WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Bishop Rabiy, 47, has been as auxiliary bishop of the Philadelphia Archeparchy since Aug. 11, 2017.
The appointment was announced Nov. 10 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States.
Born Oct. 1, 1975, in Lviv, Ukraine, Bishop Rabiy studied at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington and was ordained to the priesthood in 2001. He was vicar general and vice chancellor of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and a pastor at the time of his 2017 appointment.
With his family in attendance, he was consecrated a bishop Sept. 3, 2017, in St. George’s Cathedral in Lviv, where in his youth he had served as an altar boy.
The main consecrator was Ukrainian Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, the leader of more than 5 million Ukrainian Catholics around the globe, with co-consecrators Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, Alberta.
“Bishop Rabiy’s pastoral and canonical experience will be of great assistance as the Archeparchy of Winnipeg ministers to some 12,000 Ukrainian refugees who have recently arrived in Manitoba fleeing the war in Ukraine,” said a statement from the archeparchy, which is headed by Metropolitan-Archbishop Lawrence Huculak.
With the appointment, Pope Francis has approved a decision by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church that Bishop Rabiy be appointed an auxiliary for the Canadian archeparchy.
Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia expressed “the deepest gratitude of the bishops, all the clergy, religious and faithful of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and the United States Ukrainian Catholic Metropolia for (Bishop Rabiy’s) 28 years of service in America.”
“We all are most grateful to you, Bishop Andriy, for consecrating your life to the Lord and for all the good things that you have accomplished in the Philadelphia Archeparchy, for the years of prayer, ministry, preaching and pastoral care that you have offered to thousands of our faithful,” the archbishop said.
He thanked Bishop Rabiy “for the joy of the waters of baptism that you poured over the heads of those beginning a new life in Christ.”
“From your hands our people received the Bread of Life,” he continued. “Thank you for unburdening consciences through the sacrament of reconciliation. May the Lord reward you for wiping the tears of those grieving at the loss of loved ones.”
He added, “We will remember the fellowship and solidarity that you created and shared at so many celebrations and festivals. Your good works are inscribed in the hearts of those you served.”
Archbishop Gudziak, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the U.S., said Bishop Rabiy “is well-regarded as a pastor who is caring and deeply committed, hands-on and modest.”
“He has lived a life of simplicity, chastity and complete dedication to the church,” the archbishop added. “As he once told me, ‘The church is my life, I have nothing but the church.'”
Now-Bishop Rabiy started his seminary formation in Ukraine but has spent almost all of his adult life in the United States.
He arrived in the U.S. at the invitation of the Metropolitan-Archbishop Stephen Sulyk of the Philadelphia Archeparchy to continue his studies at St. Josaphat Seminary and The Catholic University of America in Washington, where he completed his degree in philosophy in 1999.
That same year, he began theological studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington and graduated in 2002 with a master’s degree in theology.
In 1999, he was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Sulyk, and in 2001 was ordained a priest by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka, who succeeded Archbishop Sulyk. As a priest, he served at New Jersey parishes — in Hillsborough, New Brunswick and Hillside.
He earned a licentiate in canon law at The Catholic University of America in 2008, specializing in the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
From February 2008 to June 2018, Father Rabiy was the administrator of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Reading, Pennsylvania. Starting in February 2013, he also was responsible for the mission parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In June 2008, he was appointed vice chancellor for the Philadelphia Archeparchy and subsequently served in different administrative capacities in the chancery.
A year after his 2017 appointment as auxiliary bishop for the archeparchy, he served as its apostolic administrator from 2018, when Archbishop Soroka retired, to June 2019, when Archbishop Gudziak was enthroned as his successor.
Because of the shortage of priest, during the pandemic, Bishop Rabiy assumed responsibility for St. Michael Archangel Parish in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Dec. 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022.
He also has served at parishes in Pennsylvania’s coal region, Transfiguration Parish in Shamokin and Patronage of the Mother of God Parish in Marion Heights.
“Having been appointed as bishop and transferred by the church from country to country more than once,” Archbishop Gudziak said, “I know that it is not easy to leave the people you have come to love and who love you, those with whom you have decades of bonds.”
“I pray and trust that the Holy Spirit will give Bishop Andriy the inspiration needed to pick up roots and plant them in a land new to him so as to flourish and give fruit as he did in the U.S.,” he added.