UCU Senator Emeritus Mykola Kmit receives the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky
LVIV – During a national pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, Ukraine, on July 18, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) introduced Mykola Kmit, Senator Emeritus and Benefactor of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), the Church’s highest honor, the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
Entrepreneur and President of IDS Group, Mykola Kmit received the award for his active civic and social position as a UCU senator; for his dedicated service as a member of the Commission to honor the memory of Blessed Priest and Martyr Omelyan Kowcz, who popularized the person of the new martyr of the 20th century; for promoting the recognition in society of laureates worthy of awards in his honor; for active support for the Kyivan Christianity Project, and for many UGCC projects, in particular the construction of a church in the Lutsk Exarchate; the development of sport; and to be an example of good Christian living and active lay service, based on Christian values and the social teaching of righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
In the words of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the award is given to those who continue the work of Metropolitan Andrey, look at the world with his eyes and strive to reach the heights of his thought.
“Today I have the honor and the privilege of awarding this order to Mykola Kmit. He is truly inspired by Andrey Sheptytsky’s gifts and generously supports key initiatives of our Church, ”Major Archbishop Sviatoslav said at the award ceremony on July 18.
“Today we recalled how many myths exist about Kyivan’s Christianity, our origin and our roots, because someone always wants to own our history, ecclesiastical and national. And so, Mr. Kmit supports scholarly study projects researching the sources of Kyivan’s Christianity… So today, in front of the face of God, the faces of our bishops and laity, I gladly sing “Axios” to you ”, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav said at the award ceremony in Zarvanytsia.
Mr Kmit said he did not expect to receive such a distinguished award. Before the pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, he received a phone call from the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC asking if he could be present at the liturgy. And even then Mr. Kmit said he had no idea he would receive an award.
“When on stage, His Beatitude began to list all of my accomplishments over the years, I was surprised that he knew all of this. It was very moving. My dad watched the recording of this part three times, ”Mr. Kmit said. “Really, this award is also in large part thanks to my parents, as they raised me with a desire to help others. So, on behalf of the whole Kmit family, I would like to thank His Beatitude Sviatoslav and the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC for their support and their trust, which have been shown to me through this award.
Mr. Kmit said the award he received was recognition for the work he has done with other Church benefactors.
“A few years ago, His Beatitude Sviatoslav brought us together for a common breakfast, where he succeeded in encouraging support for UGCC projects,” said Mr. Kmit. “When we first saw the results of our donations, we saw how small this contribution was compared to what had been done. It was also in large part thanks to the late Professor Ihor Skochylias of UCU, who, along with his fellow historians, worked tirelessly to study the sources of Kyivan’s Christianity. In a short time, they managed to publish a whole series of 20 volumes. It was easy for me to coordinate these processes, maybe because people gathered around the idea willingly, because everyone understood their role.