St Declan's College

Ukrainian chaplain Fr Vasyl Kornitsky meets with students

Student leaders explore the place of faith in their lives
Ukrainian chaplain Fr Vasyl Kornitsky meets with students

Top photograph courtesy of Mark Condren

Discussions about faith and war

Father Vasyl Kornitsky visited the school on Tuesday, 14 March 2023, to talk to the Student Leadership group and tell them about his story. Father Kornitsky is a Ukrainian priest, who came to Ireland 11 years ago, when the population of Ukrainians in Ireland was relatively low (15,000). Since then, the number of Ukrainians in Ireland has grown, along with his love for the country. However, he never forgot his roots.

The result of the day was an engaging discussion, where the students asked questions about faith and the impact it has on their own and other people’s lives. They reflected on the core values of a Catholic school and how they differ from other schools. All the students, despite their beliefs and differences, enjoyed the meeting.

Father Kornitsky provided insight into his own life experiences and how they have affected him. Growing up in Soviet Ukraine, families were forbidden from practicing their faith. However, he always knew that he wanted to become a priest and he began his journey following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

After sharing his stories, the students were invited to ask any questions they had about faith and life in general. Some students had questions prepared beforehand while others asked intuitively. All sorts of questions were asked, from questions about the effect that the war has had on Ukrainians, to deeper questions about the human soul and the afterlife.

The group was intrigued by Father Kornitsky’s answers to their questions. They were impressed by the conviction and certainty in his responses. After the session, it was clear that everyone was delighted with the opportunity and appreciated Father Kornitsky’s time and visit.

Article by Noel Neju 5th year

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Fr Kornitsky with 5th year Ukrainian students Vladyslav Stankevych and Illia Chaikin

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Fr Vasyl Kornitsky was born in Samolusky, Ukraine. He was educated for the priesthood at Ivano-Frankivsk Ukrainian Catholic Seminary and St Paul University, Ottawa, Canada earning a degree in Theology.

He was ordained a priest on 5 May 2005. From 2007-2011 Fr Vasyl held various pastoral positions in the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese in Stamford, USA. - spiritual director to Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, assistant Pastor in Hartford CT, in Yonkers NY and pastor of St John the Baptist in Long Island NY.

In 2012 he was appointed by the Archbishop of Dublin to the Ukrainian Community and as Parish Curate in Donnycarney.

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