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The Ukrainian Icon: A Piece of Heaven on Earth  

Borys Gudziak, PhD

Borys Gudziak, Ph.D., Archbishop-Metropolitan of Philadelphia for Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

The Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University is pleased to announce a symposium on the icon in Ukrainian tradition. In this time of war between Ukraine and Russia, this event highlighting icons will do much to defuse tension. Knowledge and veneration of icons are vehicles for promoting peace.

The symposium will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Bethany Hall A. Registration is recommended and can be accessed here. The event will also be available virtually via Zoom. Click here to register for the event.

The distinguished scholars at this symposium will present papers on icons, new and old.

The symposium will begin with a greeting by Director Ines A. Murzaku, Ph.D. of Department of Catholic Studies, introducing Marc Anthony Datz, MA a friend of Seton Hall and visionary of Ukrainian symposia. He will give a short timeline of Ukrainian history and introduce Rev. Thomas P. Shubeck, Ph.D.


Rev. Thomas P. Shubeck, Ph.D.

Rev. Thomas P. Shubeck, Ph.D. is a priest of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, serving at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Rahway, NJ. He is the Director of Psychological Services at the College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at St. Andrew’s Hall and Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology.

The first speaker will be Andriy Demyanchuk, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Stage Direction and Choreography, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine. Dr. Demyanchuk, whose paper is titled “ ‘We Call Upon Her from Ages to Ages…’ Our Mother of Perpetual Help -The Most Honored Icon of Ukraine” will speak about the history and creation of traditional icons in Ukraine, especially of the Divine Cult to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Maestro Demyanchuk himself is an iconographer extraordinaire, as well as a scholar of icons.

The second speaker, Rev. Joseph Bertha, Ph.D., will present “The Pantocrator of the Holy Wisdom Church at the Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine.” An Icon of Christ the Emperor, that reminds us that He is not coming as a Lamb, at the end of time, but as the King of Kings! Fr. Bertha, who earned his doctorate in art history from SUNY Binghamton, is a priest of the Eparchy of Passaic, serving the Byzantine Catholic Ruthenian faithful. He is the Chairman of the Evangelization Commission of the eparchy and has an active role in administering the eparchial archives.

The third and final paper will be presented by Borys Gudziak, Ph.D., Archbishop-Metropolitan of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia for Ukrainian Catholics in the United States; Head of the Department of External Church Relations, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; and President of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine. Metropolitan Borys, speaking on “The New Ukrainian Icon: A Christian Witness at a Time of War,” will explore the newest iconography in Ukraine. These icons, written by soldiers, veterans, and invalids of the ongoing war in Ukraine, are on discarded boxes that had contained war supplies. This is a subject very close to his heart because the Metropolitan has traveled many times to the front lines in Ukraine and acquired these special icons. When he was enthroned as Metropolitan of Philadelphia in 2019, he put these heartfelt icons in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, so that the faithful can pray for the cessation of hostilities. The icons remain there today.

Following the three presentations, Rev. Shubeck will moderate a Q&A session.

About Catholic Studies:

The Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University offers an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism's rich intellectual tradition and living heritage. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology, and other disciplines, Catholic Studies focuses on the Church's dialogue with culture and encounter with the world. Students interested in Catholic Studies have the option to pursue a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances the university's other degree programs and fields of study. Over 20 years the academic program and its variegated activities have stayed true to and fulfilled the Catholic mission and vision of the University.

For more information, please contact Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., Director of the Department of Catholic Studies, at, or Gloria Aroneo at

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Gloria Aroneo
  • (973) 275-2808