“Monasticism – lungs of the Church…” UGCC Head at the meeting with UGCC superiors of monastic orders and communities

Tuesday, 25 December 2012, 20:16
His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), UGCC Head, met with representatives of UGCC Commission on Matters of Monasticism and with superiors of Greek-Catholic monastic orders and communities. The meeting took place on December 24, 2012 at Lviv Archeparchy Center, located in Briukhovychi in Lviv oblast. The traditional year-end meeting of UGCC Head with monastic groups was started by His Beatitude Lubomyr (Husar) in order to jointly review the past year and to define the directions of the further development of monastic communities.

At the beginning of his presentation UGCC Primate recollected some of the significant events of monastic life in the “blessed” year of 2012.  In particular, the  celebration of monastic jubilees – 130 years of the Dobromyl reform of the Basilian Fathers, 400th anniversary of Krekhiv and 300th anniversary of Buchach monasteries, the beginnings of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding in UGCC  of the Order of the Most  Holy Redeemer and other events.  Also in 2012, a separate province of Salesian Fathers of the Eastern Rite in Ukraine was founded and its first superior was appointed; the Sisters of the Holy Family built a monastery in Kyiv.

Also the Church head reminded the gathered of the appeal by His Holiness Benedict XVI, voiced at the session of the Papal Synod, -- A New Evangelization for the Transmission of Faith – and deliberated about the role of monasticism in this effort. “Today in the world one can track the phenomenon of secularization, which is also evident in Ukraine,” noted the speaker.  In his opinion secularization lies in the fact that contemporary man perceives religious life and one’s own faith as secondary.  Therefore, Christians stop living by their faith and do not transmit it to their children. “This phenomenon is complicated because it is prevalent in all continents and all confessions. I found out that this phenomenon has also touched the Muslim world.  Obviously, secularization has transformed into religious fundamentalism that results in the tendency to a hostile self-protection from faith,” added the Church Primate.  Therefore, according to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Church’s answer to these challenges is a new evangelization:  “This means openness and attempts to transform this world, since today to be faithful means to share one’s faith.”

The Primate noted: “If we do not pass on the faith to our brethren then Christians will be in a threatening position.  A Church which does not give birth to new faithful does not preach Christ and does not evangelize, is barren; meaning that it is destined to die.”

“In my opinion the role of monasticism in a new evangelization lies in bringing the Word of God to contemporary man.  A religious person, who burns with faith, is capable of igniting another person.  It is important to enliven everyday life, pastorate and service, so that our parishes and communities really become  vibrant places of meeting Christ;  a deepening of faith among those who already are in the Church; focusing attention on those who are outside the flock,” said UGCC Head in his appeal to monks and nuns.

He  concluded by urging members of monastic orders (audio) to think through how they want to spend the Year of Faith in their communities and how to take the most active participation in transmitting faith – in the new evangelization.  “Monasticism are the lungs of the Church, which breathe everywhere with the Holy Spirit, without which we can neither live nor move forward,” added UGCC Head.

UGCC Department of Information


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