William Collins Donahue
Director, Nanovic Institute for European Studies
Cavanaugh Professor of the Humanities
The short papers gathered here were given at a symposium to mark Archbishop Borys Gudziak’s receipt of the Notre Dame Award on June 29, 2019, at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine.
Speaking of Gudziak’s role in establishing the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame, said: “You have put moral integrity at the core of UCU’s mission, and you have founded it on the courageous witness of martyrs and the honesty and trust of your friends at the Emmaus Center. In this you have shown that the aspiration of Catholic education is not simply the imparting of knowledge and skills, as important as that is, but the transformation of lives and ultimately the healing of a broken world.”
This laudatio captures precisely the paradox at the heart of Gudziak’s efforts as educator and pastor: for in the very process of nourishing a specifically Ukrainian Catholic identity, he strongly and unmistakably affirms the dignity and value of all human beings. His work as a religious leader to create a more open, tolerant, and respectful civil society within and beyond Ukraine is the inspiration both for this symposium and for the larger research and advocacy project this symposium is meant to introduce.
I am grateful to all the contributors, but I owe a special debt of gratitude to Professor Oleh Turiy. I got to know Oleh during his research stay at the Nanovic Institute (fall 2018). Were it not for his kindness, openness, and infectious sense of humor—not to mention his impressive erudition in the field of church history—I would not have understood the ways in which both UCU and Ukraine function as microcosms for the potential of religion to do good in the construction and maintenance of civil society.