The youth of the UGCC received the Catechism "We Go With Christ", offering honest answers to important questions
On June 28 in the premises of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit ( Lviv, 35 Khutorivka, ) the head of the UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav, proclaimed a catechism for young people "We Go With Christ". The work on it lasted eight years, immediately after the presentation of the main Catechism "Christ is our Easter". Then Patriarch Svyatoslav took the initiative to create a Youth Catechism.
Today, the head of the UGCC proclaimed: "I proclaim a great joy to you. We have a catechism for young people "We Go With Christ". We have a unique message for Ukraine and the world, for our youth. It is a great joy and a great honor for me to proclaim the Catechism that our church has been working on for eight years... This is not a theology textbook, it is not some temporary text. This is a confession of faith to the Church. Its author is the Church. A catechetical text should always have its addressee. There was a question of how to speak to young people in a language that they could understand. And it was painstaking work that lasted eight years. It was preceded by a serious stage of listening to young people. The moment of listening and communicating with young people was based on a whole series of meetings. For me, as the head of the Church, a separate road of communication with young people has been created, which is called "Wise youth asks". We listened carefully to all the questions that the young people asked. And this was the starting material for the Youth Catechism. It was a difficult task. Two commissions worked on this: the Catechetical Commission and the Youth Commission. The Catechetical Commission took care of the doctrinal correctness of the text in order to convey the integrity of the faith of our Church, the youth commission wanted it to be a catechism that would be of interest to young people... We have found a way of such communication. This catechism is a guide for the traveler waiting for a Living Faith. The Mother Church has become close to every young person today so that they can travel the roads of life together. We were able to express the faith of our church truthfully and find a way to convey it to young people."
The Catechism is designed to accompany a young person who is seeking deeper things in their life, here it is about how not to become a cynic and lose faith. Its pages are a fascinating journey - a pilgrimage along the way of finding answers to questions about the most important truths of our faith, which today sound in the hearts of young Christians of the XXI century.
One of the authors of the Youth Catechism, Fr Myron Bendik told about the cuisine of writing, about the concept of this eight-year experience.
"The Church's strategy is also to have an idea of how our children and grandchildren live, what is authoritative for them, what accents they put in faith. To answer the request of the new generation, we had to take a good look at this generation, which has already grown up under an independent Ukraine and has a little more internal freedom. This is good, but it also suggests that young people are asking us much more uncomfortable questions. The idea of a catechism is to answer questions. This, in fact, means and encourages you to seek and give honest answers to young people's questions."
The first chapter of Catechism presents faith as an expansion of horizons and as the realization of the need for completeness that each person strives for.
The second section of the Catechism answers the question: How to feel like a person? This means, on the one hand, to feel freedom and responsibility. And on the other hand - to feel your capabilities, so that a person can begin to react personally in life. Therefore, the second part refers to prayer as the art of interpersonal communication, because prayer is when I unburden my soul to God.
In the third part, all moral questions arise and it is shown that problems exist in order to solve them, and not to complain about them. It talks about family, social, and even economic problems. It's about how to go down in history, not for your own sake, but to do something in the generation that will remain as an achievement for the coming generations.
To create the Youth Catechism, His Beatitude Sviatoslav conducted a number of interviews with young people. A whole series of transcripts, conversations. This helped to study the requests of young people.
"The UGCC Youth Commission generated ideas, and the authors of the catechism collected them together and put them on shelves. Thus, we formulated the idea of pilgrimage, since youth pilgrimages are popular among young people. Thus, the pilgrimage takes place according to our history and geography, where our people live... Among the characters, there are several Roman cadres, from Kazakhstan which is the Eastern diaspora, as well as a nun from Brazil because Brazil is a continent of monastic vocations. There is a girl who is a representative of guest workers from Rome, who has experience in the problem of culture shock. There is a girl from Ukraine, she has health problems. In their company, there is a certain Father Andrey, who joins this group. This Father Andrew is a collective image of a priest who has no clericalism or omniscience. They go on a pilgrimage and each subsequent topic is looking for answers to the questions of these young people," says Fr. Myron Bendyk.
The catechism is illustrated with icons and eloquent photographs. This is done in order to discover all the richness of our cultural and spiritual heritage.
"It's easy to pick up. It doesn't look like a scary encyclopedia. It has up to 300 pages. It has indications of where the icon comes from. There is an artistic dimension behind this," say the developers of the Youth Catechism.
According to the idea, these books can be used during goodbyes or in discussion circles to use topics for discussion.
"There is an attempt to honestly talk about Christianity as the realization of this maximum that a person can have in life. For every person, such familiarization is a valuable alternative. It is very important not to impose any opinion on a young person at the time of search and self-affirmation, but to offer an alternative according to the teachings of the Church. But in fact, in such moments of self-affirmation, young people often find themselves outside the church, choosing a variety of sectarian, atheistic trends. A catechism can help you not lose your true faith and return to it if necessary, " Fr. Myron Bendyk summarizes.
Why the name "We Go With Christ", because, as the creators of the Youth Catechism emphasize," going with Christ means choosing a happy trajectory in your life. In his Providence, God has a plan for us called Happiness. When we build with Christ, then we build happily. It is very important to seek real happiness, and not to imagine what it should be like. You need to be a believer in order not to miss your happiness. If you do not believe, then question claims yourself: why am I not happy?"
Photos of the UGCC Information Department.