Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 6, 2006
Fr. William Hupalo oversees Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy
Fr. William Hupalo
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Father William Hupalo will again oversee the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy until Pope Benedict names a new bishop.
Hupalo, a priest for 30 years, was elected administrator Feb. 13 by the eparchy's team of consultors, a group of 10 priests who give advice to the bishop. This is the third time the 63-year-old priest has served in the position in the past 15 years.
"It's hard to say how I feel; it's a big responsibility and you are just waiting for the next bishop (to be named)," he said Feb. 27.
"As an administrator, you are kind of temporary and so you are limited in what you can do. It's not an easy position to be in."
The eparchy needed to appoint an administrator when Bishop Lawrence Huculak was installed as archbishop of Winnipeg and metropolitan of all Ukrainian Catholics in Canada on Feb. 11.
Hupalo became administrator for the first time in July 1990 following the death of Bishop Martin Greschuk. He led the eparchy efficiently for 18 months until the appointment of Bishop Myron Daciuk.
Then, following Daciuk's death in January 1996, Hupalo was again called on to fill in as administrator. He did so for 13 months until Huculak was appointed.
Time will tell
How long he will serve this time again depends on how fast Rome appoints a new bishop.
"It's hard to say when that will happen," he said.
Huculak told the WCR he believes the Edmonton Eparchy may have a new bishop by December.
The process is long, as it has to be reviewed by the Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops before recommendations are submitted to the pope.
In addition to being administrator, Hupalo will continue to serve as vicar general of the eparchy and as pastor of Holy Eucharist Parish in Edmonton and St. Sophia Parish in Sherwood Park.
As administrator, Hupalo is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the eparchy, making sure the faithful are being served and that "things are running well."
About 30 priests and about 70 parishes and missions across Alberta are under his charge.
"He is a man of many talents and many capabilities and I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job," Huculak said of his temporary replacement.
But Hupalo's powers are rather limited, being able to transfer priests or appoint new pastors only in emergencies.
"Hopefully everything will go well so we don't have to make any difficult decisions," he said. "And if something has to be done, then you discuss it with the other clergy and proceed and hopefully it is the right decision."
A native of Bonnyville, Hupalo was ordained a priest July 18, 1976 and has served in various parishes throughout Alberta, including Calgary, Redwater, Edmonton and Sherwood Park. He has been vicar general since 1992.