Sembratovych, Sylvester

Image - The Lviv Girls Institute students with Cardinal Sylvester Sembratovych.

Sembratovych, Sylvester [Сембратович, Сильвестер; Sembratovyč, Syl'vester], b 3 September 1836 in Doshnytsia, Jasło circle, Galicia, d 4 August 1898 in Lviv. Ukrainian Catholic metropolitan and cardinal. He studied in Vienna and Rome and completed a PH D at the Athanasius College in 1861. He was ordained in 1860 and returned to Galicia to become a parish priest in Tylych. He served as prefect of the Greek Catholic Theological Seminary in Lviv (1863–9) and taught dogma and was dean of the theology faculty (1873–9) at Lviv University. In 1870 he founded the newspaper Ruskii Sion. He also helped prepare and publish popular prayer books (including the first one in Ukrainian) and church manuals. In 1879 he was consecrated bishop and named assistant to Metropolitan Yosyf Sembratovych, his uncle. In 1882 he became administrator of Lviv archeparchy, and in 1885 he was named metropolitan of Halych by Pope Leo XIII. Under his leadership the Stanyslaviv eparchy was formed in 1885, and the Lviv Synod held in 1891. The synod did much to reform church practices in the Halych metropoly, and rejected attempts to introduce compulsory celibacy for Ukrainian clergymen. Sembratovych expanded the Lviv theological seminary and appointed the scholars Isydor Dolnytsky and Oleksander Bachynsky to the faculty. He also helped establish Saint Josaphat's Ukrainian Pontifical College in Rome. During his tenure the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate order was established in Galicia, and the Basilian order of nuns was reformed. Politically, Sembratovych supported the New Era policy of appeasement with the Poles in Galicia. In 1894 Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal. He was buried in the crypt of Saint George's Cathedral in Lviv.

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[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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