His Beatitude Sviatoslav urged the faithful to become “fishermen for human souls”

Monday, 23 June 2014, 14:12
To be fishermen of people today in Ukraine means to gather people around hope in God who is with us, who is our strength, our life, our victory.

The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav stated this on  June 22nd, the day of the liturgical commemoration of the Second Sunday after the Descent of the Holy Spirit, during his sermon in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.

The Church Prelate noted that in the Gospel  we hear how Christ calls his first disciples,  his first apostles: “Follow me and I will make you fishermen of people.”  The preacher explained that to follow Jesus means to be a Christian.  “To follow  Christ – means to see in Him your only hope.  One who believes in God – has hope.  The non-believer gets into a sea of despondency, hopelessness, into a sea of despair,” the Major Archbishop invites one to contemplate this. 

“What does it mean “I will make you fishermen of people?” continued His Beatitude Sviatoslav.  “An apostle whom God makes his disciple, is similar to a fisherman.  A disciple of Christ is one who gives people hope.  It is as if he catches the people from the sea of despair, doubtfulness, the sea of death and life dangers.  He captures them for Christ – in order to bring them to the secure shore of hope and Christ’s word.”

Our daily hesitations, doubts and uncertainties about tomorrow, the preacher of God’s Word  compares with walks on the seashore.  “There is even a folk saying: awaits weather from the ocean. This is a phrase expressing hopelessness.  Today Christ tells each one of us: I will make you fishermen of people.  Probably each one of us is approached by acquaintances and friends  who ask: what will happen tomorrow with us, with our nation?   And we, as disciples of Christ, should give them hope,” explained His Beatitude Sviatoslav.  “Let us throw away all despair, let us throw away all fears, all doubts, because all of these do not come from God.  As Christ’s disciples, let us be filled with hope, let us be its bearers in today’s Ukraine,”  urged the Head of the Church.

During the Liturgy, the  Head of the Church ordained deacon Valeriy Hrom as a priest. Rev. Valeriy had first completed the Institute of Ground Forces and later the Spiritual Seminary. Rev. Valeriy Hrom will be an army chaplain. 

“You know how much today there is a need for support of the Ukrainian army, for those soldiers who everyday look not into the face of a stormy sea, but into the terrible face of the real danger of death. 

Rev. Valeriy will carry hope there, where, perhaps, it is very scarce,” noted the Major Archbishop in greeting the newly-ordained priest.

On the day of the Feast of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacraments of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ , which was celebrated on Thursday, June 19th, UGCC also marks the fifth jubilee of the episcopate of Bishop Joseph  (Milian).

On the occasion of the jubilee, His Beatitude Sviatoslav greeted Bishop Joseph and noted his services to the Church and the faithful.  “Five years ago in this cathedral the consecration of  Bishop Joseph Milian took place.  I remind all, that this place at that time was not yet plastered and pigeons were flying under the ceiling.  He was the first bishop who was consecrated in this place.  And five years later, we have a beautiful blessed Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.  We see, Reverend Bishop, that five years of your service were very fruitful,” he said.

UGCC Head thanked his Vicar in the Kyiv Archeparchy for his service and wished him much strength in order to follow Christ and be a fisherman of people.


UGCC Department of Information



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