The XV all Ukrainian Conference of military chaplains of the UGCC started its work in Kyiv
This is reported by the press center of the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the UGCC PC.
About eighty clergymen who provide spiritual care in Ukrainian servicemen arrived at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which was led by Bishop Mykhailo Koltun, head of the military chaplaincy Department of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC.
In his welcoming speech, Bishop Mykhailo recalled that military chaplains' vocation is to stand behind the Ukrainian soldiers, constantly support and pray for them.
"We protect with our prayer, love and evangelical witness the warriors who defend us. This is the Christian art to which we, as military chaplains, are called. And the Lord assures us of his victory over evil."
After the liturgy, the chaplains met with Patriarch Svyatoslav of the UGCC. According to him, the Church can support the Ukrainian army. The chaplains are its instruments. They should become carriers of peace and tranquillity in times of fear and panic.
"We have no right to allow our hearts to be disturbed, we must be carriers of the belief that God is with us, to be with those who defend Ukraine, to be a so-called stabilizer for them. What to do when the enemy is on the doorstep? "Don't let your heart worry — trust in God," the prophet Isaiah teaches us. And these words are my message to you today."
The official opening ceremony of the event was conducted by the head of the Department of Military Chaplaincy, Bishop Mykhailo (Koltun). It was also attended by the head of the Main Department of Moral and Psychological Support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Major General Vladislav Klochkov, deputy head of the Department for Gender Issues and Relations with Public and Religious Organizations of the Department of Social and Humanitarian Support of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Vitaliy Pokotilo, head of the military clergy service of the Main Department of NGU Colonel Oleksandr Izdebsky, head of the Department of Social and Humanitarian Support of the Personnel Department of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Colonel Oleg Prymachenko. They spoke about the current state of meeting the spiritual and religious needs of personnel and the functioning of military clergy services in their law enforcement agencies, about the experience, challenges and prospects of chaplain service.
In addition, representatives of the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine presented military chaplains of the UGCC with awards for their significant contribution to the implementation of pastoral care, spiritual and moral and psychological support for Ukrainian servicemen.
Further, the experience of Chaplain Service in the Armed Forces of the United States and Canada was shared by the guests of honor of the conference – military chaplains of the UNIFIER training mission.
The activities of the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC in 2021 were presented to the participants of the meeting by Fr. Andriy Zelinsky, TI, deputy head of the Department of Military Chaplaincy.
Minister of Veterans' Affairs of Ukraine Yulia Laputina also turned to the chaplains with a welcoming speech.
MPs of Ukraine Solomiya Bobrovskaya and Roman Lozynsky shared on the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the law "On Military Chaplaincy".
The XV All-Ukrainian Conference of Military Chaplains of the UGCC will last for three days. On Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10, military pastors will talk about the value foundations of military leadership, the mechanism of personal stress tolerance and the psychology of loss.