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On October 26, 2018, Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes visited the Sheptytsky Institute and graciously agreed to an interview. In a wide ranging discussion, she spoke about her recent publications, what Orthodoxy can contribute to contemporary human psychology, women deaconesses in the church and on Orthodox women in the church, the 2016 Pan-Orthodox synod in Crete, and the current relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Dr. Karidoyanes is a theologian, pastoral counselor, licensed psychologist and adjunct professor at Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is the author of Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry (Holy Cross Orthodox Press) and editor of Orthodox Women Speak: Discerning “Signs of the Times” (World Council of Churches Publications and Holy Cross Orthodox Press). With her husband, Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, Dean of Theology at Holy Cross, she has co-authored Living Faithfully: The Beatitudes in Everyday Life.

Awarded the Ph.D. degree from the Division of Theological and Religious Studies at Boston University, Dr. FitzGerald has specialized in Orthodox systematic theology both at the School of Theology of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, where she obtained a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, and at Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology, where she earned the Master of Divinity degree. In 1994 she was honored as the first woman graduate to receive the Alumni Citation “in recognition of her support of and bringing recognition to Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology.”

Presv. Kyriaki has served as a consultant to the World Council of Churches, where she taught as a visiting professor at the Ecumenical Institute (Geneva, Switzerland) during the 1994-97 academic years and the Institute’s Bossey Seminars 1998 (Athens, Greece).

For fourteen years Dr. FitzGerald served as a commissioner of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. She is frequently invited to represent the Patriarchate at international ecumenical dialogues and meetings.

The University of St Michael’s College has hired Fr Andrew Summerson, a priest of the Ruthenian (Byzantine) Eparchy of Parma. A regular collaborator with the Sheptytsky Institute, Fr. Andrew Summerson joins the faculty of Theology as Assistant Professor of Greek Patristics and Eastern Christian Studies for the 2021-2022 school year.  He holds a doctorate in Patristic Theology from the Pontifical Patristic Institute, “Augustinianum.” He is the author of Divine Scripture and Human Emotion in Maximus the Confessor (Brill 2021) and numerous articles. We are excited to have Fr Summerson join our community!

To honour Father Peter’s work and dedication to the Sheptytsky Institute, the Foundation established the Father Peter Galadza Fund in the summer of 2020.

The purpose: to support MASIF academic activities, such as publications, conferences, academic related travel and provide modest bursaries.

Since last summer, the Father Peter Galadza Fund has grown to 10,560 CND and 6,750 USD.

You can contribute to the fund here: 

About Father Peter Gladza

Fr. Galadza is well-known to most of us as a dynamic priest, but he has also long occupied the Kule Family Professor of Liturgy Chair at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. After completing his M.Div. at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union in 1981, he was ordained to the presbyterate by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj and served in several parishes until 1988, when he completed a M.A. in liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. From 1994 to 2004 he edited Logos: a journal of Eastern Christian Studies. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Fr. Galadza served as dean of the L’viv Theological Academy in Ukraine, for which he was awarded a jeweled pectoral cross by then-bishop Lubomyr Husar. In 2003-2004 he was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Research Center in Georgetown, Washington, DC. He also acted as editor-in-chief of The Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship. During the 2010-2012 Father Peter was a President of Societas Orientalium Liturgiarum (SOL), an international professional society for the Study of Eastern Christian Liturgy founded by Robert F. Taft, SJ.

Under his leadership, the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute set new roots in Toronto as an autonomous academic unit within the University of Saint Michael’s College, Faculty of Theology, and as a part of the Toronto School of Theology.

Fr. Alexander Laschuk

Fr. Alexander M. Laschuk, PhD has been appointed to a three-year term as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI). His appointment follows a yearlong appointment as interim director that saw the institute shift its instruction and lecture offerings into an online context while emphasizing collaboration with other institutions.

“In the past eight months as Interim Executive Director, Fr. Laschuk has enhanced the position of the Sheptytsky Institute as an autonomous academic unit of the Faculty of Theology,” said Dr. John L. McLaughlin, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Theology at St. Michael’s. “His willingness to continue providing this outstanding leadership at MASI holds great promise for the Sheptytsky Institute’s ongoing development as a centre of academic excellence in Eastern Christian Studies.”

Fr. Laschuk has civil and ecclesiastical doctorates in canon law from Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa. His research interests include ecclesiology, penal law, and procedural law and he regularly publishes in these areas in addition to canonical consultancy and advocacy work with dioceses and clients across North America. He has taught regularly with the Sheptytsky Institute since 2010.

During Fr. Laschuk’s term as interim director over the past academic year, the Sheptytsky Institute has both shifted its instruction to remote delivery to accommodate pandemic restrictions and introduced multiple new lecture series to expand its offerings to the larger community. In addition to monthly series focused on hospital ministry during COVID and on campus ministry, MASI has launched a Friday Lenten lecture series on the Church Fathers. Presented by scholars from a variety of institutions, the Lenten series was specifically designed to support the needs of priests, 75 of whom are registered for the course.

“We see a need to provide continuing education in an accessible manner to clergy,” Fr. Laschuk says of the initiative, adding that the Ukrainian Eparchy of Toronto has encouraged the institute in this direction.

The shift to a predominantly online context as a result of the pandemic has also made new kinds of collaboration possible between MASI and other institutions. Seminarians in the past year have joined MASI courses from places as far away as England and Edmonton as a result of these connections.

Going into the future, Fr. Laschuk sees MASI as having a unique role to play in the life of the University. “St. Mike’s is a top-tier Catholic university, and we want to be comprehensive in our presentation of the Catholic faith, including attention to the Catholic East,” he says. Graduates of the St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology are bound for contexts in which they will encounter and work with Eastern Christians, and he considers it essential for those grads to understand the essentials of their faith and traditions.

This preparation goes beyond the classroom, as MASI has always emphasized the liturgies and practices that define the life of Eastern Christian communities. “Our chapel is open to anyone who wants to come, and can provide an experience in Eastern Christianity for anyone who attends,” Fr. Laschuk says.

Christmas today is a winter festival and religious celebration widely spread throughout the world. Its basic elements, with the birth of Jesus, “the anointed of the Lord,” or Khrystos (Christ) as he is titled, at the centre, and with motifs like “no room at the inn,” the manger, the angels, shepherds, Christmas Star, and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, are widely recognized and commemorated. The Three Wise Men from the East or “Magi,” who come to do homage to the newborn king, is one of these motifs. Most people, both Christians and others, think of this as a single harmonious story that is firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, especially the Gospels of the two Evangelists, Mathew and Luke. But the origins of the Christmas story as a whole are much more complicated than that…