On Wednesday, September 28, Catholic University officially endowed Fr. Peter Galadza as the first Bishop Basil H. Losten Endowed Professor and Chair in Ukrainian Church Studies.
The chair and professorship are named for the alumnus who made them possible, His Excellency Basil H. Losten, S.T.L. 1957, bishop emeritus of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford, Connecticut. Through family legacies left to him by his parents and siblings, Bishop Losten — a priest for 65 years and a bishop for 51 — made a gift of $5 million to not only endow the professorship, but also to endow graduate student stipends and create the new Center for Ukrainian Church Studies within the School of Theology and Religious Studies’ (TRS) Institute for the Study of Eastern Christianity.
“I have known Bishop Basil Losten for most of my life...This donation continues his dedication to education by sponsoring research at the highest levels of academic excellence.”
— Fr. Mark Morozowich on Bishop Losten
In thanking Bishop Losten for his gift, Father Mark Morozowich, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, praised Losten’s dedication and hard work on behalf of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
“I have known Bishop Losten for most of my life, but it was during my seminary years at St. Basil College in Stamford, Connecticut, that I had the opportunity to get to know him in a more personal way,” Father Mark said. “His continued sacrifices over the decades to maintain a place of formation for future priests to serve the faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church underscores his commitment to the Church of tomorrow. This donation continues his dedication to education by sponsoring research at the highest levels of academic excellence.”
“This Chair and the Center will serve as a place of learning and inquiry to strengthen scholars throughout the world, as well as enriching our own community in this country,” Father Mark continued. “It will continue the study of the rich Ukrainian ecclesiastical patrimony for future generations. Its ecumenical approach will strive to build bridges as well as foster the vitality of these communities in the United States, as well as in Ukraine.”
As he accepted the new professorship and chair on behalf of the University, President Peter Kilpatrick said he learned Bishop Losten grew up as a dairy farmer, a fact that he could relate to and one that helped him understand Bishop Losten’s level of commitment to serving the Church.
“My father was also a farmer in southwest Iowa,” President Kilpatrick said. “It helped me understand [Bishop Losten’s] dedication and pursuance of hard work; that’s what farmers do. And his extraordinary generosity will enable more students to learn about the beauty and breadth of the Catholic faith as practiced by our Ukrainian Catholic brothers and sisters.”
Bishop Losten said he was very pleased to be part of the University, and to support it. “Some of my greatest days were spent here,” he said, adding of his family legacy, “there was no better thing to do with it than help the University.”
“And [Bishop Losten's] extraordinary generosity will enable more students to learn about the beauty and breadth of the Catholic faith as practiced by our Ukrainian Catholic brothers and sisters.”
— University President Peter Kilpatrick
Father Mark returned to the podium to introduce Father Galadza.
“He serves as an inspiration to so many, especially to those of successive generations, by demonstrating the importance of academic endeavors,” Father Mark said. “His scholarship doesn’t simply focus on remote academic issues, but rather his work always attempts to unite the best theological insights to the worship experiences of parishioners.”
“Father Peter, your exemplary scholarly work stands as a testimony for future generations. It is my hope that your legacy as the inaugural chair holder will encourage future holders of the Losten Chair of Ukrainian Church Studies to be like him, not only as academic leaders, but spiritual leaders as well.”
Galadza, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, is the first to occupy this rotating chair position within TRS. He said he was truly honored by the appointment and thanked the University — as well as the United States as a whole — for its support for Ukraine. He said the center will become a “dynamic think tank” and expressed three subjects of study he thought the center could consider: how the Eastern churches might renew their eucharistic communion with their mother church in Constantinople without breaking ties with Rome; the role women have played in the Ukrainian Church, specifically the work done by Ukrainian Catholic clergy wives; and further study of Christ Our Pascha, a catechism published in 2011 by the Synod of Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Grego-Catholic Church.
“I could indeed talk about so many more promising projects for the new center. But I will leave that — and the realization of such projects — to my successors,” he said. “‘Mnohaya lita, vladyko!’ Many years, Catholic University of America! And many years to your new center.”
The event also featured the participation of Jessica Rentz, a TRS graduate student studying liturgical studies and sacramental theology, who served as the mistress of ceremonies, as well as that of Fr. Volodymyr Radko, a graduate student studying moral theology, who offered the closing prayer of thanksgiving.
“As an Orthodox Christian, it is great to see that The Catholic University of America continues to grow and support Eastern Christian studies,” Rentz said. “I know that through this support, we will see a great expansion into learning and understanding our Eastern Christian past.”
Published on: Friday, November 4, 2022
Campaign Theme: Faculty Excellence
Tags: Endowed Chair, Theology and Religious Studies, Ukranian Church Studies