Bohdan Vasyliv: It is crucial to constantly keep in mind that God is ultimately in control

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, Metropolitan Borys Gudziak will ordain two new deacons, Subdeacon Bohdan Vasyliv and Subdeacon Ihor Demydas. Bohdan Vasyliv has been a part of the Archeparchy community for over 10 years. Learn about his path to the priesthood and his reflections on existing and new challenges for the priestly ministry in the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the US.

When exactly did you discover/hear/feel the call to the priesthood? Was it sudden or gradual?

I have been asked this question many times, and the more I reflect on it, the more I realize I don't have a simple answer. Perhaps the best answer I can provide would be a quote from the Bible when our Lord said to His disciples, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit" (John 15:16). I have loved serving in the Church since I was little and always found peace in it. It was only when I was applying to colleges that a certain priest, as if by the will of God, guided me to abandon my other plans and apply to seminary. The calling was both sudden and gradual. During my eight years in seminary, my desire for the priesthood has only increased. I truly believe that the Gracious Lord has called me to serve Him in this manner.

After many years of your ministry in the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, what are your most important lessons? What is something new that you learned about the Church, God, and yourself?

I have been a part of the Archeparchy community for over 10 years. Before I joined the seminary, I was requested to spend two years at Manor College, which I successfully completed. Over the years, I have witnessed numerous transformations within the Archeparchy. One of the most significant changes was the enthronement of our new Metropolitan-Archbishop, Borys Gudziak. This brought about the arrival of numerous new priests who have since joined the Church. Despite these changes, the primary mission of the Church remains unchanged: leading people to God, offering guidance, and serving them. The unchanging presence of God is the cornerstone of our faith and our service to others.

What challenges do you see for your priestly ministry - both existing challenges and new ones?

The priestly ministry presents numerous challenges as priests juggle multiple responsibilities from both the Archeparchy and the parish to which they are assigned. Personally, one of the primary challenges I anticipate is familiarizing myself with all the new aspects of my role and getting to know the people I will be collaborating with. It's important to acknowledge that priests carry a significant amount of responsibility because they are representatives of the Church of God. Additionally, it is crucial to constantly keep in mind that God is ultimately in control, and that all our actions are carried out for His glory.

I feel incredibly blessed to be on this journey. I ask all of you to please keep me and my wife, Olha, in your prayers as we are entering into this ministry together. May God bless you!

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