Second All-Ukrainian Pilgrimage of UGCC clergy

Saturday, 01 June 2013, 10:43
On May 29, 2013 in Peremyshliany, Lviv region, the Second All-Ukrainian Pilgrimage of UGCC Clergy, dedicated to the fourth anniversary of the announcement of Blessed Priest-Martyr Omelian Kovch as the Patron of UGCC Pastors.

On May 29, 2013 in Peremyshliany, Lviv region, the Second All-Ukrainian Pilgrimage of UGCC Clergy, dedicated to the fourth anniversary of the announcement of Blessed Priest-Martyr Omelian Kovch as the Patron of UGCC Pastors.

This year’s pilgrimage was headed by Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullikson, the Apostolic Nuncio for Ukraine, with concelebrants of UGCC bishops: Ihor (Vozniak), Archbishop and Metropolitan  of Lviv; Vasyl (Semeniuk), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Ternopil-Zbruch; Taras (Senkiv), Apostolic Administrator of Stryi Archeparchy; Joseph (Milan), Auxiliary Bishop of Kyiv Archeparchy; Venedykt (Aleksiychuk), Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv.

The pilgrimage began with Vespers to Blessed Priest-Martyr Omelian Kovch in St. Mykola Church, where Rev. Omelian served as pastor in 1922-43.

After the Vespers the columns of priests led by bishops walked to the monument of Rev. Omelian Kovch, where they met with a group of hundreds of priests who had walked from St. Volodymyr Church.

There, by the monument, Rev. Yuriy Oliynyk, Secretary-Archivist of the Stryi Eparchy read “Examination of Conscience of Rev. Omelian Kovch” containing words which are relevant to every hierarch for contemplation about one’s own priestly serving.  “The phenomenon of Blessed Omelian lies in the fact that he was capable of great things,”  said Bishop Venedykt to the priests, emphasizing the significance of a daily examination of conscience for every priest in order to grow spiritually.  The Bishop urged priests to work on themselves through self-knowledge before God and revealing the reasons of one’s downfalls, putting forth the pastoral serving and feats of faith of Rev. Omelian Kovch as an example.

Afterwards the column of priests walked to St. Volodymyr’s Church, Blessed Priest-Martyr Omelian Kovch.  A Pontifical Divine Liturgy was celebrated here  accompanied by the singing of the choir Dudaryk from Lviv.

“Today we are numerously gathered in a clergy community before the altar of the Almighty.  And this is a very good moment in which to unite our prayers, beseeching supplications to the merciful God for the needs of our Church, our faithful and personal necessities,” addressed the pilgrims in his sermon Bishop Ihor (Vozniak).  In analyzing Rev. Omelian’s path of  life and priesthood, the archbishop stressed his feat of personal sacrifice and dedication to the Church.

“Blessed Father Omelian Kovch, the  patron of the priests of our Church, is a worthy example of a priest, who suffered a lot, did not complain, did not blame God’s Providence that he, a true friend of Christ, underwent excessive trials and carried a heavy cross. He did this joyfully, without sighing because he remembered that for the wounds and suffering there will be an eternal reward.  Therefore, let us rejoice that we have such a great patron and intercessor before God, who knows our needs and presents them to God.  Blessed Father Omelian Kovch, please solicit from God for us, priests, an ability to make our path of priesthood dignified,” concluded Bishop Ihor.

After the liturgy, Bishop Taras (Senkiv) thanked the bishops and priests for their witnessing of belonging to Christ’s Church through their participation in this pilgrimage.  Also the bishop said “among the significant virtues that Blessed Omelian Kovch possessed, we have to at least focus on one.  I propose that we contemplate the fact that Father Kovch was never insensible to anyone.  Today, when we feel such a lack of brave people,  let us not be insensible,” urged the bishop.

Then Bishop Taras presented the Apostolic Nuncio an exclusive icon of Priest-Martyr Omelian Kovch.  Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullikson also spoke to the priests stating that the figure of Blessed Priest-Martyr Omelian “presents not only a challenge to all of us to better perform our priestly duties, but also thanks to his closeness he is also a spring of hope for us in our daily struggle to live totally by priestly virtues.”  Also the Nuncio assured all of the Apostolic Blessing of Pope Frances.

Gratitude was also expressed to all who helped in the organization and directly participated in the Second All-Ukrainian Pilgrimage of UGCC Clergy, especially to representatives of the local administration, pilgrimage organizers, the choir Dudaryk and seminarians from Holy Spirit Spiritual Seminary who sang the Vespers to the Blessed Priest-Martyr.

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Stryi eparchy Press Service



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