A conference in Kyiv on the communion of the spirituality of religious and lay people with the participation of His Beatitude Lubomyr

Thursday, 03 March 2011, 11:10
"It is very important that the Church community has a better understanding of the importance of religious people in the life of the Church. Likewise, dear brothers and sisters, we should contemplate how all of us can contribute to the spiritual life of our Church." These are the words of His Beatitude Lubomyr spoken on Saturday in Kyiv at the monastery of St. Basil the Great during the conference "Communion of spirituality of religious and lay people."
"It is very important that the Church community has a better understanding of the importance of religious people in the life of the Church. Likewise, dear brothers and sisters, we should contemplate how all of us can contribute to the spiritual life of our Church." These are the words of His Beatitude Lubomyr spoken on Saturday in Kyiv at the monastery of St. Basil the Great during the conference "Communion of spirituality of religious and lay people." On this day, his 78th birthday, the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics paid special attention to the prospects of collaboration between religious and laity in the UGCC. During the conference, organized by the Metropolitan Commission for Religious, His Beatitude not only delivered his personal message, but he also actively contributed to the speeches of other participants. The Kiev conference was attended by religious from the Archeparchy of Kyiv, the Exarchates from the eastern territories of Ukraine, and representatives from other UGCC eparchies. When speaking to the participants of the conference, His Beatitude Lubomyr did not ignore sensitive subjects regarding the role of religious people in the life of society. Recalling his past experience in the U.S., where monks and nuns took special care of schools and hospitals, His Beatitude noted that in many cases they were perceived as cheap labor.  He stated, "In those days in America, even a starting teacher received $4,000 dollars a month, whereas religious persons had full room and board, but $35 per month.” According to His Beatitude Lubomyr, maybe it was indeed this attitude toward religious that diminished the numbers of those seeking consecrated life in modern America. Tragically in turn, it then led to a situation where church schools got closed, and hospitals were handed over to the state. "I warmly welcome an opening of such discussions - said His Beatitude. - It's a good start for hard work. " Auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Kyiv, Most Rev. Josyf (Milian), addressing the audience noted that the conference takes place in the Year of Prayer for vocations in the consecrated life. The bishop stressed that the results of the conference are also an important step towards preparation for this year's session of the Patriarchal Sobor. It will be dedicated to the Consecrated Life and will be held in September in Brazil. "Consecrated people are the very heart of the Church" - these words of His Beatitude Lubomyr were recalled by Sister Natalia Melnyk, General Superior of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family. She noted that the heart produces nothing, but without it, no other organs would be able to function. "Our goal is to be those who provide an impetus for others to function by.", - said Sister Natalia in her presentation on the inner world of ordained people. In his presentation, hegumen of the monastery of St. Basil the Great, Rev. Vasil Tuchapets OSBM talked about the practical aspects of sharing spiritual values. The head of Patriarchal Society of St. Volodymyr , Mrs. Olena Hantsyak-Kaskiv spoke on behalf of the laity. She delivered the speech "Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it gives light to all in the house.” Mrs. Lesia Sabara from Lviv shared her own experience of working with the religious in the field of implementation of the subject "Christian ethics" at schools. The conference was moderated by Rev. Petro Baran, CSSR. In the afternoon, the participants worked in groups where they shared their personal experiences of cooperation between the religious and lay people. They also commented on recommendations for further shared spiritual work. The conference started with Archiepiscopal Divine Liturgy, and concluded with Vespers in the church of Saint Basil the Great on Lvivska plosha in Kyiv. Information Department of the UGCC

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