Knights of Columbus supreme convention hears about Ukraine

Thursday, 28 August 2014, 12:13
The Annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus held this year in Orlando, Florida, featured a special evening of hosting delegates from Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. Participants heard a magnificent presentation by Rev. Volodymyr Malchyn, Chaplain to the first Ukrainian Greek Catholic Council of the Knights of Columbus in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The presentation surveyed the crisis in Ukraine from its beginnings, and featured a visual presentation of scenes from the Maidan. Fr. Malchyn highlighted the sufferings of the people of Ukraine and the heroic sacrifices being made by people dedicating themselves for the dignity of the people of Ukraine.

He cited the many humble but critically important efforts of the newly formed Knights of Columbus members in assisting the wounded needing medical and spiritual care, raising funds to purchase blood clotting medicines to help treating the wounded, providing transportation and care for the many wounded from assaults by the previous government forces of Ukraine and now, the rebels in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada and USA who were participating in the Convention were also present, among them Bishop David Motiuk of Edmonton, Bishop Ken Nowakowski of Westminster, Bishop Bryan Bayda of Saskatoon, and Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia. Our Ukrainian Catholic Church is privileged to have such a dedicated and skillful Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in Ukraine who is able to deliver such a professional presentation about the difficult situation in Ukraine, and in providing spiritual leadership for the faithful of our Church and all Ukrainians. The evening event concluded with a passionate commitment by the Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus, Mr. Carl Anderson, to continue to support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania without compromise and with much hope for success in serving the Catholic Church in these countries, as is already done in other countries where the Knights of Columbus serve with great dedication and love for Jesus Christ.

The delegates to the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus also heard of the exciting and steadfast efforts to organize Councils in Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland. His Beatitude, Lubomyr Cardinal Husar invited the Knights of Columbus to begin in Ukraine a number of years ago. The initiation of new Councils has been accomplished with the blessings and personal support of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Both have extolled the virtues and merits of the International Order of the Knights of Columbus and sought their contribution in encouraging men of our Ukrainian Catholic Church to become involved for the benefit of growing in their faith through charitable works. Councils have also been formed within the Latin Catholic Church in Ukraine. Optimism and energetic zeal have been realized among the new Knights of Columbus as evident in the significant charitable and catechetical ministries they have begun in Ukraine.

Special Ukrainian speaking teams for initiation of new Knights of Columbus were commissioned from Canada to assist in the initiation of new Knights. One observes how men of faith respond so enthusiastically to such invitations to grow in their faith and to become involved in charitable works, especially in societies where they suffer oppression.

It is something for us to marvel and to imitate in our Archeparchy by giving consideration to inviting the formation of Knights of Columbus Councils within our parishes. Our pastors have been acquainted with the ideals and principles of the Order of the Knights of Columbus and are aware of the encouragement offered by both Patriarch Lubomyr Cardinal Husar and Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk as to the value of Knights of Columbus within our Ukrainian Catholic Church. My personal hope is that Councils can be formed by our pastors within our larger parishes and amidst smaller parishes throughout the Archeparchy. The program of the Knights of Columbus is particularly helpful in organizing men to share in assisting the pastor in the ministries of the parish, particularly in working with parishioners with special needs, with the youth and young adults, with facilitating parish activities which enhance the unity and fraternity of the parish.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the purchase of medical clotting medicines for the injured in Ukraine can forward their donation to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy. A tax receipt will be issued and the funds will be used for their purchases of such supplies in America for transport to the newly formed Knights of Columbus Council in our Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine for distribution to those in needs of this help. God bless all who assist with the power of prayer and with material help.

By Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan (Soroka)


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