Servant of God Jeremiah Lomnytskyj
On February 8, 1860, the Servant of God, Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSBM, was born in Kavska, in the deanery of Drohobych, Ukraine. On February 12, he was baptized, and given the name John. He studied at the Lviv Academy and the Franz Joseph Gymnasium (High School) in Drohobych, then at the Teachers’ College in Lviv, after which he taught in a six-grade public school in Kozari, in the Rohatyn region.
On September 28, 1882, he entered the Basilian novitiate in Dobromyl, and took the religious name, Jeremiah. On May 17, 1884, he pronounced his first vows, and began to study philosophy and theology under the direction of the Jesuits. On January 17, 1886, he was ordained to the priesthood, and on May 22, 1887, pronounced his final vows in Dobromyl.
In 1889, he and several other priests organized the first public mission in Halychyna, in the city of Horodok. After more studies in moral theology, and teaching in the Basilian scholasticate in Dobromyl, he began a mission ministry in Halychyna, directing a total of 51 public missions beginning in 1891.
“The Lord knew the needs of His people and chose the one man who did not fear difficulties, did not spare himself in work or sacrifice for the glory of God, who, with great hope in God’s help, set himself to a task and did not relax his efforts until he saw the task to completion. This was Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, the missionary, the Basilian.” ~ Bl. Josaphata Hordashevska, SSMI
From May 16-21, 1891, he headed the mission team at Zhuzhel, in the eparchy of Przemysl. During the mission, three girls approached him with the plea to help them enter a monastery. This event was the first step towards the founding of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.
After teaching for several years in various centers, he was sent to be spiritual director for the newly opened novitiate of the Sisters Servants in Krystynopil, in September, 1894. He also taught moral theology to the Basilian clerics. Amid various other appointments over the years, in 1898, Metropolitan Sylvester Sembratovych appointed him commissary of the Congregation of the SSMI, thus making him the spiritual and administrative superior of that institute.
In 1902, he resigned from this post of commissary of the SSMI, and was replaced by Father Platonid Filas, OSBM. In the 1904-1908 period, he made two trips to Russia with the aim of drawing the attention of the Russian government and the public to the plight of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Kholm and Pidljashia, and at the same time, with directions from Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj, to help the Russian Greek-Catholic Church in Russia. At that time, there were rumours about appointing Lomnytskyj bishop of that church.
“The Word of God came to Jeremiah, and he became His messenger – His herald on earth. Our Great Friend and Protector, Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj – a humble Basilian monk, defended the truth of God’s plan.” ~ Rev. Dr. Atanasij Velykyj, OSBM
From 1907 to 1915, he was rector of the major seminary in Stanislaviv. He taught pastoral theology, rhetoric, methodology, catechetics and homiletics. On January 24, 1915, he was arrested by the Russian occupation army, and on February 5, exiled to Symbirsk. He died in exile on July 3, 1916, of rheumatism and respiratory complications.
On April 5, 2009 in the cathedral of the Resurrection in Ivano-Frankivsk, the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God, Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSBM, co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, was officially opened.
After the solemn Divine Liturgy, Sr. Lubomyra Nadych, SSMI, postulator for the Cause of canonization of the Servant of God, Jeremiah, presented a petition (libello di domanda) to the Eparch of Ivano-Frankivsk, Bishop Volodymyr Viytyshyn, to officially open the process regarding the martyr’s death of the Servant of God, Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj. Sister Lubomyra underscored that the fame of his death as a martyr continues to spread in the UGCC: in Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, USA and other countries. The fact of the martyr’s death of the Servant of God, Jeremiah, was greatly valued by his contemporaries — the Servant of God, Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyj, and also the Russian Greek-Catholics.
After a careful study of the request of the postulator, and after receiving a “Nulla Osta” from the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Bishop Volodymyr, eparch of Ivano-Frankivsk announced the Beatification Process open. To carry out this process, Bishop Volodymyr created a special tribunal consisting of: Fr. Roman Terekhovskyj – judge; Fr. Stefan Balahura – Promotor of Justice; and Fr. Vitalij Tokar – notary.
The Bishop, members of the tribunal, and the postulator pronounced an oath that they would perform their duties conscientiously in this process.
Bishop-emeritus Sofron Mudry, OSBM, of Ivano-Frankivsk, and many priests of the eparchy participated in this memorable occasion. Representing the Basilian Order were the following: Very Rev. Father Basil Kovbych, Protoarchimandrite, Father Joachim Cheverenchuk, Provincial superior and Father Paul Rajchynets, Superior of several monasteries in Ukraine.
Seventy-five Sisters Servants were present at these festivities, coming from all over the world: Sr. Janice Soluk, Superior General, and Provincial superiors: Sr. Nadia Kotur, Sr. Julia Bojko, Sr. Sophia Lebedovych and many sisters. The Superior General of the St. Joseph Sisters, Sr. Emilia Fedechko also attended.
His Commemoration Day
The Servant of God Jeremiah will not have an officially assigned Feast Day until he is proclaimed Blessed. Until then, the SSMI Community world-wide prays for him privately on his Name Day, the day of his Patron Saint, St. Jeremiah, on May 1.
PRAYER through the intercession of the Servant of God Jeremiah
O, my God!
From the depths of my soul, I offer reverence
to Your boundless Greatness.
I thank you for the graces and gifts
You have given to Your faithful servant
Father Jeremiah Lomnytskyj,
co-founder of the Congregation
of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate,
who gave his life as a witness to faith
for the unity of the Holy Church.
I ask You to glorify him
with the glory of Your Saints
and to grant me
in Your Fatherly mercy
the grace I humbly pray of You
through his intercession.
(with ecclesiastic approval)
Acknowledgment of prayers answered through the intercession of the Servant of God Fr. Jeremiah Lomnytskyj, OSMB, are to be sent to:
Pasichna Street, 8
phone (032) 271-81-41 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Curia of the Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivsk
Knjahynyn Street, 15