His Beatitude Sviatoslav expressed his sympathy with going into eternity in loving memory of father Vasyl Potochnyak

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 10:34
In particular, in a compassionate letter is said: “today, with a strong sadness, we happened to know about going into eternity a great apostle of pastoral care of migrants from our Church – in loving memory of father Vasyl Potochnyak.

Father Vasyl was an indefatigable spiritual father of our workers, especially in Italy. He was one of the first coordinators of a national pastoral care among Ukrainians in this country. He was at the cradle of “To the Light” magazine which is developing today, as well. This priest cared untiringly about welfare of our workers in Italy, defending their right before Italian state, likewise protecting their dignity before Ukrainian government.

Ending up his service in Italy, father became a co-worker of our Pastoral Mission department responsible for pastoral care of our people, especially in countries where is no church edifices of UGCC. A newly departed father was making apostolic journeys to different countries, straining at spiritual wealth of our brothers and sisters in different countries. Furthermore, he cared not only about providing a pastoral care of our workers, who got there under some circumstances, but cared also about their spiritual renewing and healing, devoting himself to their relatives here, in Ukraine. Exactly this year tenth migrants’ pilgrimage to the miraculous place in Zarvanytsia will be held. This pilgrimage was founded by father Vasyl Potochnyak to heal people who really went through rough way of a worker in a strange country.

Today, when our Church say goodbye to this ardent priest I crave for expressing my sincere sympathy to his family and relatives and to bishop Joseph (Milyan), who father Vasyl was cooperating with last years, bishop Dionisiy (Lyakhovych) and to all community in Italy, whom long years father Vasyl was working hard for.

It is easy to admire father’s struggle with an incurable disease. What a Christian example he demonstrated for all incurably ill – an example of hope, hope for eternal life in God!

Today, this Easter time when heavens are opened, we say goodbye to you, dear father Vasyl! May God hold you in His embraces! Memory eternal to you! Christ has risen!”

UGCC Department of Information


A Biography of an archpriest Vasyl Potochnyak

He was born on the ninth of July 1973 in Limna village of Turkivskiy district, Lviv region in an extended family with five children.

1979-1989 – studied at Limna secondary school.

1990-1995 – studied at Lublin High Seminary of Lublin Catholic University and got “Master” degree.

1995-1997 – was studying at Lublin Catholic University and got scholar degree “Licentiate dogmatic theology”.

1996 – received his deacon’s ordination at hands of bishop Yulian Voronovskiy, the ruling archbishop of Sambir and Drogobych eparchy of the UGCC.

1996-2000 – was an acting prefect and lecturer of Liturgical subjects at Drogobych Seminary named after blessed martyrs Severyn, Vitaliy and Yakym.

27th of July 1997 – in his native village he received a priest ordination at hands of ruling archbishop of Sambir and Drogobych Yulian Voronovskiy.

1997-2000 –was appointed a Head of a Committee on youth affairs of Sambir and Drogobych eparchy. Although this appointment was not new for him because starting from 90th he was organizing different youth arrangements, in particular clerically recreation summer camps “Sarepta”, pilgrimages, catechisms, evenings out, or simply took part in it. The first steps of working with youth in a Committee were marked with spiritual, organizing, arts and cultural, communicatory spheres. He was a mover of a foundation and edition of a youth Christian monthly magazine “With Love to the World”, big celebrations of Veil of Our Lady feast with a concerts in Drogobych city centre, academies in Pedagogical University assembly hall, started a musical youth band, carrying out monthly vigils, pilgrimages, Christmas carols and New Year entertainments with a youth from seminary, youth fraternity and youth choir “Echo”, winter trips to mountains on St. Valentine holiday and, also systematic catechism meetings (twice a week).

1997-2000 – passed a doctor’s course at Lublin Catholic University.

27th of July 1997 – rewarded by bishop of Sambir and Drogobych Yulian Voronovskiy for intensive work with youth and rewarded with a pectoral cross.

11th of April 1999 – rewarded with an epigonation.

1999-2000 – with a blessing of His Beatitude Lyubomyr Guzar, The Head and Father of the UGCC, he visited Russia, Tyumen district in particular, where he was serving for our Ukrainian Greek-catholic people.

2000-2003 – was studying at Pontifical Oriental Institute at faculty of ecclesiastical studies in the field of liturgical theology, getting his scholar degree in “licentiate of liturgical theology” also passing doctor’s courses at the same edifice.

2000-2009 – during his studying he starts and leads a living pastoral activity among Ukrainians in Italy.

2001-2005 – with a designation of Archbishop Lyubomyr he was working as a coordinator for Ukrainians in Italy, also confirmed by Bishop’s Conference in Italy. During this time he started more than 70 Ukrainian communities in different Italian cities. He set a celebration of a Mother’s day. He was a founder of a Christian periodical “To the Light”, forums of Ukrainians in Italy and many others cultural and social initiatives.

14th of May 2005 – for hard-working and devoting service he received from His Beatitude Lyubomyr a charter with a right to wear a golden cross.

18th of August 2006 – for the prominent enlightening and professional work got from the president of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko the order “For the merits of the III level”.

2009-2015 – obtained from His Beatitude Lyubomyr Guzar decree on designation for the position of an acting secretary of a Pastoral Mission department Of UGCC. Since his work in the Department, an annual course for senior seminarians on specifics of a mission service has been set up (duration is 7 days) and the seminar on a Spiritual Formation of extension courses for missionaries. In 2005 set up an international pilgrimage “Sambir -Zarvanytsia”. He was a mover of a printed annual periodical “Circular” about a PMD of UGCC, manual “Communities of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and Public Organizations in countries of a new migration” and PMD web-site. He paid his visits to Kazakhstan, Russia, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, Spain and Italy. He participated in various seminars, round tables and meetings of international and local significance.

On 15th of April 2015 - after long, nearly three-year treating of a severe disease he went to eternity in Brescia (Italy) on Holy Wednesday at 6.15 of a local time.

Father Vasyl Potochnyak was a fervent priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and a big patriot. With his spirituality and testimony of a Christian life he led and confirmed many Christian souls. With all his life he expressed a complete trust in God’s will, testifying it with acceptation of his disease and endurance as a proof of Lord’s mercy and opportunity to proclaim Christ’s good news even at the death couch. Consolations and protection father Vasyl got in his life, following the example of metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, praying for his honoring.

May all-merciful God rest the soul of a newly departed archpriest Vasyl.

Memory Eternal! Christ has risen!




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