Make Disciples of All Nations, not just those of our family

From a 2016 sermon of His Beatitude Sviatoslav of Kyiv and Halych:

Today’s question is: What does it mean to be a faithful member or believer of the UGCC? This is a question of identity of the Church and us. The Kyivan Church of the third millennium—who are we? What do we do as members of this Church?

Here in our midst are members [of the Church] from the whole world. We have with us brothers and sisters from Australia here today. This question has broad answers. What makes us Ukrainian Greco-Catholics? Being Ukrainian? Today about 1/3 of our parishes in the diaspora [in North and South America, Western Europe, Australia] are comprised of members not of Ukrainian heritage and who don’t speak Ukrainian. This is why we translated our new Catechism into languages they understand: English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, many others….

What is the mark of identity of the UGCC? To be Galician? I tell you as the Major Archbishop of Kyiv, no! There are many who want to make our Church into a Galician enclave in the Western part of Ukraine. His Beatitude Lubomyr once said something very interesting: “we need to put aside the heresy of being just Galician.” [Let me assure you, I say this with all respect, being a Galician myself.] Our identity, the identity of our Church is faith in the salvific things that our God has placed in the history of the Kyivan Church and all the good things and gifts and treasures from God: theological, liturgical, artistic.

Today we must spread these to the whole world.

And today when our missionaries leave the Lviv Theological Seminary [where the homily is being given] to occupied areas, in Crimea, or to Melbourne or to India, they can think to themselves… I am going to find [seek out, like lost sheep] Ukrainians, I am going to call back the lost sheep of Ukraine.

But Christ is calling us to something higher. He says go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be Greco-Catholic, faithful member of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church.

Within the richness of the Kyivan Church there is much to be found, there are such deep roots. We need to open the Kyivan Church to other languages, other cultures, other peoples—this gift of the Spirit that the Lord gave to our once suffering, crucified, but today resurrected and glorified Church.

Dialogue and unity: the mission of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Here is a summary of an article by Andrea Gagliarducci published by Acistampa in Italian on the recent meetings of representatives of the Synod of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Rome. The article is here. Thanks to Fr. Athanasius McKay for his notes.

“Pope Francis wants the Eastern Catholic Churches to grow, develop and flourish.” The Pope distinguished Eastern Catholic Churches from “Uniatism” as a method. Churches are not methods.

Instead of the old individual ad limina meetings, this represents a new methodology of the Pope and his curia meeting with the Major Archbishop and his synod together.

“It was clear to everybody that the war is a foreign aggression and that Ukraine is the victim.”

“The problem with ecumenism in Ukraine and in the whole territory of the ex-Soviet Union, is that decolonization has not yet happened. The Churches were often servants and instruments of the state authorities.”

“[our goals: the patriarchate, the beatification of Sheptytsky, etc.] are closer than they were three days ago.”

The Latin Church understands the concept of “Ecclesia particularis” as “local Church.” But at the meeting we had metropolitans from Canada, Brazil, USA, Poland. We are not a local Church but an “Ecclesia sui juris”, which is a global reality. This is a Byzantine concept of Catholic universalism.

“Metropolitan Sheptytsky was the first to fully realise the global nature of our Church. When he was metropolitan, our Church only had three eparchies in Western Ukraine. Now we have 34 eparchies throughout the world. It is also thanks to Metropolitan Sheptytsky, who was the first to make pastoral visits to the faithful throughout the world. We are harvesting the fruits that Metropolitan Sheptytsky planted.”

George Weigel speaks at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philly

Below you will find the link to George Weigel’s presentation on June 2, 2019 at the Hall of the Ukrainian Catholic Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia. The presentation was part of the enthronement ceremonies for Archbishop Borys Gudziak.
 
“The Catholicism of the future, whether it draws its liturgy, spirituality, and polity from the Christian West or the Christian East, will be a Catholicism that is deliberately chosen and embraced, not a Catholicism that is inherited. And Catholicism will only be chosen and embraced when it is offered and proposed. That means that this Archeparchy and its suffragans … must become once again a missionary enterprise: a Church in which everyone understands himself or herself to be a missionary disciple who was given the Great Commission at baptism; a Church in which every one of those missionary disciples understands that he or she is entering ‘mission territory’ every day—at home, at work, in the neighborhood, in our lives as citizens, and in our lives as consumers” (George Weigel).
 

Helping the poor – a work of charity

Helping the poor – a work of charity

For the Pascha season we have been collecting some personal care items for the poor at the request of The Director of the St. Vincent DePaul Homeless Shelter in Waterbury. This is a ministry for the ministry to the homeless.

Our final day for taking up the collection is TOMORROW, Pentecost Sunday (June 9).

Would you consider donating to this work of charity? We are looking for: soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, Q-tips, men’s underwear. These items can be put in the basket at the entrance of the church in the marked box.

Paul Zalonski (of our parish) will drive the donations to the Homeless Shelter in Waterbury.

Beloved in Christ Youth in Ukraine and abroad!

~a letter from His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav
 
With great joy, as every year, on the occasion of Palm Sunday commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry in Jerusalem, I wish to address you with this pastoral message. For indeed youth, in the words of Pope Francis, is the divine “now” of our Church and people to whom God wants to reveal His presence, His mercy, and His salvation. As Christ did then, when He entered into His royal city and inaugurated the triumphant coming of His Kingdom in humble service, so also in His eternal “now” through you He wishes to carry His light and His hope into the world. The future depends on your openness to Christ, your sensitivity to the living reality of your Church and people, and your ability to take on responsibility for yourselves and the world.
 

St Gianna Center of New Haven Benefit

The St Gianna Center of New Haven be having its 4th Annual Benefit dinner on Sunday, April 28th (1-5pm) at Amarante’s in New Haven. The Center is recognizing the Pro-Life work of Vincent Candelora (Connecticut State Representative) and Michael and Barbara Ferraro. The Guest Speaker is Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

Single Reservations for adults are $50. All reservations must be received and paid for BY APRIL 17th. Reservations by mail must be made payable and mailed to St. Gianna Pregnancy Resource Center, PO Box 94, Northford, CT 06472.

Please call (203) 936-7338 or email giannabanquet@gmail.com with any questions or additional information.

St Gianna Center is a pregnancy resource center helping at-risk pregnant women. The Center relies on donations.

Helping the poor – a work of charity

Helping the poor – a work of charity —The Director of the St. Vincent DePaul Homeless Shelter in Waterbury wrote to us requesting assistance in collecting bath soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, Q-tips, men’s underwear for the ministry to the homeless. We will have this collection for the poor through Pentecost (June 9).

These items can be put in the basket at the entrance of the church in the marked box.

Can we follow the example of the Lord who exhorted us to care for the poor? Let us follow the holy example of the Venerable Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky who heroically lived a life of Christian virtue with his commitment to the poor. Pray to Venerable Metropolitan Sheptytsky for guidance in living a holy life.

Paul Zalonski (of our parish) will drive the donations to St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury Homeless Shelter in Waterbury (www.svdpmission.org).

From Evangelicalism to Byzantine Christianity

A recent online interview about a family of Evangelical Christians who came to Byzantine Christianity through a relationship with the pastor of a Kyivan Church in Richmond, British Colombia. Thanks to God’s Grace and the great work of Jesuit Father Richard Soo the parish is growing (with a large number of Chinese people).

The article: “Bridging Protestantism and Eastern Catholic Orthodoxy.”

May the Holy Theotokos and all the saints continue to move hearts and minds to be in relation with Jesus Christ and His Church.

Children United in Prayer

The Stamford Eparchy is hosting an event for children on September 29, “Children United in Prayer.”

This program is being hosted at St Basil’s Seminary, Stamford.