His Eminence Archbishop Yurij
Bishop of Toronto and the Eastern Eparchy
His Eminence Archbishop Yurij, the second of three sons, was born in Lachine, Quebec on May 26, 1951, to Petro and Anastazia Kalistchuk. He received his primary schooling in Lachine and Hamilton. He completed his secondary education in 1970 in Hamilton. In 1963 the Kalistchuk family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where the family became members of St. Vladimir's Sobor. The young George attended Ukrainian School, was involved in Ukrainian Dance (Ensemble Zirka), the Cathedral Choir (which he later became choir conductor of in 1981-1982), and the Ukrainian Youth Organization (CYMK).
In 1970 he entered St. Andrew's College (the UOCC's Seminary in Winnipeg), and during his 3 years of study he obtained many awards for his academic, musical, and athletic activities. From 1971-1973 he was assistant choir conductor of the Theology Student Choir under the guidance of Archbishop Boris (Yakovkevych) and later Dr. Pavlo Macenko. In 1973, George received his Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.). Starting in 1975, George studied music at McMaster University, graduating in 1980 with an Honours Bachelor of Music in History and Theory (Magna Cum Laude). In 1984 he completed a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude) degree at the University of Toronto. During 1983-1984 he was Dean of Men at St. Vladimir's Institute in Toronto. In 1985 he received his Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) from St. Andrew’s College.
During 1983-87 Yurij was Project Director of the Bortniansky Project and for part of this time President of the Ukraine Millennium Foundation which recorded the 35 Sacred Choral Concertos of Dmytro Bortniansky, Conductor – Maestro Volodymyr Kolesnyk.
On July 16th, 1988 he was ordained into the Holy Diaconate at St. Vladimir Sobor in Hamilton, Ontario by Metropolitan Wasyly. On the 17th of July, 1988 at St. Vladimir Sobor in Hamilton Metropolitan Wasyly ordained Deacon Yurij Kalistchuk into the Holy Priesthood. Father Yurij Kalistchuk's first pastorate was at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Winnipeg, MB as Assistant Pastor, from September 1, 1988 to October of 1989.From September 1988 to December 1991 he was also the professor for Church Music at St. Andrew’s College.
On September 10, 1989, Fr. Yurij received his monastic tonsure through the hands of Met. Wasyly. On October 15th, 1989 at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hiermonk Yurij was elevated to Archimandrite by Metropolitan Wasyly. At the Extraordinary Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, on October 22, 1989, at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he was elevated to Bishop with the title ‘Bishop of Saskatoon and Vicar of the Central Diocese’. His Beatitude Metropolitan Wasyly and Archbishop John of Edmonton fulfilled the act of consecration. In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on December 17th, 1989 he was enthronized at Holy Trinity Cathedral. In 1990, he represented Metropolitan Wasyly in Constantinople for the consummation of the Act of Eucharistic Unity.By decision of the Sobor of Bishops On December 15, 1991 Bishop Yurij was enthronized as ‘Acting Bishop of Toronto and the Eastern Diocese’. At the XIX Sobor of the UOCC in July of 1995, he was appointed ‘Bishop of Toronto and the Eastern Diocese’. From May of 1996 in addition to his Episcopal duties he was chosen as General Secretary of the Church Council of CKY (Ukrainian Congress of Ukrainians). In 1997 he was a member of the delegation from the Permanent Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops Beyond the Borders of Ukraine, at the Second World Forum of Ukrainians in Kyiv. In 2001, the Sobor of Bishops elevated him to the rank of Archbishop with the title ‘Archbishop of Toronto and Eastern Diocese’.
During 2002-2003 Archbishop Yurij served as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Canadian Council of Churches where he has been representing the UOCC since 1991.
22nd Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Sobor: Day 3
On Wednesday, July 14, Clergy and Faithful gathered for Divine Liturgy to open the Sobor. Archbishop Yurij celebrated, assisted by Bishops Ilarion and Andriy as well as Archbishop Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Metropolitan Sotirios, Exarch of the Patriarch of Constantinople and Metropolitan John also attended. All the Priests on the Consistory con-celebrated.
During his homily, Archbishop Yurij stressed that we have come to Winnipeg to serve our Church, founded in profound faith by our pioneers, and to work for its future. Blessed with free will as living Icons, we too co-create its history.
The procession with the Pochayiv Icon into the assembly marked the beginning of deliberations. The Sobor Committees were approved and greetings were delivered by the Hierarchs, exhorting the Faithful to make wise decisions, looking to the Holy Spirit and to the Saints for our inspiration.
The retirement of Metropolitan John was announced followed by a Resolution for the election of his successor, Archbishop Yurij. He consented, saying that we hold onto our past, but also move forward, expressing our Ukrainian Orthodox values. The Church is a Boat and there are waves crashing outside and challenges within. He would seek to be a good spiritual father.
The Sobor broke to hear Victor Malarek, introduced by Member of Parliament Joy Smith, speak about human trafficking. It takes place because of men seeking to purchase sex who thus become predators and oppressors.
Resuming at 5:00 p.m., the Sobor elected Archbishop Yurij as Metropolitan by overwhelming majority. The Assembly rose to sing "Axios", affirming this revelation of the Holy Spirit. His Eminence called for work in unanimity.
Reconvening after supper, the Sobor heard the report of the Acting Chancellor who reviewed the past 5 years and emphasized our vocation to be a mission- minded Church.
Vasyl’ Balan, Treasurer of the Presidium, presented the Audited Financial Statements for 2005-2009 and the plan for the Journey to Financial Stability for 2010-2015. Our membership is dropping and thus so are our finances. The adoption of a mission mindset to grow our parishes, as well as an increase in levies to the Consistory, will ensure that the Services offered by our Church will continue to be maintained. The Report of the Internal Audit Committee was presented by Harold Cipiwnyk. In general good procedures are in place but some areas in the operations of the Consistory need improvement.
The Sobor approved the actions of the outgoing Consistory and the Session closed with "Dostoyno" and a blessing by His Grace Bishop Andriy. There are 293 Delegates and a total of 334 participants in the Sobor.
Respectfully submitted by the Press Committee