WASHINGTON (CNS) - Pope Francis has named Ukrainian-born Bishop Venedykt "Valery" Aleksiychuk as bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago.
Bishop Aleksiychuk, 49, has been auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine, since 2010.
The appointment was announced April 20 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
He succeeds Bishop Richard S. Seminack, who died Aug. 16, 2016, after a long battle with a heart ailment. Bishop Aleksiychuk will be the fifth head of the eparchy.
The Eparchy of St. Nicholas of Chicago has 46 parishes and missions in 16 states. About 70 priests and deacons serve the eparchy, which has a Catholic population of about 11,000.
Valery Aleksiychuk was born Jan. 16, 1968, in Borshchivka, Ukraine. He pursued seminary studies and was ordained a priest March 29, 1992. He is a Ukrainian Studite monk. He was named auxiliary bishop of Lviv Aug. 3, 2010, and ordained a bishop Sept. 5, 2010.
"The hierarchy, clergy, religious and faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in USA joyfully rejoice" about the pope's appointment of Bishop Aleksiychuk to the Chicago-based eparchy, said Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia, who is metropolitan of U.S. Ukrainian Catholics in the United States.
"Let us offer prayers of thanksgiving to almighty God for the blessing of a new chief shepherd for the St. Nicholas Eparchy," he said in a statement. "Let us offer prayers for Bishop Venedykt as he joyfully undertakes this new journey, under the protection and guidance of the mother of God."