Pavlo Hayda

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Pavlo Hayda
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Age: 42

East Oakton Street
1900 Block
Des Plaines , IL
United States

This ghost bike was installed by Pavlo Hayda's family near the time of the first anniversary of his death.

Many accounts of his life's work can be found online and in print:
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 his youth, Fr. Pavlo was an active member in the Ukrainian community as a memeber of Ukrainian scouting organization "Plast". Fr. Pavlo finished grade school and Fairfield College Preporatory High School in Easton, Connecticut. In 1982 Fr. Pavlo spent the summer in Harvard, studying Ukrainian and preparing for his college studies. Initially having the desire to study engineering, Fr. Pavlo surprised his parents with the announcement that he felt a vocation to enter priesthood. Having come from a long lineage of priests, going back a few hundred years, Mr. & Mrs. Hayda were very pleased to hear that one of their sons wanted to continue the tradition of serving God and His people.

In 1982 Fr. Pavlo entered St. Basil’s College Seminary in Stamford Connecticut where he completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy. Shortly after completing his studies at St. Basil’s, in May of 1986, Fr. Pavlo entered the St. Sophia Seminary for Priestly Formation and began his Master’s Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park. Before completing his Masters Degree in Divinity in 1991, Fr. Pavlo would take an active part in many aspects of the Ukrainian community, specifically church community. He taught religion at the Saturday School of Ukrainian Studies "Ridna Shkola", actively worked on the committee commemorating the Millennium of Ukrainian Christianity and Ukrainian Youth for Christ Conventions, as well as sang in many choirs. It was through his work at Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Parish that he met his wife Christine. The couple married in May of 1991.

Without a free church in Ukraine, there was great difficulty for a married man to get 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. Fr. Pavlo and his wife traveled to Lviv, Ukraine, in February of 1992. 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 Cathedral on March 29, 1992. Ordination at St. George Cathedral is not only significant for Fr. Pavlo because it is the seat of the world-wide Ukrainian Catholic Church, but also because his grandfather Jaroslav Kniahynyckyj was also ordained in St. George Cathedral 65 years earlier by the hand of Patriarch Andrej Sheptytskyj. Within days of his ordination, Fr. Pavlo was assigned to his first parish. St. Paraskevia in Kalynivka, Ukraine, although a small church in size, was a large church in spirit. Unfortunately, this assignment was brief, for shortly before the birth of their first son Julian, Fr. Pavlo returned to Chicago. In October of 1992 Fr. Pavlo was assigned to his second parish, that of St. Josaphat in Munster, IN, where he served the community of approximately 150 families for nearly three years.

By July of 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. It is here in 2004, with his close family, dear friends and dedicated parishioners two new members into his family, the twins, Elias and Dymytrij. His service at St. Joseph Parish have been very active, in particular with the re-activation of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Youth Group the completion of the interior painting of the church and the re-painting of the domes. In addition to parish work, Fr. Pavlo has continued to work within the St. Nicholas Eparchy and community. He has worked actively to organize Eparchial Conferences, clergy retreats and has held the position of Presbyteral Council member and Consultor to the bishop. Fr. Pavlo also dedicated his Saturday mornings to teaching religion at St. Joseph Ridna Shkola.

Fr. Pavlo tragically fell asleep in the Lord on September 4, 2007. He influenced our lives in so many ways. May his memery be eternal. Vichnaya Pamyat'.

The pastor of a Ukrainian Catholic church on Chicago's Northwest Side died Tuesday after his bicycle and a sport-utility vehicle collided in Des Plaines, police said.

Rev. Pavlo Hayda, 42, was riding a bicycle eastbound in the 1900 block of East Oakton Street about 11 a.m. when the bicycle and the SUV collided as the SUV was exiting the driveway of an apartment complex, police in the northwest suburb said.

Father Hayda, the pastor of St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Byzantine-Catholic Church, 5000 N. Cumberland Ave., was pronounced dead at 12:27 p.m. at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, said Des Plaines Deputy Police Chief Bill Schneider.

"We're going through a bit of a shock right now," said the Very Rev. Canon Thomas Glynn, an associate pastor at St. Joseph.

The driver of the vehicle, Edward Strabel, was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failing to exercise due caution, police said.

Father Hayda was a native of Battle Creek, Mich. who had been a priest at St. Joseph since July 1995, according to the church's Web site. The church is Catholic but follows the traditions and liturgical religious expressions of the Catholic Church's Eastern Byzantine rite.

According to the church's Web site, Father Hayda came from a long lineage of priests, going back hundreds of years. But it wasn't until his high school years, while living in Connecticut, that he decided to become a priest, his family said.

"He honestly felt he had a calling for it," his brother, Borys Hayda, 48, said in a telephone interview early this morning. "By this work, he was obviously meant for it."

Father Hayda attended St. Basil's College Seminary in Stamford, Conn., where he received a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1986. He got a master's degree in divinity in 1991 from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.

Borys Hayda said his brother enjoyed working with children, educating them about religion and parish life.

Father Hayda taught religion at a Ukrainian Catholic school and sang in choirs, his church's Web site said. He was also a visiting faculty member at DePaul University's School of New Learning, according to that school's Web site.

Father Hayda and his wife, Christine, were married in 1991, and he was ordained into the priesthood a year later in Lviv, Ukraine at St. George's Cathedral, the same cathedral where his grandfather had been ordained.

Unlike Catholic priests in the Latin or Roman rite, it's not uncommon for those from the Eastern rites to be married before being ordained. Father Hayda even appeared on NBC Nightly News in 2002 to discuss how his marriage had benefited his priesthood.

Borys Hayda said his brother had just dropped off his car in Des Plaines to get it repaired, and was riding his bike back to the church when the collision occurred.

"He's [Father Hayda] a great guy, and were going to miss him tremendously," Borys Hayda said.

In addition to his wife and brother, Father Hayda is survived by four sons, including twins, two other brothers and his mother and father. Funeral arrangements were pending as of early this morning, but services will be held at St. Joseph, Borys Hayda said.

Writing my 1st Blog with sadness. Our dear Priest and Friend , Father Pavlo Hayda. The Priest that cared and loved his family and the Pastor Rev. of our congregation at St. Joesph Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago passed away so tragically on Tuesday September 5th, 2007. He dropped off his car in Des Plaines to be repaired and was riding his bike home when he was struck by an SUV in the 1900 Block of Oakton Avenue in Des Plaines, Illinois around 11:00 a,m., DesPlaines Police said. He had injuries to his head and was taken to Luthern General Hospital. Shortly after arriving Father Pavlo suffered cardiac arrest and went to be with the Lord 12:30p.m. That's not the end of the story....

He will be dearly missed by all. He shared the love of God to his parishioners and brought the St.Josph Ukrainian Community together. Every year he would visit the people that wanted their houses blessed each January. We always looked forward to his visits where he would get to know us and prayed together with us. Father even prayed that my husband would grow to love the new cats I had gotten in 2004. Which my husband did. That was a miracle! LOL . Honestly! I would give Father the updates and we would laugh. Also he and my husband talked sports. Jerry being a Green-Bay fan and Sox fan and Father being a Bears and Cub Fan. They would rib each other about wins and losses.

At church he personalized communion and would mention our names as we excepted the bread and wine. Father Hayda's sermon were aways on God's everlast love for us and death of Jesus Christ ,but the promised ressurectionon that took place Easter Morning and the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ when we die. So we know where Father Hayda is now resting the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Father Hayda ....Always up lifting. Helping us know God's love for us. Father Pavlo took us under his wing and taught us God's word and how to live a Christian life. God Bless your memory Father Hayda. Thank you for good memories.

Nina Jawnyj

A Northwest Side Chicago church today and Saturday will celebrate the life of its pastor, a popular priest who was killed while riding his bike this week in Des Plaines.

Thousands are expected to be at St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church, where the Rev. Pavlo Hayda, 42, was pastor since 1995.

Rev. Hayda was bicycling in Des Plaines Tuesday after dropping his car off at a nearby dealership. According to police, he was killed when he hit an SUV backing out of a driveway.

The driver of that car was ticketed.

Rev. Hayda's wife, Christine, described him as a "very warm-hearted, generous, compassionate man."

Christine Hayda said she met Pavlo while he was working in another parish in Chicago. He was born in Battle Creek, Mich., and decided on priesthood in high school.

"He wanted to find a way to bring God to the lives of people, and he thought this was the way for him," Christine said. "He comes from a long line of priests: His grandfather was a priest, and he has a 400-year history of priesthood in the family."

Rev. Hayda was ordained in 1992 at St. George Cathedral in Ukraine, the same place his grandfather was ordained 65 years earlier.

Christine said her husband made a quiet and subtle impact on the lives of thousands of people.

"We have people coming from as far away as Australia and the East coast and Canada for the funeral," she said. "These are people he's impacted with his work."

Christine said her husband was a chaplain in Scout camps during the summer and was scheduled to teach a comparative religion class at DePaul University this fall, where she also works. He also worked with youth groups and has organized clergy retreats.

"He met and touched on the lives of probably many more people than he realized," she said.

Rev. Hayda is also survived by his four children, Julian, Zachary and twins Dmytryj and Elias; and his parents Ihor and Roma.