UGCC bishops in Ivano Frankivsk report on peculiar aspects of pastorate in the eastern regions of Ukraine and contemporary migration challenges

Friday, 29 June 2012, 08:57
A special course on missionary pastorate for upper class students is being held at the St. Josaphat Ivano-Frankivsk Spiritual Seminary (June 25 - July 1). Sixty-eight seminarians are participating in the course organized by UGCC Pastoral-Missionary Department (PMB).
A special course on missionary pastorate for upper class students is being held at the St. Josaphat Ivano-Frankivsk Spiritual Seminary (June 25 - July 1). Sixty-eight seminarians are participating in the course organized by UGCC Pastoral-Missionary Department (PMB). Bishop Josyf (Milian), director of the Pastoral-Missionary Department, reminded the seminarians that although the emigrants of the first, second, third and fourth waves, all migrated  from their native land in search of easier bread-winning, “earning bread as an emigrant has never been easy.”  From the beginning of the migration process, the Church, as a mother, tried to send her representatives, pastors, kinds of “spiritual trainers” so that they could assist people in foreign lands to “find spiritual strength.” In addition the speaker also mentioned the challenges faced by UGCC pastors outside of Halychyna and Ukraine. He explained the rationale of having a separate a within the Church structure that would focus solely on migrants.  As is known, over the last several years, UGCC has maintained a Pastoral-Missionary Department, headed by the Bishop. According to him, migration is not only a challenge but also an opportunity for positive changes. Eyewitness reports on actual pastoral care and its needs in Lutsk, Odesa-Crimea and Donetsk-Kharkiv exarchates were presented by Bishop Yosyf (Hovera), Lutsk exarch, Bishop Vasyl (Ivasiuk), Odesa-Crimea exarch, Rev. Ihor Tabaka, parish administrator in Liubotyn in Kharkiv oblast, and Roman Cheremsky, a parishioner of St. Mykola the Miracle Worker Church in Kharkiv.   Bishop Yosafat (Hovera) “shared with the seminarians some truths; he did not paint an idyllic beautiful scene, but presented a realistic picture of what awaits the one who is fulfilling Christ’s precept: the life of a priest is the fulfillment of Christ’s will.”  The hierarch emphasized Christ’s understanding of service, and advised no one to yearn for “a good parish” which would guarantee him everything – a ready church, a pastor’s home, hundreds of faithful who would attentively listen to the priest and then would reverently kiss his hand and would praise him for his goodness. It is worthwhile to note that the special course includes a prayer liturgical part (Matins, Divine Liturgy, Vespers), course presentations, eyewitness testimonies by pastors from Ukraine as well as abroad, as well as practical exercises done in groups. Photo album

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