Patriarch Sviatoslav Shares Secrets of Work with Youth
Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), said that the church has no special tactic for engaging young people in the church. “We simply try to provide pastoral care and indeed attend to everyone who needs it, particularly, young people, for they are our future,” said the patriarch.
He says that he makes an effort to address young people. “And I am telling you honestly that the young people respond to my appeals,” the Information Department of UGCC quotes Patriarch Sviatoslav as saying.
The hierarch admitted that people often ask him about his methods, ways of working with young people. His answer is: “I try to be accessible and open. And when young people invite me to any meetings, I try to attend the meetings if I can.”
According to the primate, our youth is “very gratifying: if they hear a voice or word addressed to them, they surely respond.”
The patriarch gave an example from the history of the church. “There is an Association of Salesian Fathers in our church. It works with young people. It is its main mission. Let us see how the association was formed. Its founder, a young priest named Don Bosco once came to the church and saw the following scene: a boy sleeping at the feet of a preaching priest. Don Bosco asked: 'Why are you sleeping, why are you not listening to the sermon?' The boy answered: 'He is not addressing me.' I try to preach so that the young people won't sleep,” concluded the head of the UGCC.