Sophia Opatska, CEO of the Lviv Business School of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), recently returned from a trip to Rome that was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the Embassy of Israel to the Holy See.
The trip was for representatives of Catholic universities around the world. The program has two parts: one in Rome and the other directly in Israel. This includes visits to universities and think tanks, the opportunity to meet colleagues at Israeli universities, and a meeting with the Pope. According to UCU’s website, the goal of these trips is to demonstrate that Israel is working on questions of mutual understanding and reconciliation, the development of education and technology.
Among other things, based on her experiences on the trip, Opatska spoke about the formation of leaders: “My conclusion about the role of Catholic universities: our task is not only to provide a quality education and professional training for today’s world, but to form leaders, people who are prepared to take responsibility for themselves. Both components are equally important. We can’t provide a spiritual education without practical professional skills.
At the same time, we need to graduate people who are able to make responsible decisions in life. It’s necessary to realize that graduates of the university should be ‘self-starters.’ “We are currently on a very correct course. And though religious conservatives say that we are too liberal, very liberal people say that we are too religious. Taken together, this shows that we are doing the right thing. For our task is to combine these two worlds and maintain a balance,” said Opatska.