More than a million hryvnias were raised to support the Ukrainian Catholic University at the sixth Charity Banquet in Kyiv. The banquet was held on October 26 and was attended by about 250 friends of the University – politicians, public and cultural figures, businesspersons, and diplomats.
This year’s banquet was special because it was held on the 50th anniversary of the founding of UCU by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj in Rome.
Welcoming the guests, the Grand Chancellor of UCU Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk said: “The Ukrainian Catholic University is a blessing to our church and an important center for intellectual and academic thought in Ukraine; it is important for Ukrainians worldwide. We realize how much social change is needed in Ukraine but do not always know how to do it, what are the appropriate means. They are at UCU – here they are aware what tools are necessary to make Ukraine a free, open, prosperous Christian nation.”
The head of the UGCC thanked all the friends of the University who with their presence at the banquet showed their support for the institution that exists because of charity donations: “The University is developing, opening new specialties, in September a new building was dedicated. We want to develop the already existing programs as well as research and educational projects that are important for the church and the Ukrainian society,” said the Grand Chancellor.
An important part of the charity banquet is the traditional Silent Auction, which on October 26 presented more than 80 lots, including works by Tiberius Silvashi, Ihor Azarov, Ivan Marchuk, Serhyi Hay, Mykhailo Demtsiu, Edward Belsky, Yuriy Koch, Volodymyr Bohuslavsky, Olena Pryduvalova, and the work of artists of the Second International Plein Air, which was held in support of the university in Slovenia.
A raffle was also held during the charity banquet. The lots were given by the Embassies of Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Canada, Germany, Libya, CzechRepublic, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, and the United States. The lots also included original works by leading Ukrainian designers Liliya Pustosvit, Olya Myrtsalo, Yaryna Mertsalo, and books from the publishing houses A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA and Our Format. The National Geographic Ukraine magazine, a media partner of the banquet, provided unique maps.
An exclusive lot this year was a painting by Mykhailo Demtsiu, “I Will Go to the Distant Mountains,” which he created specially for the charity banquet and which is dedicated to Kvitka Tsisyk. The work were exhibited among the auction items, and the proceeds will go toward the establishment of the annual Kvitka Tsisky Scholarship for university students.
UCU President Bishop Borys, thanking all the friends in Kyiv, said: “At our University we focus on the student. Today there are more than a thousand and half participants in various programs. The funds raised during the event will be used for scholarships for those in need. Education at UCU is subsidized, and even those students who pay, pay for only a third of the cost of education. So your support for us is very important,” concluded the Eparch of the Paris Eparchy.
Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, MP Lilia Hrynevych noted: “I am a senator at UCU and openly proud of it. Because I believe it is a unique institution in Ukraine, which in addition to knowledge and skills, provides the students with a spiritual and moral basis – which is where the future of our country lies. I have been working on the development of the education system and for me the phenomenon of UCU is interesting in this case. In my opinion, it should spread throughout Ukraine.”
The banquet was organized by the university’s supporters in Kyiv. This year the Honorary Committee of the Charity Banquet was composed of the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk; His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar; the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Jan Tombinski; philanthropist Konstantin Temertey; artist Mykhailo Demtsiu; writer Maria Matios; philosopher Myroslav Popovych; and others.
The musical theme of this year’s banquet was inspired by Kvitka Tsisyk. Thus the winner of the Kvitka Tsisyk Grand Prix Competition, singer Oksana Mukha, performed Kvitka’s songs. The leader of the group Plach Yeremiyi, Taras Chubay, also performed for the guests.