Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv

Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv (Hreko-katolytska dukhovna seminariia u Lvovi). Seminary established in Lviv under Bishop P. Biliansky in 1783 by Joseph II as a general seminary to educate and train Greek Catholic clergy for the Ukrainian population of the Austrian Empire. It replaced the seminary known as the Barbareum in Vienna. Spiritual training and education in the Eastern rite were conducted at the seminary under the supervision of the rector, while theological subjects were studied at the theological faculty of Lviv University. The program took four years to complete. In the 1880s the average annual enrollment was 200. The seminarians came from Lviv eparchy and Peremyshl eparchy. In 1845 Bishop Ivan Snihursky of Peremyshl established the Peremyshl Greek Catholic Theological Seminary, at which seminarians from his eparchy who had completed the first three years at the Lviv seminary could register for the final year.

After the First World War the seminary in Lviv became an archeparchial seminary. When the Polish authorities refused to respect the rights of the Ukrainian Catholic professors of the theological faculty at Lviv University, a theological faculty was established at the seminary. In 1928 this faculty was reorganized into the Greek Catholic Theological Academy. In 1907 a seminary was opened in Stanyslaviv, and in 1921 the Peremyshl Greek Catholic Theological Seminary began to offer a complete four-year program. The Lviv seminary, however, remained the largest seminary for Catholics of the Eastern rite, with approximately 400 students in 1935. Some of its seminarians came from other eparchies and from outside Galicia—from Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. A student association known as the Shashkevych Reading Society was active at the seminary; it published lectures, music notes, almanacs, and the journal Katolyts’kyi Vskhid (1904–7). The seminary itself published the monograph series Asketychna biblioteka under the editorship of Rev Yosyf Slipy, and from 1783 maintained a valuable library and archive. Some prominent church leaders, such as Antin Anhelovych, M. Skorodynsky, Oleksander Bachynsky, Hryhorii Yakhymovych, Hryhorii Khomyshyn, Yosyf Botsian, Tyt Teodosii Halushchynsky, and Slipy, served as rectors of the seminary. Rev I. Chorniak was the last rector.

The seminary was housed in a building erected in 1888. It contained a chapel painted by Petro Kholodny (1929). The seminary also owned two old buildings, formerly owned by the Dominican Sisters, and the Church of the Holy Spirit, which was destroyed by a German bomb in 1939. The seminary was closed down by Soviet authorities in 1939, but reopened in 1941. In 1944 it was abolished permanently by the Soviet government along with the entire Ukrainian Catholic church. Its property was nationalized, and its library was transferred to the Lviv branch of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR.

Studyns’kyi, K. L’vivs’ka dukhovna seminariia v chasakh Markiiana Shashkevycha (1829–1843) (Lviv 1916)
Hreko-katolyts’ka dukhovna seminariia u L’vovi, 2 vols (1935–9)

Wasyl Lencyk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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