The following statement was issued by Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak.
On behalf of Bishops Andriy Rabiy and Ivan Bura, the clergy, religious and faithful of the Philadelphia Archeparchy, I greet Bishop Basil Losten and celebrate the 50th anniversary of his episcopal service.
This half century of dedication to God and the Church has been full of pioneering and lasting ecclesial and civic achievements in diverse areas. As a priest and hierarch, Bishop Basil exercised a tireless pastoral ministry of presence and engagement. Our priests and parishes, organizations and individual community members could count on his participation and support in times of spiritual need, personal trial or community crisis. His involvement and generosity were abiding. He also demonstrated outstanding initiative and insight, exercised decades ago – but ever relevant today.
Bishop Basil makes us proud! In the 1960s and 1970s Bishop Basil spearheaded the construction of 240 apartments extending hospitality to hundreds of low-income Ukrainian, African, Asian, and Latino American senior citizens – in fact, to all seniors in need. Today, as the country struggles to bring harmony among peoples and races, the Ascension Manor towers are a shining witness to how our Ukrainian Catholic community, in a Christ-like manner, extends a hand to our surroundings and offers hospitality and serves the needy and minorities in our neighborhoods.
Bishop Basil shared the good news about God’s graces in our Church, past and present!
During the 1980s Bishop Basil led a campaign to bring the plight of the underground Church in Ukraine to the attention of the nation and the world. The 1988 celebration of the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine was brought to a broad global audience. Bishops Basil’s leadership was seminal for these efforts. Millions of visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for centuries will bow and pray before the mosaic icons of Ss. Volodymyr and Olha that Bishop Basil sponsored.
Bishop Basil led us into the future! Bishop Basil helped our Church in Ukraine get off its knees in the 1990s and in the 2000s left the Stamford Eparchy with a strong, youthful presbyterate, the most diverse in our Church. The Eparchy and St. Basil’s Seminary continue to thrive.
Bishop Basil calls us to go deep! Beginning retirement in the 2010s, he was always present and ready to help. Bishop Losten represents a continuity among generations of faith living communion in Christ. Most recently, Bishop Basil’s endowment of a Ukrainian Church Studies program at the Catholic University of America pledged to foster the understanding of the life and pastoral service of our Church in America and the world.
Bishop Basil is a man of solidarity! In the 2020s, as the senior hierarch in our Church’s Synod of Bishops, our Jubilarian continues to be a trusted advisor to our Patriarch Sviatoslav at a time of war in Ukraine, humanitarian crisis, pandemic and critical spiritual and social need. He advises and provides.
We beseech the Lord that Bishop Basil’s gifts, service and generosity will serve the Stamford Eparchy, our Metropolia and the global Ukrainian Catholic Church for many years to come. We thank you, Dear Bishop Basil, and pray that you continue to receive the visitation of the Holy Spirit and that God grant you health for Many Happy Years! Многая і благая літа!
+ Borys (Gudziak)
Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainian Catholics in the United States