Hermaniuk, Maxim, 1911-1996

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Hermaniuk, Maxim, 1911-1996

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  • Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, CSsR

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Dates of existence

October 30, 1911-May 3, 1996


Biographical Events in the Life of Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, CSsR

1911 Born in Nove Selo, Zhovkva, Western Ukraine, October 30

1926 Completed fifth grade in seven-grade school in Kulykiw

1927 Traveled to Zboyiska to the minor seminary-gymnasium of the Redemptorist Fathers, near L’viv

1932 Graduated from the minor seminary

1933 Entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, in August, in Holosko, near L’viv; Was professed on his name-day, 29 September

1933-35 Was sent to study philosophy at the Redemptorist Scholasticate in Louvain, Belgium

1935-39 Pursued his Theology Degree at the Redemptorist Scholasticate in Beauplateau, Belgium

1936 Perpetual profession on 16 August

1938 4 September, ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Nicholas Charnetsky, CSsR, in L’viv

1939 Entered both the Faculty of Theology and the Oriental Institute at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he studied the Assyrian, Babylonian and Hebrew languages, and history of the near East

1940 Obtained the Baccalaureate of Theology, Louvain, Belgium

1942 Received his Licentiate of Theology

1943 Publicly defended his doctoral dissertation, “Parables in the Gospel According to Clement of Alexandria”, earning his Doctor of Theology; Received his Licentiate in Oriental Languages and History from the Oriental Institute at Louvain

1943-45 Was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy, Sociology and Hebrew at the Redemptorist Seminary in Beauplateau, Belgium

1945 Worked with large numbers of Ukrainian refugees in Belgium after the Second World War, organized Ukrainian Relief Committee; Co-founder of the Ukrainian paper, Visti.

1946-48 Editor of Ukrainian monthly magazine Voice of Christ, Lover of Mankind in Belgium; Established Ukrainian student organization, Obnova, in Belgium

1946 As chaplain of Obnova, participated in the International Congress of Pax Romana in Salamanka, Spain; later participated in a Congress of Pax Romana for Catholic university graduates in Frieburg, Switzerland

1947 First president of Ukrainian Cultural Society (UNOT) in Belgium; Wrote, publicly defended and published his monograph, “La Parabole Evangelique”, and defended 72 theses in moral and dogmatic theology, to obtain highest degree offered by Louvain University, Maître Agrégé en Théologie

1948 Attended World Congress of Byzantinology in Brussels and was made honourary Life Member; Created PB Louvain, press bureau distributing news to and of displaced Ukrainian population in Belgium; Participated in International Congress of Pax Romana in Spaa, Belgium

1948-51 Appointed supervisor of the Ukrainian Redemptorist Vice-province of Canada and the US, leaving Europe 10 October

1949-51 Professor of Moral Theology and Sacred Scripture in the Holy Redeemer Ukrainian Major Seminary in Waterford, Ontario

1950 Organized board and became first editor-in-Chief of Logos Ukrainian Theological Quarterly; Parish priest at Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Toronto

1951 13 January appointed by the Holy See as Titular Bishop of Sinna and
Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Ladyka in Winnipeg, and consecrated 29 June at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral; 21 April became a member of Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society

1953 Organized Obnova University Students Club in Winnipeg

1955 19 May named Coadjutor, with right of succession to Archbishop Basil Ladyka

1956 1 September succeeded as Archbishop to the See of Winnipeg upon the
death of Archbishop Basil Ladyka; Elevated to Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics of Canada when Pope Pius XII elevated Winnipeg to a Metropolitan See on 3 November

1957 12 February enthroned at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral in Winnipeg as
first Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics of Canada

1958 Australian Tour as Apostolic Visitor for the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches

1959 Founder of Diocesan Printing and Publishing Company which produces the weekly Ukrainian Catholic newspaper, Progress/Postup

1960 Appointed a member to the Vatican II preconciliar Theological Commission; Wrote and published “Our Obligation”, collection of his articles from “Progress”, 1959-1960

1962 Organized and conducted first Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada; Collaborated in the publication of the New Catholic Encyclopedia of the Catholic University of Washington, DC

1962 Along with 2500 other bishops, participated in Vatican II ; 22 November led the fourteen other Ukrainian Catholic bishops at Vatican II in a joint letter of protest published in Il Journale D’Italia demanding the release of Metropolitan Slipyj from Ukraine

1963 10 February arrival of liberated Metropolitan Slipyj in Rome; Session II Vatican II, elected by the Conciliary Fathers as a member of the Secretariat for Christian Unity; 6 November addressed Council on issue of Collegiality; Silver Jubilee of ordination to the priesthood, celebrated 23 June; Published article in French “The Terminology of Clement of Alexandria in the Parables of the Gospel”, published by Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society

1964 Session III Vatican II

1965 Session IV Vatican II, 7 December His Grace pointed out to the Assembly there were no doctrinal differences or dogmatic reasons in 1054 to create the Orthodox Church, or to separate from the Church of Rome; Concept was then explored by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras

1967 Member of World Congress of Free Ukrainians

1969 Member of Joint Working Group between Catholic Church and World Council of Churches during ecumenical meetings, Geneva; Honourary member of Mark Twain Society

1976 Initiated construction of new Chancery Office in Winnipeg, completed in 1979

1977 Member of the Counsel of the Secretariat of Synod of Bishops in Rome

1980 During Synod of Bishops in Rome, author of Charter of Family Rights, later proclaimed by the Church

1981 Initiated consideration of new inter-eparchial seminary in Ottawa

1982 Presented award of Officer of the Order of Canada

1983 Member of the Council of the Secretariat of Synod of Bishops in Rome; Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Codification of Eastern Catholic Canon Law; Synod in Rome accepted proposition of Charter of Family Rights

1984 Papal visit to Canada, and on 16 September to Winnipeg

1985 25 November extraordinary synod in Rome to commemorate twenty years since Vatican II

1986 Extraordinary synod in Rome where His Grace called for collegiality among his fellow bishops; At age seventy-five, submitted his letter of resignation; not accepted

1988 As President of the Synodal Commisssion, instrumental in organizing celebrations for Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine, US, Europe and main celebrations in Rome with the Holy Father; Golden Jubilee Mass and Banquet celebrated 22 November on occasion of Fiftieth Anniversary of Priesthood; Accepted “Honoris Causa” Doctor of Divinity Degree from University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, 26 November

1989 Visited L’viv for ten days, 10-20 September, meeting family members but prevented by authorities from visiting native village, Nove Selo

1991 February, elected Chairman of the Synodal Commission for preparation of “Ius Speciale As Tempus” (temporary special right) for the Ukrainian Catholic Church

1992 At the age of eighty-one, after thirty-six years as head of Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, announced his resignation at Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops assembly; accepted 16 December

1993 His Grace, as Editor-in-Chief, organized the Board and re-founded Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies; 9 March installation of Metropolitan Michael Bzdel; 24 March retirement dinner for Metropolitan Emeritus

1993-96 Travel throughout Ukraine to preach retreats for clergy, workshops on Vatican II and on the post-Conciliar Church for Ukrainian clergy, now freed from Soviet dominance

1996 Passed into eternal sleep in the Arms of the Lord, 3 May; Buried at All Saints cemetery in Winnipeg, Manitoba


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Functions, occupations and activities

In 1943, Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk became Professor of Moral Philosophy, Sociology and Hebrew at the Redemptorist Seminary in Beauplateau, where he taught until the end of the Second World War, in 1945. In 1947 he received the Maître Agrégé en Théologie from Louvain University. In 1948, Hermaniuk arrived in Canada as the newly-appointed Vice-Provincial of the Ukrainian Redemptorist Vice-Province in Canada and the United States. As well, he became professor of Moral Theology and Sacred Scripture at the Ukrainian Redemptorist Seminary at Waterford, Ontario. Hermaniuk was appointed Auxiliary Bishop in 1951 and Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan for the Ukrainian Catholics in Canada in 1956. Hermaniuk retired as Metropolitan Archbishop in December 1992, but continued to serve in the capacity of Metropolitan Emeritus, until his death on May 3, 1996.

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General context

Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, CSsR, the first metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada, passed away May 3, 1996, sitting peacefully in his room, the rosary in his fingers. With his passing, so too passed what may be called the third phase in the evolution of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. The first phase, the inception of a distinct religious governing body for the large number of Ukrainian Catholic immigrants arriving in Canada, began December 22, 1912 with the installation of Bishop Nykyta Budka. The second phase, which began during the inter-war years, was guided by Bishop Basil Ladyka, OSBM, a missionary priest in northern Alberta prior to his elevation to bishop, July 14, 1929.
The third phase in the evolution of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada began after the Second World War, a time of great flux for the entire world, and great change on many levels for Canadians, and Ukrainian Canadian Catholics in particular. Father Maxim Hermaniuk came to Canada from Europe during that period, assuming the helm of the Ukrainian Catholic Church within ten years of his initial arrival in the New World. His leadership, which was to span major world events, including the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Union, and hence the freeing of Ukraine, was a leadership representative of the union of the two worlds: Old and New.
Metropolitan Hermaniuk was himself a product of the Old World in the truest sense, a man of great learning and sensibility, a lover of fine art, and of beauty in all its forms of expression. He was also a product of the destruction of his homeland, a devastation he witnessed first-hand during the inter-war period. His path was intertwined with that of the thousands of homeless, the displaced who struggled to create a new life as a result of the two great wars, and as a result of the struggle for Ukraine. The struggle, smoldering for decades upon decades, flared into full blaze after the First World War.
This scholarly Redemptorist arrived in Canada in October 1948, determined to follow his calling as a teacher, writer and pastoral leader, now in the New World. His teaching days in Waterford, Ontario were to last only three years, for by March 1951, he was named Auxiliary Bishop to Bishop Ladyka who was in failing health. Elevated to Coadjutor Bishop with the Right to Succession in May 1955, Archbishop in April 1956, and then Metropolitan in November 1956, His Grace propelled his vocation in a new direction, traveling the globe, spearheading change at Vatican II, promoting ecumenism, collegiality and the struggle for a free Ukraine. He encouraged the youth movement in Canada and worked towards local and international interaction. His active engagement in the world around him did not go unrecognized; awards and accolades, including the citizenship award of Officer of the Order of Canada, were bestowed upon him.
The Holy See accepted the resignation of Metropolitan Hermaniuk on December 16, 1992. He was eighty-one years old. He had served as bishop for more than forty years.
The papers of Maxim Hermaniuk are broad in their scope, and rich in their content. The preliminary archival finding aid created in 2004 arranged and described the textual material in fifteen series. In 2005-2006, the first phase of the arrangement and description of the Photo Collection produced a sixteenth series, with the selection of 1294 photos at the item level, including photos from 1917 to 1983.
The repository, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives, achieved institutional member status with the Association for Manitoba Archives in 2002, and received a Control of Holdings grant from the Canadian Council of Archives in 2003 to begin work on His Grace’s papers. The AMA has supported this repository at every turn in our efforts to continue the work begun by others, especially the efforts of Sister Cornelia Mantyka who arranged and described the papers of bishops Budka and Ladyka.

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