August 31, 2018

"I ask all the Faithful to invoke daily the grace of the Holy Spirit for our Synod!"

In a retreat-centre complex in the Briukhovychi parkland region just on the outskirts of the city of Lviv, the annual Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church will take place. Although some associated activities may take place prior to and following the designated 10-day period, the official sessions take place from August 2-12. All the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops from four continents will be gathering to deliberate the most pressing matters of importance for the Ukrainian Catholic Church around the world. Some groups of bishops will bring to the Synod chamber a spirit unique to the part of the world in which they serve as well as particular concerns. The bishops from the United States will come from an environment still reeling from the most recent clergy scandals, while the bishops of Ukraine will certainly have the ongoing war in their country foremost in their minds. The bishops of western Europe will seek council and make proposals with regard to dealing with the hundreds of thousands of migrants from Ukraine that are in their pastoral care. Every bishop will bring from his eparchy and from his country unique perspectives and unique pastoral challenges. However, being part of one united Church, they will strive together to find solutions to problems and discern ways in which they can collaborate for the good of their worldwide Church and for the good of the universal mission of Christ's Church upon the earth.

The Archbishop of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, began the long trip to Lviv on Thursday to arrive a couple of days earlier to prepare for his role in the Synod. Retired bishops are also invited to attend and they continue to enjoy a vote - except in financial matters or other matters where their decisive vote would be determined as inappropriate. So, the emeritus Archbishop of Philadelphia, Metropolian Stefan Soroka also flew from Winnipeg on Wednesday to participate in the Synod. Some eight bishops could be attending from Canada alone.

The principal theme of this year's Synod is "The Word of God and Catechesis". The Bishops will analyze how religious education is realized within the Church for the Faithful of all ages. They will also review our Evangelization efforts - i.e. how our Church is responding to Christ's mandate to preach the Word of God to all peoples. Within this context, they will also study as to how to better promote the importance of everyone making the Word of God a more integral part of daily life - within the parish, the family and on a personal level. The Head of the Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, who presides at the Synod, explained that, the theme is connected with, "the teaching of the fundamental truths of our faith. As much as our Faithful know about God, they will know and be able to pray and will know about the moral and spiritual principles of Christian life and will live by them."

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, also stated about the Synod, that, "all of our bishops from around the world, from all continents, do, at the Synod what [his late predecessor] His Beatitude Lubomyr liked to say... for ten days we will take steps forward together along the path of listening to the Word of God and along the path of discerning His holy will concerning the life and development of our Church in Ukraine and in the diaspora."

As the presence of the Lord and the working of the Holy Spirit is essential to the success of any Synod, His Beatitude is appealing to all the Faithful throughout the world to - PRAY. In particular he asked for prayers to the Holy Spirit so that this gathering of our bishops would truly experience the profound grace of Synodal activity. "This Synod will have very important significance for the life of every Ukrainian Catholic wherever in the world he/she may live," he said, "and that is why I want to ask every member of the Faithful of our Church to PARTICIPATE (!) in the activity of the Synod... by the help of YOUR PRAYER." He went on to say that his press agency will strive to keep the Church informed about the progress of the Synod. However, he added that, "I would ask of everyone not only to take an interest as to how the Synod is going, but every day invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit upon our Bishops, upon our Synod, upon our Church in order that we truly will be able to realize God's Will in new circumstances and in new situations ... and live according to His holy commandments."

Source: UGCC Informmation Department

Царю Небесний, Утішителю, Душе істини, що всюди єси і все наповняєш, Скарбе добра і життя Подателю, Прийди і вселися в нас, і очисти нас від усякої скверни, і спаси, Благий, душі наші.

Heavenly King, Advocate, Spirit of Truth, who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings, Bestower of Life, come, and dwell within us; cleanse us of all that defiles us, and O Good One, save our souls.

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