Canadian Jesuit Father David Nazar, SJ, has been named rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the premier centre for the study of Eastern Christianity in Rome, Italy.
Fr. Nazar is currently serving as superior of the Jesuits in Ukraine and is a former provincial superior of the Jesuits in English Canada Province.
Fr. Nazar confirmed the appointment to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU) saying: “I gladly accept this appointment. This is important work for the good of the Church and, in particular, for the Oriental Churches. Today we have conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, and military action in Ukraine. The Church should rethink its mission in these countries and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, as an important institution, is an important element in this process.”
Fr. Nazar was born to a family of Ukrainian immigrants in Canada. There, he had the unique experience of practicing faith in two different Rites, the Byzantine and the Latin, in the Catholic Church. This experience became an aid for his later ministry, when former Jesuit Superior General, Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, invited him to establish the Jesuit District in Ukraine.
Besides being the superior in Ukraine, he was also involved in the Jesuit Refugee Service in the country.