Bishop Joseph (Milan) paid a pastoral visit to Baltic countries

Monday, 17 December 2012, 13:05
During December 4-10, 2012 Bishop Joseph Milan , Head of UGCC Pastoral and Missionary Department (PMD) together with Rev. Martin Khabursky, expert of PMD made a pastoral visit to Baltic countries.

On December 5th the Bishop visited Kaunas where on the building of the city hall a memorial honoring Yevhen Konovalets was installed and blessed. On the next day he met with Archbishop and Metropolitan of Riga, Zbigņevs Stankevičs.  During the meeting issues of the Ukrainian community in Riga as well as the state of the pastoral care of Ukrainians in Latvia were discussed.   The bishops agreed on increasing pastoral care for UGCC faithful by inviting more priests.  In the afternoon Bishop Joseph met with representatives of the Ukrainian community and discussed collaboration of the Church with community organizations.

On December 7-9, the hierarch participated in the European Conference  “TriaLogos 2012,” dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of UGCC parish in Tallinn and its Ukrainian Cultural Center.  The conference took place within an annual cultural-religious festival “TriaLogos.”  The conference was organized by the community group Hereditas and by the Ukrainian Cultural Center.  Much effort towards the opening of the Greek-Catholic church and the establishment of the Ukrainian Cultural Center was made by Anatoliy Liutiuk, who continues to be the director of the center. Rev. Volodymyr Palienko has provided pastoral care in Tallinn for the past nine years.

The Bishop gave a presentation on “Church and Culture Today.”  He emphasized that “between the Church which is the embodiment of the Gospel and culture or cultures there should exist and ongoing dialogue.  This dialogue is possible and necessary especially in those cases when certain elements of culture in union with evangelical preaching can bring one closer to God and bring different people closer to one another.  This gives us reason to talk about a Christian culture, the basis of which is the proclamation of evangelical values in various spheres of life and through the activities of  individuals as well as broader grouping of various  people.”

Conference participants also included:  Viktor Kryzhanivsky, Ambassador of Ukraine to Estonia;  Rev. Bohdan Tymchyshyn, head of UGCC Commission on Matters of  Families (Lviv); sister servants Khrystofora Bushtyn and Tereza Bezpalko (Lviv);   Volodymyr Sheremeta, director of the UGCC Kyiv-Halych Major Archbishopric Office on Issues of Ecology (Ivano-Frankivsk); Olena Hamtsiak-Kaskiv, head of the Patriarchal Association of St. Volodymyr the Great (Kyiv); Olha Bohomolets, founder of  Radomyshl Castle, a  historical-ethnographic  complex; Yaroslav Muzychenko, founder of the Center of Ethno-Pedagogy (Kyiv).  A concert by the Choir of Priests from UGCC Lviv Metropolitanate under the direction of Rev. Ruslan Hrekha (Lviv) added to the celebration.

Bishop Joseph also met with the Apostolic Administrator for Catholics in Estonia, Bishop Philippe Jourdan to discuss issues of pastoral care for Ukrainians in Estonia and the possibility of pastors from Ukraine coming to Estonia.

As a conference finale, the Head of PMD on December 9th celebrated a Pontifical Divine Liturgy with concelebrants of many priests from Baltic countries and Ukraine.   Then Bishop Joseph left for Riga.

In Riga, a celebratory Divine Liturgy was held for the UGCC community (presently under the pastoral care of  Rev. Pavlo Yakymets, OSBM ) in which the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Riga Zbigņevs participated.  After the service, both bishops met with the community to discuss their issues.

Reported by PMD Press Service



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