Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 9, 2008
Statue honours Budka's heroic contribution
Canada's first Ukrainian bishop was martyred
- Photo by Brent Kostyniuk
A new statue of Bishop Nykyta Budka stands on the grounds of St. Josaphat Cathedral
By BRENT KOSTYNIUK
Special to the WCR
On May 28, the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada honoured the memory of Bishop Nykyta Budka with the unveiling of a statue on the grounds of St. Josaphat Cathedral in Edmonton.
Nykyta Budka was born in 1877 in Ukraine. In 1905, Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky ordained him to the priesthood. He was consecrated bishop in Lviv in 1912. That year he was appointed the first Ukrainian Catholic bishop in Canada.
His task was simple - organize the entire church life of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, from sea to sea to sea!
In failing health he returned to Ukraine in 1927. After some time of convalescence, he again assisted Sheptytsky in spiritual matters.
In 1945, the Soviet government imprisoned him with a sentence of eight years. His crime? He was a Catholic bishop. He died a martyr on Oct. 1, 1949 in a concentration camp in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.
Pope John Paul II recognized Bishop Budka's supreme sacrifice - he beatified him during his June 2007 visit to Ukraine.
The entire Catholic Church is indebted to Blessed Nykyta Budka for laying the foundation for the religious, education, cultural and national life of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada.