CNEWA honors Archbishop Gudziak with its Faith & Culture Award

ATLANTA (OSV News) -- The Catholic Near East Welfare Association honored Archbishop Borys A. Gudziak of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia with its Faith & Culture Award.

The presentation took place during the annual Catholic Media Conference, hosted this year in Atlanta June 18-21.

Archbishop Gudziak was recognized for "his passionate commitment to the God-given dignity and rights of the human person as an advocate and defender and for championing the integral role of faith in culture." Msgr. Peter Vaccari, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, or CNEWA, conferred the award. Archbishop Gudziak, currently visiting Ukraine, participated virtually.

Archbishop Gudziak, who was born in Syracuse, New York, to a Ukrainian World War II refugee family and graduated from Harvard, went to Ukraine in the 1990s and founded the Lviv Theological Academy, which in 2002 was transformed into the Ukrainian Catholic University.

The university serves as a laboratory to sow the seeds of civil society in Ukraine, rooted in the values of the democratic West and the Catholic Church's humanist tradition and social teaching.

CNEWA, established by Pope Pius XI in 1926, has a rich history of aiding churches in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Its efforts include providing health care, supporting displaced families and assisting survivors of human trafficking.

The Faith & Culture Award, introduced in 2022, celebrates individuals who exemplify CNEWA's mission. Previous recipients include Carl A. Anderson, former Supreme Knight of the Knight of Columbus; retired Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York; and John J. Studzinski, co-founder of the Arise Foundation, which fights human trafficking and helps survivors of trafficking.

Archbishop Gudziak's acceptance speech highlighted his gratitude to CNEWA for its support of Eastern churches and especially its humanitarian aid in Ukraine."Your humanitarian aid to Ukrainian faith-based organizations and those helping Ukrainian refugees in Europe has been invaluable. You provide shelter, food, and comfort to the displaced, and your reporting through ONE magazine has been indispensable during times of turmoil," he emphasized.

Addressing over a hundred Catholic journalists present at the event, the archbishop underscored the critical role of Catholic journalism, stressing its unique mission to pursue the truth and promote human dignity.

Archbishop Gudziak urged Catholic journalists to continue their vital work, proclaiming the good news with integrity and compassion.

"Catholic journalism, like any responsible journalism, is fundamentally committed to the pursuit of truth," he stated, stressing the importance of providing accurate, honest news while respecting human dignity and the inherent worth of every individual, which is at the core of the CNEWA Faith & Culture Award.

"People of faith are people of hope. Hope is not blind optimism; it's acknowledging reality yet remembering that God is ultimately in charge," he concluded.