Bishop Lajos Gulácsy died at age 92

2016. november 10., csütörtök

Lajos Gulácsy passed away on Sunday, November 6, 2016. He was laid to rest on November 8 in Munkács, a town in Subcarpathia. During his life, Gulácsy was a passionate advocate for Hungarians in Subcarpathia and was honored for his work with many awards. 

Lajos Gulácsy was a Hungarian born on January 8, 1925 in Tivadarfalva, in the former Ugocsa county of Subcarpathia. After finishing high school, he worked as a technical officer at an aircraft company in Mátyásföld, a district in Budapest. After the Second World War he returned to Tivadarfalva but it did not last long. Soon he heard that Soviet authorities were deporting Hungarian men out of Subcarpathia. Due to this, he left and moved to Debrecen where he worked in a factory that manufactured wagons. After a few months, he went home to Subcarpathia but wanted to start his studies at the Seminary in Debrecen, but he could not because in the meantime the border was locked down. Therefor he tried to acquire the seminary knowledge from pastors in Subcarpathia. Due to his work in the Reformed Church, the Soviet authorities arrested him in 1949 and convicted him for 10 years. After 7 years of incarceration in Kazakhstan, he was released in 1956 and he could return to Subcarpathia.

October 14, Budapest, wreath laying ceremony after the memorial meeting of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Hungary

He was given permission to pass his theological exams only after the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1978 and he was able to serve as a pastor starting in the next year. From 1987, he served as Councelor for the Bishop, Lecturer on Church History for pastor training programs, and also as the Dean of Bereg county. He was appointed as Vice Bishop in 1991 then served as Bishop from 1994 to 1998.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he played a significant role in the establishment of the Reformed high schools in Nagybereg, Nagydobrony, Péterfalva and the II. Rákóczi Ferenc Subcarpathian Hungarian College. During his term as a Bishop, a Diaconal Center, two children’s homes, and five Roma churches were established as well. A home for the elderly was also created with his help, where he served as the leader of pastoral service until his death.

In honor of his work for Hungarians in Subcarpathia, he was awarded with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 2011. In 2012, he was granted with an award for his work for Hungarian communities abroad and he received the title of honored citizen by the city of Munkács.


Translated by Ágnes Laura Kovács

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