«At the threshold of the church I met people who saved their faith and passed it on to the descendants,” the Head of UGCC at the inauguration in Chernivtsi

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 15:41
On November 18, on the day of holy martyrs Galaction and Episteme, the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Sviatoslav inaugurated Bishop Josafat (Moshchych) as the ruling bishop of the newly created Eparchy of Chernivtsi
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The historic event took place in the cathedral of Dormition of Our Lady in Chernivtsi during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav. He was joined by the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, bishops of the UGCC Synod and bishop Petru from the city of Yassy, the representative of the bishops’ conference of Romania.


In his homily to the faithful, the Primate noted that during todays Gospel he visualized the history of the UGCC in Bukovyna, especially in Chernivtsi“It seems that in the most difficult times, when no one wanted to accept God to his heart, when we were not allowed to freely confess our faith, we knew very well that God is near. That place, where human hearts were lit with faith, where we first heard the word ‘Jesus’ and learned our faith, was our family, our house,” said the preacher.


In the times of persecution, believes the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics, here, in Chernivtsi, the home church became the school of proclaiming God’s word. “It was so pleasant for me today to meet at the threshold of the church those people who preserved their faith for us and passed it further to their descendants,” observed the hierarch.  


The Head of the Church recalled the Bishop Taras (Senkiv) who was present at the event, who, at the times of resurrection of our Church, was the first to come to the temple. At first, the father was praying at the threshold and people welcomed him into their housesLater, when the doors of this church were finally opened, he became the first Greek Catholic who, after persecutions and closure of the church, celebrated the Divine Liturgy here.


His Beatitude Sviatoslav recalled that he last had the chance to be here in December 1993, when the successor of spiritual pursuit here was of blessed memory father Mykhailo Kosylo. “I came then with a group of seminarians from Lviv,” said the Head of the UGCC.  “Believe me, this church then looked different. There was no iconostasis, nor golden icons, nor even good puttying on the walls. But there were hot hearts which flocked to the Church, listened to God’s Word and lived by It. And here we saw unusual signs of the presence of God’s Kingdom among us, saw how the Lord touches upon a person here, healing his soul and body. Isn’t this magnificent and beautiful cathedral a sign of the Heavenly Kingdom? And its transformation into the place of ruling of the first in the history of our Church Bishop of Chernivtsi? We see how the Lord acts in His power and strength here, in Bukovyna, among us. May He be blessed for this,” said the Head of the UGCC.


According to him, today we became witnesses of the rite of inauguration of the Bishop. We saw how the Head of the Church solemnly enthroned a new Bishop. Our Church has never been a state one, never had instruments of oppression. Its only defense, support, force and power was the Lord our God, the living Christ, dead and resurrected even in the body of our Church. Bishop Josafat, He is your only treasure!” addressed the Head of the Church to the newly appointed Bishop. “You will see that generosity of Bukovyna residents surpasses human expectations. Trust and surrender totally to God’s will, God’s Providence and generosity of the people, who love God and in God’s name are ready to erect temples, restore our heritage and be preachers of the Good News in Ukraine, which often suffers from the lack of good news.  On this day we thank the Lord our God that He is really present among us and continues preaching His Gospel for us and through us to our God’s people. May He be blessed, may God’s Kingdom spread through our Christian testimony and our life. And may the Mother of God, Whose Dormition this church is consectrated to, be our guide in following Christ’s Gospel, said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.


At the end, the Primate thanked the bishops, the faithful and priests, who were building the Church in Bukovyna for years.


The UGCC Department for Information


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