At the Synod Andriy Vaskovych shared how to systematize an effective social service within a parish

Wednesday, 07 September 2016, 13:20
At every parish that is going to perform a social service, we need to map needs of people who live at the parish’s territory. Exactly a question about people’s needs must be put at the forefront of a parochial Caritas.

Andriy Vaskovych, the President of International Charitable Organization “Caritas Ukraine” expressed this opinion in his report at the Synod of Bishops of UGCC, what is being held in Brukhovychi. The topic of the Synod’s session this year is “Diaconia” – ministering.

Speaking about the needs a parish has to respond to in a social service, Andriy Vaskovych assumes that is worth paying attention to those category of people who suffer from negative consequences of transformational processes in the country, world and a prolonged economic crisis. In particular, it is poor and marginalized people, who cannot sustain without a support. Besides, it is important to consider people who suffered from war and live among us today: families of perished, wounded, internally displaced persons who often need not a material help but rather consolation, understanding and solidarity.

As the president of “Caritas Ukraine” considers, the first step in a successful introduction of a social service at the parish is to reveale initiative, socially engaged parishioners who are ready to devote their time to a social service within a parish.

“A special meaning for developing a social service at a parish rate have the occupations of such services, Andriy Vaskovych thinks. “So, it is worth working out a catalogue of possible projects of a social service based on community’s needs, which can be implemented in life by the parochial communities”.

According to him, such projects could be, particularly, different forms of parochial services of visiting needy, boarding schools and orphanages. To maintain people, who lost relatives, for instance when somebody died or was lost during a war. To set up groups for helping people with special needs, who, for instance, can provide good conditions for living in a society for those, who cannot move without an assistance. To make participation in church services possible for such kind of people. To establish trust to the newcomers (besides a church community). To hold conversations with internally displaced persons, to listen to their experiences, to hear their pain, expectations and hopes, tell them about ourselves. To collect money for needy, e.g. clothes and products, furniture for the newcomers.

“All abovementioned tasks do not require special material resources. The premises to its implementation are goodwill and readiness to devote a time. On the other hand, this sacrifice enriches a person who serves: they are satisfied from being able to help where it was needed. A person who serves socially also feels that their action is found on their faith, being a part of a Christian community which is united by a common faith in God the Creator. This faith enforces to create a New and do Good, knowing they are not alone”, Andriy Vaskovych considers.

The UGCC Department of Information



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