Lubomyr – Being Human: 6-part Documentary Released

Maria Rypan for New Pathway, Toronto.

“Lubomyr – Being Human” is an English voiced-over 6-part documentary (30 minutes each) of his beatitude Lubomyr Husar’s memories of his youth, extensively illustrated with archival footage. The documentary is an epic collection of impressions and profound observations about human values and society’s ideals throughout Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s past and present, which survived in the underground and in exile. The film masterfully presents the emeritus leader’s quest to be a human being in Ukraine’s turbulent history. The film was directed by Olena Moshinska and produced by Pavlo Kazantsev.

The film begins with pictures from Maidan and goes back to Cardinal’s childhood in Lviv. The film talks about Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, the WWII bombings and continues through to 1944. Lubomyr Husar flees Ukraine and spends his youth in Austria in displaced persons camps, where he actively participates in the PLAST scouting organization.

Eventually, Lubomyr immigrates to USA, where he joins the Stamford seminary. We see his ordination, Soyuzivka trip, first parish in Kerhonkson in New York and follow him through 1969.

Part three begins with Lubomyr’s doctoral studies in Rome, where he becomes a monk. Then, with the beginning of the Cold War, we see the struggle of the underground church and meet patriarch Josyf Slіpyj. Later, Lubomyr becomes a Studite monk. Part four depicts Lubomyr’s secret ordination as bishop, then him leading the Studite monks.

When Ukraine becomes independent, Lubomyr Husar returns to his homeland. In part five Cardinal tells about Lviv theological seminary and the rebirth of the UGCC. Lubomyr Husar becomes exarch of Kyiv-Vyshhorod in 1996, then assistant to Patriarch Myroslav Lubachivsky, then Major Archbishop. Eventually, he is appointed Cardinal during Pope John Paul II visit to Ukraine.

Part six tells of Lubomyr Husar’s moving the seat to Kyiv and building the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral, then of his retirement in 2011. Today his beatitude Svyatoslav is a successor to the spiritual Father of the UGCC.

Complementary to “Lubomyr – Being Human” is a documentary titled “Jacob’s ladder”, written and directed by Lesya Kharchenko, produced by Pavlo Kazantsev. The 52 minutes film depicts a meeting of three men in the rooftop café of an old house in Lviv, Ukraine. They sit high above the housetops, spires, and towers of a variety of architectural styles reflecting the centuries of Lviv’s existence. Age and illness have dimmed the vision of two of the three friends but they can easily recall the historical epochs that they lived through.

In 1944, they were classmates at the First Lviv Grammar School. That year – as World War II raged – spelled a parting of the ways for these three lads from Galician noble families. One wound up in North America; another made a horrific journey through the GULAG archipelago; the third was able to remain in his homeland. 70 years later, they meet in Lviv: an outstanding Ukrainian oncologist Borys Bilynsky, a monk and former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Lubomyr Husar, a long-term prisoner of Soviet camps Yuriy-Bohdan Shukhevych.

Borys Bilynsky was born in 1933 in Zbarazh, Ternopil region. Today he is a leading Ukrainian oncologist, doctor of medicine, professor, and author of more than 200 scientific works including the first oncology textbook in Ukrainian. Lubomyr Husar was born in 1933 in Lviv. He is a studite monk, major-archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia, a cardinal in the Catholic Church and was head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 2001-2011. Yuriy Shukhevych was born in 1933 in Ohlyadiv, Lviv region. He is a Ukrainian politician, soviet dissident and political prisoner, son of the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) Roman Shukhevych. Yuriy Shukhevych was arrested at the age of 15 and spent more than 40 years in soviet prisons.

You can order the DVDs in English ($15), Ukrainian ($15) or both languages (Deluxe: $25 set), and “Jacob’s Ladder” DVD ($15) from Maria Rypan (maria@rypandesigns.com).