Patriarch Sviatoslav inspects restoration work in St. Sophia Church in Rome

Thursday, 20 October 2011, 09:03
Patriarch Sviatoslav, head of the UGCC, is convinced that the main task today is to preserve the heritage passed from our predecessors and to update and develop the ecclesial body. “I want to support this very important matter, so I came to look at the restoration work that began a month ago in St. Sophia Cathedral. For me it is important that the nationwide Ukrainian pilgrimage to be held next year on the occasion of 120th anniversary of the birth of PatriarchJosyf (Slipyj) gathered all of us in the renewed Ukrainian church,” said the patriarch after visiting the cathedral in the Italian capital.
Patriarch Sviatoslav, head of the UGCC, is convinced that the main task today is to preserve the heritage passed from our predecessors and to update and develop the ecclesial body. “I want to support this very important matter, so I came to look at the restoration work that began a month ago in St. Sophia Cathedral. For me it is important that the nationwide Ukrainian pilgrimage to be held next year on the occasion of 120th anniversary of the birth of PatriarchJosyf (Slipyj) gathered all of us in the renewed Ukrainian church,” said the patriarch after visiting the cathedral in the Italian capital. The church, which was designed by architect Lucio Di Stefano, has a rich internal mosaic decoration that was created by Ukrainian artist SviatoslavHordynsky. St. Sophia Cathedral was consecrated in 1969 by Patriarch Josyf (Slipyj). Today, after 40 years of operation, the church needs major repairs.Chairman of the St. Sophia Religious Society Fr. Ivan Datsko said: “If we do not do this now, then we will have to spend even more money, since the amount of work will increase each year. Today, the estimate is half a million euros. We have some funds, but they are not sufficient, because the mosaicrequires coating with gold leaf, which is an expensive material. So I have hope in the great generosity of the Ukrainian people and I encourage charitable contributions so that the restoration of the sanctuary is truly nationwide.” Patriarch Sviatoslav says that he is troubled by the state of the damaged mosaics of the cathedral, and so it is important to restore it so that it can be saved. However, in the opinion the church head, the intensity of the work gives hope that the restored church will serve the next generation of Ukrainians for a long time. At the beginning of his week-long stay in Italy (from October 11 to 17, 2011) Patriarch Sviatoslav visited another Ukrainian center of Rome – Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, where the Zhyrovytska wonderworking icon of the Virgin is being restored. The restoration work is expected to be completed by September 30 of next year. The restored St. Sophia Cathedral will be consecrated in October 2010, during a nationwide Ukrainian pilgrimage.  

UGCC Information Department

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