Hierarchical Liturgy celebrated on 10th anniversary of patriarchal ministry of head of UGCC
On occasion of the 10th anniversary of the patriarchal ministry of the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Lubomyr, with the participation of the members of the Synod of Bishops of the Kyiv and Halych Supreme Archbishopric, numerous members of clergy, monks and nuns from all over Ukraine, parishioners of the church, representatives of the public and faithful of the Kyivan Archeparchy of the UGCC, a celebratory Hierarchical Liturgy was celebratedin the Church of St. Basil the Great in Kyiv on January 23.
Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic and Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine Stanislav Shyrokoradiuk also participated in the celebratory service.
According to the Information Department of the UGCC, the liturgy was headed by Archbishop of Lviv of UGCC Bishop Ihor Vozniak.
“We are grateful to the Blessed Patriarch Lubomyr (Husar) for his service as the head of our church! It is a responsible and difficult ministry full of various challenges and obstacles,” said Bishop Ihor in his greeting address. The archbishop of Lviv expressed gratitude to the head of the UGCC for his humble service in that position for ten years. “Even at that short period, you managed to accept many difficult challenges and you successfully overcame the obstacles as you trusted God and served your church and nation,” noted the bishop.
“Today, we thank you again for the transfer of the seat of the head of our church from Lviv to Kyiv, which was a bold, necessary and right step,” said the bishop as he thanked Patriarch Lubomyr for his commitment to developing the church.
“Various doubts crept even into the hearts of the bishops but Your Beatitude trusted God and the trust in God yields good result in seeking Him and the happy eternity. It is a bold decision which has been taken seriously by our bishops who wished to speak about the prospect of developing our church,” noted the archbishop.
“We wish to see the spiritual growth of our faithful and the consecration of our nation – 'Holiness of the united people of God' (strategic goal of the UGCC expressed at the Synod of Bishops of UGCC in 2006). It is an ambitious wish, a majestic prospect to which each faithful soul of our church is attracted and invited. On the other hand, the bishops of our church and our priests should answer their calling in a fitting manner and fulfill God’s will with dignity,” said Bishop Ihor. According to him, the righteousness of the people of Ukraine will depend on the holiness and righteousness of each person of the church: “Each bishop, priest, monastic and lay person of UGCC is vested with a great responsibility to help each human heart to open up to the action of the Word of God. For the Word of God is alive and active,” stressed the archbishop in his address.
In his greeting address to the head of UGCC, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, noted that Patriarch Lubomyr in his service always follows the daily events in the life of the Ukrainian society. “Many note that Your Beatitude remains probably the hierarch with the highest level of presence in the mass media. Your thoughts, your wisdom and testimony of the radical evangelical poverty have made you extraordinarily popular in the Ukrainian social context and justly made you one of the most authoritative voices of the present day,” said the nuncio.
In the end of the Hierarchical Liturgy, the head of UGCC, Patriarch Lubomyr, addressed the participants. “I am very grateful to you for being present in order to thank together with me. To thank God, first of all, for strengthening our church and supporting it at the times of persecution. We also wish to thank God for the 20 years that our church has been able back to normal life. It is also the work of God,” noted Patiarch Lubomyr.
He also stressed that the merits mentioned in the addresses are not his own success but the results of the work of many: “It is not something one-sided, it is a joint work. The word which best expresses it is 'unified work.'"
“For twenty years, we have sought to give a new life to our church, our nation. Each of us according to his or her abilities,” said the patriarch. According to the head of the church, everyone should look ahead, continue the work “heartily, diligently, zealously.”