VIBRANT PARISH COORDINATORS MEETING - LVIV

Dec 03 2018 to Dec 07 2018

VIBRANT PARISH COORDINATORS' CONFERENCE

Patriarchal Centre

Lviv, Ukraine

3-7 December 2018

The eparchial and exarchial coordinators for the Vibrant Parish movement for the renewal of the Ukrainian Catholic Church by the year 2020 and forward, will be gathering in the city of Lviv, Ukraine for their 2018 annual gathering. They come from every country where the faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church are found. Of course, the vast majority of faithful are found within Ukraine, but now millions are also found outside Ukraine, especially in Western Europe and the Americas and other countries. The goal is to learn about the latest plans produced by the "Working Group" of the Vibrant Parish movement for the upcoming year 2019. The Working Group recently received the approval of the Synod of Bishops in September to continue their work. That same Synod of Bishops had as its 2018 theme, "The Word of God and Catechesis". This same theme will be the focus of the 5-day Conference in Lviv. It will be the focus of Vibrant Parish activities in the coming 2019 year.

The coordinators are to pass the information on their respective eparchies and especially the parish priests responsible for parishes. The parish priests do the best they can - in collaboration with their parishioners - to implement the goals and principles of "Vibrant Parish" movement within their local communities. The coordinator for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg is Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski [email: winnipeg2020@gmail.com]

Here is an excerpt from the His Beatitude Sviatoslav's Pastoral Letter that initiated the whole movement back in 2011, "The Vibrant Parish: A Place to Encounter the Living Christ".

The Word of God

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom," St. Paul teaches us in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col 3:16). Through the Word of God we come to know Christ, we encounter Him, and enter into a living relationship with Him. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ," said St. Jerome. In our parishes we want to follow the example of the first Christians so that the Word of God might become the foundation of our ecclesial, parochial, family, social, and personal life. I strongly urge pastors to diligently prepare their homilies based on the proclaimed Word of God in such a way that this Word might become "living and active" in the life of our parishioners, capable of nourishing them, giving them answers to real issues of the day, and inspiring them to service.

The Word of God should bear visible fruit in our everyday lives because only those who keep this Word, that is, obey it, will be called blessed in the Lord (see Lk 11:28). In our parishes there should not be a single family which does not own a Bible. I encourage all our faithful to read the Sacred Scriptures on a daily basis; this is done ideally through participation in parish bible-study groups or through prayerful reading at home. The newly published Catechism of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, "Christ our Pascha," is another essential volume which should become a handbook of faith for all the members of our Church - children, youth, and adults. The Catechism, according to Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytsky), is the foundation of Christian life.

On this occasion I wish to emphasize that all the members of our Church have a personal responsibility throughout their whole lives to acquire an ever deeper knowledge of the truth of the Holy Faith, while the clergy must not neglect their responsibility of teaching the faith to their parishioners, not only through preaching, but also through catechetical instruction. When we speak of catechesis, we understand this to be a continuous process of entering into the mystery of the Church, to be applied not only to children who are preparing to receive the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments). Permanent and continuous formation for various age groups - children, youth, adults, and the elderly - is an essential component of the vibrant parish. Finally, I would to emphasize that just as it is with the Bible, so too the Catechism of our Church should be a handbook for each member of our community as it is a most valuable aid for a proper understanding and reading of the Word of God


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