"I pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken in the hearts of the priests the true missionary spirit" - His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk)

Thursday, 25 April 2013, 20:36
“A priest should be a religious just person who according to the words of St. Paul, lives from faith… he should teach faith, pronouncing the Word of God… the pastor should first of all teach faith through the witness of his own life,” emphasizes His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) UGCC Head in the Epistle to UGCC priests on Great Thursday.

“A priest should be a religious just person who according to the words of St. Paul, lives from faith… he should teach faith, pronouncing the Word of God… the pastor should first of all teach faith through the witness of his own life,” emphasizes His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) UGCC Head in the Epistle to UGCC priests on Great Thursday.

As UGCC Head writes in the Epistle, it is on this momentous day of the Eucharistic Supper, on the eve of the passions of Our Savior, that he especially thinks about and prays for priests who today face a great and responsible task:  “In the current world of developed new technology, society’s struggle for material goods, that not rarely destroys faith, the priest should stand as a guardian of his flock, the indefatigable defender of the evangelical  apocalypse.”

In contemplating on the priestly vocation, the author of the document also notes that hierarchs should also be ready to preach the Word of God on every occasion: during daily Liturgy, during the administration of the Holy Sacraments, on various church-community events, and especially during funeral services, “when it is possible to speak to those people who do not visit churches.”  A special challenge for pastors in Ukraine, and beyond its borders, is the sermon directed at people who have not yet met Christ or who, for some reason, have distanced themselves from the Church.

UGCC Major Archbishop believes that throughout his life a priest should follow the words of St. Paul. “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”  Therefore, every time that the priest is making a decision on certain issues of a parochial or personal nature, he,” believes His Beatitude Sviatoslav, “should ask himself:  how would Christ act in my place?”  The Major Archbishop is convinced that all pastoral attempts will be beneficial only then when the priests will enliven and accompany them with a sincere son-like conversation with God.

“I pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken and strengthen in our Church, and mainly in the hearts of priests, a genuine missionary spirit, a readiness to preach the Word of God -- “whether timely or untimely”-- to those who still do not know Him.  Let us feel today gratitude for the gift of holy faith and simultaneously feel a personal responsibility for the preservation of faith, for the teaching of Christian faith among our people and for its eternal incarnation into our personal, church, and community life – all that Holy Father Benedict XVI called “a new evangelization for transmitting faith,” added UGCC Head in his Epistle to UGCC priests on Great Thursday.”

UGCC Department of Information

 

 

 

 

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