His Beatitude Sviatoslav greeted Bishop Andriy (Sapelyak) with the 55th anniversary of episcopal ordination

Saturday, 15 October 2016, 21:44
"On behalf of the Synod of Bishops of our Church I sincerely congratulate you on the 55th anniversary of your episcopal ordination. Your service for the faithful of our Church left a good example of a devout shepherd who gives his soul for his sheep. Especially I want to thank you for the continual service for the needs of our Church in Ukraine", is written in the charter by His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

On October 15 Bishop Andriy (Sapelyak) celebrates the 55th anniversary of his episcopal ordination. The Salezian community sincerely congratulates Bishop Andriy on this jubilee! We wish our Bishop health, God's blessing and care of the Mother of God, strength and inspiration in his devout work in God's vineyard!

The episcopal ordination of Bishop Andriy took place on October 15 1961 in Rome in the Basilica of St. Peter. According to the Bishop, the date of the ordination was very significant for him: "It was important for me that it took place on  the Feast of Protection, that I could begin my ministry in the name of Mary and under her Veil as a follower of the apostles 'step by step with Mary and under her Veil'. With these ideals I always lived, despite various hardships, often big ones".

Certainly, the event of Bishop's ordination was preceded by intense spiritual preparation. On August 14 1961 the newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" announced the nomination of Bishop Andriy (Sapelyak) for the Bishop for the Ukrainians in Argentina with the title of Apostolic visitor. This news was widely spread and the Ukrainians in Argentina, who wanted to have their Bishop very much, especially gladly received it.

The first Ukrainian Bishop-salezian was ordained by Archbishop Ivan Buchko with Bishops Gabrijel Bukatko from Yugoslavia and Volodymyr Malanchuk from France. They were joined in service by the new rector of the Small Seminary Fr. Stepan Chmil' and Bishop Andriy's brother Fr. Vasyl'. The ceremony of consecrations was held by Fr. Myroslav Marusyn. There also participated the prefect of the Congregation of the Eastern Churches, four Cardinals, several Bishops, and also representatives of the Salezian community from various salezian institutions in Rome.

On October 16 1961 the official edition "L'Osservatore Romano" published an article about this event with three photos from the ceremony, which was a quite rare occasion for a daily newspaper at that time. 

Bishop Andriy had his first episcopal audience with Pope John XXIII. It is then the Bishop asked for blessing upon his missionary work among the Ukrainians in Argentina and expressed gratitude for the Papal present:  a gold cross with a particle of the Lord's Holy Cross.  After the celebrations in Rome, the Bishop went to Turin, where he also had meetings with numerous salezians.

Pondering the episcopal emblem, Bishop Andriy desired to show in it that despite his spiritual ministry would take place beyond Ukraine,  the Motherland is always in his heart. In the upper part of his episcopal emblem there is an anchor as a symbol of Most Holy Virgin Mary, and the Trident - as a symbol of Ukraine.  In the lower part there is drawn his missionary ideal - a ship in the ocean, heading to the Ukrainian land of the Apostle Andrew, with the St. Andrew's cross.  There's an inscription on the emblem: "My hope is Mary's Veil".

Bishop Andriy made a lot so that the Ukrainian salezians could begin their pastoral work  in Ukraine in the 90s, and this work has been developing until now. So once more we congratulate Bishop Andriy on the 55th anniversary of his episcopal ordination! We thank the Lord for the gift of his life and express sincere gratitude for his fruitful service for children and youth in the spirit of salezian charisma!

Press-service of fathers-salezians  

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