+Fr. Pavlo Hayda 1995-2007
Pavlo Denys Hayda was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on October 22, 1964 to Roma and Ihor Hayda. He grew up with three older siblings, Borys, Marko and Roman. In 1982 Fr. Pavlo entered St. Basil’s College Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut where he completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy. After completing his studies at St. Basil’s, he entered the St. Sophia Seminary for Priestly Formation and began his Master’s Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. It was through his work at Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Parish that he met his wife Christine. They married in May 1991.
Without a free church in Ukraine, there was great difficulty for a married man to be ordained. After a brief visit with Archbishop Volodymyr Sterniuk in Chicago, Fr. Pavlo and his wife accepted an invitation to live and work in Ukraine. By the grace of God and the hand of Patriarch Myroslav Ivan Lubachivsky, Pavlo Denys Hayda was ordained to the holy priesthood in St. George’s Cathedral on March 29, 1992. Ordination at St. George’s Cathedral is not only significant for Fr. Pavlo because it is the seat of the worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Church, but also because his grandfather, Jaroslav Kniahynyckyj was also ordained in St. George’s Cathedral 65 years earlier, by the hand of Metropolitain Andrej Sheptytskyj. Notably, he was the first priest to be legally ordained in Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union and emergence of the Church from the underground. Within days of his ordination, Fr. Pavlo was assigned to his first parish. St. Paraskevia in Kalynivka, Ukraine. Unfortunately, this assignment was brief, for shortly before the birth of their first son Julian, Fr. Pavlo returned to Chicago.
By July 1995, change was again in the air. The day after the baptism of their second son Zachary, Fr. Pavlo and his family moved to St. Joseph Parish on the northwest side of Chicago. In 2004, two new members were born into the Hayda family, twin sons, Elias and Dymytrij.
His service at St. Joseph Parish was very active, in particular with the re-activation of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Youth Group and the completion of the interior painting of the church. In addition to parish work, Fr. Pavlo worked within the St. Nicholas Eparchy and community, by actively organizing Eparchial Conferences, clergy retreats holding the position of Presbyteral Council member, teaching religion at St. Joseph Ukrainian Saturday School, and working with the Chicago and Cleveland Plast Ukrainain Scouts.
On September 4, 2007 Fr. Pavlo while riding his bicycle collided with an SUV and went to his eternal resting place. On September 7, 2007 Fr. Pavlo’s body lay in state under the main dome of the Church where an estimated 4,000 people filed past his casket over the course of the two days of visitation and priestly funeral services. He was interred at St. Nicholas Ukrainain Catholic Cemetery escourted by an Honor Guard from The Ukrainian American Veterans, the Knights of Columbus, and Ukrainian Scouting Organization, Plast, on September 8, 2007.