Eastern Catholic Bishops Gather in St. Louis

Most of the Eastern Catholic Bishops of the United States gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, March 22-23 to discuss issues of common concern including catechesis, evangelization efforts, and temporal issues. Participants included Ukrainian Catholic, Byzantine, Maronite, Melkite, Syro-Malabar, and Chaldean bishops.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak made a presentation to the bishops on the situation in Ukraine and the Metropolia Humanitarian Aid Fund. The bishops present pledged their spiritual solidarity with the suffering people of Ukraine, and their financial support. They issued a joint appeal for peace in Ukraine. A Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the evening of March 22 in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis with Archbishop Borys presiding. St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski gave a stirring homily.

Bishop Bohdan Danylo of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma presented the 2030 Pastoral Program of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church ‘The Hope to Which the Lord Calls Us’ and provided bishops with materials for its implementation. He focused on three points: closeness and practical attention to the poor and marginalized, the path to curing wounds and healing traumas, and the Christian family – a domestic Church.

The group thanked Bishop Kurt Burnette of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, for his leadership during the six last years. At that meeting, the bishops chose a new board. Bishop Bohdan Danylo was elected as the new president of the association of Eastern Catholic Bishops. Vice-president will be Bishop Frank Yohanna Kalabat of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas in Detroit. Bishop Paul Chomnycky of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford will serve as secretary, and Bishop Francois Beyrouti of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton – as treasurer. Bishop Kurt Burnette is a trustee of the Eastern Catholic Association.

The Eastern Catholic Bishops will gather as a group in November at the annual meeting of all Catholic Bishops in the United States, and again next March in St. Louis.