Archbishop Ihor Isichenko Presents Book about His Pastoral Ministry
In the Lviv Museum of the History of Religion, Archbishop Ihor Isichenko of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (o) presented his book “To Watch Over the Candle.” According to the author, his work is a kind of report on his episcopal work from the last decade.
The book was published by the publishing house Sviatohorets. It contains the archbishop’s statements on important events, as well as articles on spiritual, religious, and literary topics.
“These ten years were very difficult for our eparchy. We were succumbed to administrative pressure, and did not complete the project to unite the Ukrainian church under the leadership of the Metropolitan of the UAOC in the diaspora. But we remained faithful to the legacy of Patriarch Dymytriy,” said the archbishop.
Archbishop Ihor Ischenko, addressing the audience, said that Kharkiv is a city that has kept a lot of atheist traits. Ministering there and also in the Ukrainian language is not easy. Therefore, the UAOC in Kharkiv is a kind of island, a spiritual center of Ukrainian life. The church there has held an exhibition “Memorial” about the anti-communist movement in Ukraine, a variety of patriotic presentations, the board of Patriarch Mstyslav also works there. Next year the UAOC church in Kyiv will celebrate the day of Protection of Ukrainian troops. Not everyone supports the Orthodox community’s activities. In the words of the archbishop, the work has to face a certain “challenge from the environment that is influenced by old myths.”
“To keep the candle lit and at the same time make sure that it will not burn the house, not burn the people around – this is the mission of our church,” he said.
Archbishop Ihor Isichenko’s book was published on the 20th anniversary of his episcopal consecration. As noted during the presentation, in addition to his pastoral ministry, the archbishop also lectures at the V. Karazin Kharkiv National University and Kyiv Mohyla Academy. As a scholar, he gives presentations in Ukraine and abroad, and is the author of many books.