Permanent Synod Sessions of the UGCC concluded in New York

10 March, 09:25
Permanent Synod Sessions of the UGCC concluded in New York - фото 1
The consequent 7th (78th) session of the Permanent Synod of the UGCC, which this time took place in the United States of America, ended on March 8, 2024.

The working sessions were dedicated to preparations for the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and the report of the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission of the UGCC. Discussions revolved around evangelization programs and the Church's pastoral care for refugees and internally displaced persons, as reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.

Bishops paid particular attention to the publication of the recent message of the Archpastoral Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine regarding the war and just peace in the context of new ideologies "Save the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor" (Jer. 22:3) and its significant importance for Ukrainian society today.

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Chairman of the Pastoral Council of the UGCC, presented its activities, focusing on holding regional meetings in Lviv for representatives of the Council from Ukraine, in Wrocław (Poland) for representatives from Central and Western Europe, in Curitiba (Brazil) for Latin America and Australia, and in Washington (USA) for representatives of the Pastoral Council from the USA and Canada. According to Bishop Kenneth, all these meetings abroad provided an opportunity to familiarize oneself with the local challenges of the UGCC in different parts of the world and served as an occasion for the exchange of effective pastoral tools to improve church ministry to the faithful wherever they may be.

According to the bishop, the modern Russian war against Ukraine has significantly changed parish life and ministry, as many centers have become shelters for refugees and new immigrants.

Bishop Theodor Martynyuk, auxiliary bishop of the UGCC Archeparchy of Ternopil-Zboriv, presented a report on the audit of the Mission "Postulation Center for Beatification and Canonization of Saints of the UGCC."

The bishops also discussed canonical issues, including work on the Code of Canons of the UGCC. This issue was raised by the Head of the Canonical Department of the UGCC, Metropolitan Yevhen Popovych, Archbishop of Przemyśl-Warsaw. In turn, Father Ivan Datsko briefed the bishops on the outcomes of the meeting of the International Joint Catholic-Orthodox Theological Commission in Alexandria.
Father Liubomyr Yavorskyi, Patriarchal Economist of the UGCC, presented the bishops with the activities of the Patriarchal Foundation "Wisdom Works":

"One of the instruments of the Church's ministry is the Patriarchal Foundation "Wisdom Works." At the beginning of our ministry, which coincided with the beginning of a full-scale invasion, we launched a series of emergency response initiatives. These are evacuation and resettlement of internally displaced persons, food and hygiene kits, steadfastness points "Good Samaritan" and provision of medical facilities with all necessary supplies. Then a wave came in our activity towards more sustainable projects: spiritual-rehabilitation trips for internally displaced persons, UGCC Logistics Center, Charity Kitchen, children's rehabilitation camp "Free Children" and modular houses for families of internally displaced persons. And finally, today we continue transformation and development. Today we are talking about transformational, strategic projects of the level of Righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. Firstly, these are educational and enlightenment projects for comprehensive community recovery— "Community Healing" and "Action in Hope." Also, it is the activation of our UGCC Consultation Center for parish communities that aspire to develop social service and entrepreneurship. We cannot ignore the establishment of Healing Wounds Centers and the launch of a whole network of Psychological Counseling, which provides both individual and group services to improve the mental health of Ukrainians."

The priest added: "Today the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church becomes a source of hope for many Ukrainians. Having experienced the period of "liquidation", persecution, and catacombs in the past century, we as a Church have developed a unique DNA of survival. This allows us today, with God's help and His care, under the leadership of our Head, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, to support people, in whatever distress or suffering they may be. In this, our primary task in this difficult period of the Russian war against Ukraine is to proclaim the Good News and give people hope."

Bishop Mykolai Bychok, bishop of the eparchy of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul with its residence in Melbourne for Ukrainians in Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania, spoke about pastoral ministry on this continent.

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Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh summarized the meetings: "This was one of the most intensive Permanent Synods that I remember in my history. The next session of the Permanent Synod will take place in Germany."