His Beatitude Sviatoslav: “The Holy Spirit stays very close to each believing person”

Wednesday, 26 June 2013, 08:59
This was emphasized by His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) , UGCC Head, during the Divine Liturgy celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy and the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Ukraine – Rus, on the Feast of the Holy Spirit in Drohobych in the courtyard of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

This was emphasized by His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) , UGCC  Head, during the Divine Liturgy celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy and the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Ukraine – Rus, on the Feast of the Holy Spirit in Drohobych in the courtyard of the  Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Concelebrants with His Beatitude Sviatoslav during the Divine Liturgy were: Thomas Edward Hallikson, Apostolic Nuncio;  Bishop Yaroslav (Pryriz), Sambir-Drohobych Eparch; BishopIhor (Vozniak), Lviv Metropolitan;  Bishop Volodymyr Viytyshyn;  Ivano-Frankivsk Metropolitan, Bishop Vasyliy (Semeniuk);  Ternopil-Zboriv Metropolitan, Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh), secretary of UGCC Synod of Bishops; Bishop Joseph (Milan), Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy;  Bishop Taras (Senkiv), Apostolic Administrator of Stryi Eparchy; Bishop Mykhail (Koltun), Eparch of Sokal-Zhovkva; Bishop Dmytro (Hryhorak), Eparch of Buchach; Bishop Yosaphat (Hovera), Lutsk Exarch; Bishop Leon (Malyi), auxiliary bishop of Lviv Roman-Catholic Church. Over 200 clergy, representatives of monastic orders  and faithful from all areas of the eparchy  as well as representatives of state administration.

His Beatitude Svaitoslav together with bishops and clergy formed a procession to the courtyard of the Holy Trinity Cathedral where the Divine Liturgy was held. UGCC Head was greeted by the youngest parishioners of the Cathedral, and youth greeted the Apostolic Nuncio in English.

Then the Major Archbishop Sviatoslav and the bishops were greeted by Rev. Taras Harysymchuk, the pastor of the Cathedral.  He emphasized that the presence of UGCC Primate and a large number of bishops on this day of the Holy Spirit was particularly significant.  After all, the bishops are those anointed by the Holy Spirit, the inheritors of the holy apostles.

During the sermon, His Beatitude Sviatoslav reminded the faithful that yesterday Christ’s Church celebrated the Feast of Pentacost  -- an event through which “The Father through the ages nurtures his Church through the Holy Spirit.”   According to UGCC Head, it is on the second day of this feast that the eyes of the Church are focused on the fundamental Person of yesterday’s events – the Holy Spirit—the third person of the Holy Trinity.

“ He always spoke through the prophets.  He never spoke about himself.  He presented the Father as an eternally flowing stream.  He presents us with the Son of God.  And in this Spirit, the person acknowledges Christ the Lord,” he reminded the people of the saving acts of the Holy Spirit in the history of the salvation of mankind.  Although the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world is sacramental, God manifests it through Christ’s Church.  “Through the Holy Spirit bishops teach Churches and bless God’s people.  Through the Holy Spirit, priests complete the Sacraments,”  added UGCC Head.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav related that he was at the proclamation of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy 20 years ago.  Then the future UGCC Head was in the seminary choir of the Lviv Spiritual Seminary which accompanied the Divine Liturgy.  He underlined that during these celebrations the Decree of UGCC Synod of Bishops was read and it began with the words: “It suited the Holy Spirit and us to establish on these lands, a new Eparchy.  These words clearly testify to the fact that the issue of developing the Church, and especially the establishment of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Towards the end, the Father and Head of the Church mentioned the first bishop of the eparchy – Bishop Yulian (Voronovsky) – who was “the tool” filled with the Holy Spirit.  UGCC Head greeted the current Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych  -- Bishop Yaroslav (Pryriz) with  his 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his service.  His Beatitude Sviatoslav wished the  bishop  generous gifts from the Holy Spirit that will assist him in his responsibilities as a bishop.

After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh), Secretary of UGCC Synod of Bishops, performed the rite of the renewal of Baptismal vows which all the present jointly professed.  Bishop Yaroslav (Pryriz) expressed his gratitude:  “I want to express my thanks to the Lord who through many years manifested his great deeds on these lands.

Let us remember that UGCC Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy was established through a Decree of His Beatitude Ivan Liubachivsky, UGCC Head, from July 12, 1993 by the resolution of  UGCC Synod of Bishops from 16-31 May 1992.  Historically the eparchy is a renewal of

the old Sambir Eparchy, mentioned in the chronicles from the 18th century.  From the 15th century, it was called “Peremyshl-Sambir” and in the 18th century, Peremyshl- Sambir - Sianotsk.

The first bishop was Yulian (Voronovsly) whose enthronization was held in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Drohobych on April 17, 1994.  In 2006 Bishop Yaroslav (Pryriz) was named the Auxiliary Bishop of the eparchy.  He was enthroned to the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy on December 24, 2011 by His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Today there is a spiritual seminary in the eparchy which educates future priests.  Every year there are some 10-12 graduates who eventually serve as priests not only on the territory of the Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy but also beyond it.

In the Catechetical Institute the faithful learn catechetical and deacon services as well as icon painting.  Social services are provided by priests and staff of the eparchial Caritas.  The charitable organization also provides spiritual and psychological support to child invalids, migrant families, and elderly people.  Under the patronage of Caritas there also functions the Nazareth Rehabilitation Center for people with alcohol and drug addiction as well as Our Home, a residence for the homeless.

Photo Album

Rev. Oleh Chupa
Press Secretary, Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy



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