President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences to the UGCC priests: "In your ministry, you are Fathers in a double sense"
This was reported by the Information Department of the UGCC.
The spiritual-formation seminar for pastors who care for the faithful of the Church in countries where there are no UGCC structures is being held in Vilnius, Lithuania, from May 30 to June 2, 2023.
The theme of the 12th session of the seminar is "St. Josaphat As an Apostle of Spiritual Unity. The Relevance of His Person 400 Years After His Martyrdom." The event is attended by 29 priests from 16 countries.
"We are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Josaphat Kuntsevych. Being here in Vilnius is a very special moment because it is here that St. Josaphat lived and prayed. Thank you for praying with us today," said Bishop Stepan Sus, Head of the Pastoral Migration Department, addressing Bishop Gintaras.
In turn, the Archbishop of Vilnius noted that Lithuania has declared special celebrations this year to honor the memory of St. Josaphat.
"For you and us, this place of St. Josaphat is a common root. He was formed here. We spoke with His Beatitude Sviatoslav about celebrations here, in Kyiv, and in Rome. In this way, we want to be inspired by the fire of St. Josaphat's faith. Here in Vilnius, we have a special place where you prayed - the Ostrobramska Icon of the Mother of God. Here in Vilnius, the announcement of St. Faustina's sainthood took place. Here in the old town of Vilnius, we opened four gates of mercy," the Archbishop noted and added, "I greatly value your work in the countries where you are. Because you are messengers of God's mercy to people who are far from home. You are the voice of faith and those who accompany and serve those who are far from home, especially now that people have lost their loved ones and homes due to war. Therefore, you must be aware that in this ministry, you are fathers in a double sense: religiously and culturally. You are the voice of your homeland, ambassadors who tell what your country is like now. I wish you to be strong in proclaiming the Word of God. And I wish you peace. Thank you for coming here and for courageously serving in your parishes."