Ukrainian Youth Pilgrimage Dedicated to Papal Visit

15.05.2001, 16:08
(Lviv-Univ) More than 1000 Ukrainian youth walked over 60 kilometers on May 11 and 12 as part of the 8th annual May pilgrimage to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Studite Monastery of the Holy Dormition in Univ, western Ukraine. This year’s pilgrimage was dedicated to the Holy Father’s upcoming visit to Ukraine.

The majority of the youth were from the western Ukrainian regions of Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk, though there were also participants from Luhansk and central Ukrainian Kyiv. Ihor Schuryk, a member of Ukrainian Youth for Christ from Ternopil and a veteran of the annual pilgrimage, tried to explain the appeal of this holy trek: «Though year in and year out we walk the same path, nevertheless, each year something happens which makes that year’s pilgrimage distinctive. This year it was the cold. This made the walk easier, but it was cold for sleeping. Of course there are always enough problems, but this helped to create the spirit of a pilgrimage. The hardships remain, but the number of pilgrims to Univ does not decrease from year to year.» The Ukrainian Catholic Student Society Obnova (Renewal) organizes the annual event. The Malteser Cross, an international aid society, feeds and tries to provide a little comfort to the spiritual athletes. And the Fathers of the Studite Order, some of whom join in the journey, host the pilgrims on the grounds of their monastery in Univ and provide spiritual support. This year’s pilgrimage culminated on Mother’s Day and Liuba Pidtserkovna, a librarian at the Lviv Theological Academy thought this was very appropriate: »The great number of young people at the Monastery of the Holy Dormition in Univ was a real gift for our heavenly mother, and for all our mothers, those alive and those who have left us.»