1926 - 2004) - Biography

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You don’t give us the church, and we have hundreds of them, because each house of the Ukrainian Catholic family is our church

Pavlo Wasylyk was born in August 8, 1926 in the village of Boryslavka in Przemysl region (now Poland) in the nationally conscious Christian family. Besides him, there were ten more children in the family. He finished the primary school in his native village, later he studied in the town of Rybotychi, then in the Przemysl gymnasium. After finishing school, he entered the Seminary in Przemysl, which was closed by coming the second Soviet occupation.

In November 1945, Pavlo, along with his parents, was repatriated to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. He helped the Ukrainian insurgents with medicines, for what in April 1, 1947 he was arrested and convicted of "treason" and "anti-Soviet propaganda" for 10 years in "correctional labor camps." His imprisonment was in prison camps in the Urals, in Chelyabinsk region and Kazakhstan. In January 1, 1950 in the camp Bishop Victor Novikov (a jesuit of the Eastern rite) ordained Pavlo Vasylyk as a deacon. On serving the sentence, Deacon Pavlo pursued an active ministry.

After being discharged in 1956, Pavlo Wasylyk returned to Ternopil region, where his family lived. In November 18, 1956 he was ordained as a priest by Bishop Mykola Charnetsky. During 1956-1959 years he pursued an active pastoral ministry in Stanislavivregion, Ternopil, the Transcarpathians, Lviv and even in the Crimea, for which he was frequently persecuted. In 1959 he was arrested for the second time. This time hie served his sentence in Mordovia, where he met Metropolitan Joseph Slipy in 1960.

Having returned to Ukraine, he continued his active pastoral ministry, and in May 1, 1974 received the bishop ordination from secret Bishop Joseph Fedoryk, OSBM. As the bishop of the underground Catholic Church, Pavlo Wasylyk was bringing God's Word to the people in Galicia, the Transcarpathians, Volyn', Rivne, Khmelnytsky, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Moscow, Leningrad, the Crimea, the Baltic. In many towns and villages he founded the religious communities. Many times the vestments and books were confiscated from Most Reverend, and he was threatened with arrest. And he replied: "If you take the vestments, the new ones will be made. You don't give us the church, and we have hundreds of them, because each house of the Ukrainian Catholic family is our church. "

In the late 1980s, Bishop Pavlo became one of the most active fighters for returning the rights of the UGCC. In August 4, 1987 a group of the Ukrainian clergy and laity led by Bishop Pavlo told the world about its exit of the underground. The claim with the relative content was sent to the Holy Father John Paul II, and its copy to Mikhail Gorbachev.

In July 17, 1988 in Zarvanytsya (Ternopil region) on the occasion of the Millenium anniversary of baptizing Rus-Ukraine Bishop Pavlo along with many priests served Pontifical Liturgy openly. This liturgy was attended by nearly the 30.000 faithful.

In September 1988 he was invited to a meeting with four U.S. Senators and members of the Supreme Soviet Council in Moscow. During 1989, Bishop Pavlo repeatedly has been heading the delegation to Moscow, demanding the legalization of UGCC.

With the church's legalization in late 1989 Pavlo Wasylyk was appointed the auxiliary bishop of Ivano-Frankivsk, and from 1993 he was the Ordinary of the newly formed Kolomyia-Chernivtsi Eparchy. Pavlo Wasylyk died in December 12, 2004 in Kolomyia.


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