Mohylnytsky, Ivan

Mohylnytsky, Ivan [Могильницький, Іван; Mohyl’nyc’kyj], b 1777 in Uliuch, Sianik circle, Galicia, d 24 June 1831 in Peremyshl. Ukrainian Catholic priest and pedagogue. In 1808 he organized a model school in his village parish of Drozdovychi. Later, as the canon of Peremyshl eparchy responsible for education, he undertook (with the active support of the bishop, Mykhailo Levytsky) a major campaign to establish a network of village parish schools providing instruction in vernacular Ukrainian. He also initiated the founding of a precentors’ school in Peremyshl in 1817 and served as its first rector. As a member of a special commission (1816–18) headed by Governor F. Hauer to study the contentious issue of language policy in Galician schools, he was instrumental in bringing about an improvement in the status of Ukrainian-language education. Mohylnytsky wrote a memorandum in 1821 that noted explicitly, for the first time, the distinctiveness of the Ukrainian language from Polish and Russian. He also initiated (1816) the establishment of the Societas Presbyterorum, a publisher of religious and educational materials, and wrote five school textbooks. Mohylnytsky was a leading figure in a Peremyshl group (including Ivan Snihursky, Ivan V. Lavrivsky, Yosyp Levytsky, and Yosyp Lozynsky) that greatly influenced the views of subsequent Ukrainian activists in Galicia, particularly the Ruthenian Triad.

[This article was updated in 2015.]

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