Ukrainian metropolitan and apostle; b. Prylbyči, July 29, 1865; d. Lvov, Nov. 1, 1944. Sheptyts’kyĭ was born of an aristocratic family. After studying in Breslau, he joined the Basilian Order (May 23, 1888), changing his Christian name from Roman Alexander to Andrĭ. He was ordained in 1892; Pope Leo XIII named him bishop of Stanislav (Galicia) on June 17, 1898, and metropolitan of Lvov on Jan. 16, 1901. By visitations of his vast archdiocese and by his charity—manifested in the establishment of orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the aged and poor—as well as by some 150 pastoral letters, he reinvigorated Catholicism in the western Ukraine. He founded minor and major seminaries in both Stanislav and Lvov. By founding an Ecclesiastical Academy (1928) and a theological journal in Lvov, Sheptyts’kyĭ revived the study of theology in the Ukraine. He also restored the order of the monks of St. Basil, and by revising the ancient rule of St. theodore the studite, he revived Oriental monaticism among Catholics. He persuaded the general of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer to establish a Byzantine-Slav branch (approved by the Congregation of the Propaganda Fide on April 27, 1913). Although this Redemptorist vice province, brought to Galicia by Belgians, was suppressed by the U.S.S.R. in 1948, a branch founded in Canada and the U.S. is still flourishing.
As metropolitan, Sheptyts’kyĭ defended his people vigorously against Russian subversion and was imprisoned by the Czar during World War I (1914–17). In his zeal for the protection of the Byzantine-Slavic rite in Russia before the Revolution, he had pursued reunion movements, particularly among the Catholics and Orthodox of the Ukraine, and had visited Moscow in 1907. After the Revolution, he held a provincial synod and suggested the naming of Leonidas Fedorov as Catholic exarch for Russia. He also rebuilt the churches and ecclesiastical institutions destroyed during the war, and opposed both the Communists in Russia and the Latinizing policies of the Polish government in 1938 and 1939.
Sheptyts’kyĭ translated the ascetical works of St. basil of caesarea into Ukrainian and published De Sapientia Dei (Lvov 1932). He visited the Ukrainian immigrants in North and South America and arranged for their spiritual welfare by persuading the Holy See to erect a hierarchy for them in the U.S. (1907); after his attendance at the Canadian Eucharistic Congress (1910), Canada obtained a Ukrainian hierarchy (1912). For the furtherance of his ecclesiastical policies, he founded a Ukrainian National Museum and gave encouragement to the pursuit of Ukrainian art and scholarship. His cause for beatification has been introduced in the Congregation of Rites.
Bibliography: b. stasiewski, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 1957–65) 9:1265–66. Analecta Ordinis S. Basilii Magni, Ser. 1 (Zhovkva 1924–1935) Ser. 2 (Rome 1949–) 2:268–284. g. prokoptschuk, Der Metropolit: Leben und Wirken des … Andreas Szeptzckyj (Munich 1955), Beatificationis et canonizationis Servi Dei Andreae Szeptikyj (Rome 1958). a. herman, De fontibus iuris ecclesiastici Russorum (Vatican City 1936). m. gordillo, La civilità cattolica 112.3 (1961) 474–483. pius xii, Orientales omnes Ecclesias (Letter, Dec. 23, 1945). Acta Apostolicae Sedis 38 (1946) 33–63.
[f. x. murphy]
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