Lviv to become a center of parish life in Europe

12 March 2018, 10:05 | Reports | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Lilia KOVALYK-VASYUTA

Lviv will host the 30th Colloquium of European Parishes (CEP), which brings together the clergymen and lay people who would like to revitalize their parish life.

For the three consequent days – on March 9-11 - in Lviv, in the center of St   Archengel, the meetings of the CEP Presidium and the Organizing Committee of Ukraine were held to set the Ukrainian Colloquium date, theme, slogan and the agendas for youth and adults.

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So, the anniversary CEP will be held from July 27 to August 1, 2019 in Lviv.

Its slogan is: “Can the differences make us unite?”

The main theme is: “Who will help us being Christians in modern Europe?”

Sub-topics for discussion have been determined:

1. Pope Francis and his vision of the modern Church (the Roman hierarch is elected because he is the church leader who most courageously offers concrete steps for practical Christian life under the current secular conditions);

2. Parable of the Prodigal Son (One of the most famous parables contained in Luke 15: 11-32, the plot of this parable illustrates the relationship between man and God, and the emphasis must be placed on the personality of the elder brother who plays the role of “a righteous Christian who prevents non-believers from feeling too free in the Church”);

3. The dignity of each person. Who will help us to be Christians in modern Europe? (One of the main challenges for modern Christians is to go out from their temples to meet with all people, not blaming anyone, offering everyone Christ's love).

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The decision on the slogan, main theme and subtopics of the CEP in 2019 was adopted by the Presidium of the Colloquium with the participation of the President of this organization Fr. Antonio Casara (Malta), Martin Gacerra (Switzerland), bishop-emeritus of the RCC, representative of Renovabis Foundation, Margaret Meyer (Germany), responsible for CEP participants from Eastern Europe, etc. and the Ukrainian Organizing Committee.

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The slogan and theme have been adopted, although they can still be detailed by expert CEP theologians.

Now the laborious work on preparing this summit in Lviv has been started. The arrival of 150 CEE participants from different European countries and the same number of representatives of Ukrainian parishes is expected.

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Commenting on Ukraine's choice of venue for the Conference of European Parishes in 2019, the CEP President, Fr. Antonio Casar emphasized: “By this time, the colloquiums of the European parishes have taken only in Western European countries. After the collapse of the communist system, it also become possible for Eastern European countries, including Eastern Roman Catholics from Ukraine, to take part in such a religious summit. Life in Eastern Europe is very different from what we have in Western Europe, it is different from the religious point of view; therefore, it is extremely important for us to get acquainted not only with the religious life of Ukrainian parishes, but also to see your lifestyle, your culture, traditions, and customs. It is important for us to learn from you the things we do not have and share with you what we have.”

It should be added that the so-called “Holy Nation” sessions will take place in Lviv in the evenings, where groups from different countries will be able to present their “national raisins”.

The Ukrainian Organizing Committee is currently developing a program for representing Ukraine on such a “Holy Nation” session.

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Fr. Antonio Casar also explained why the slogan “Is it possible for us to unite?” had been chosen for the Colloquium of European Parishes in Ukraine:

“Europe today is highly secularized and diverse. Europeans face the challenge of how faith can unite us, how we can be united in the Body of Christ. In Ukraine, this distinction is especially noticeable, so it is very important to hold a meeting with you under such a slogan and to come to a joint decision, how we, while so different, can unite in Christ.”

As a rule, the work of the Colloquium consists not only in presenting the reports on the given topics and discussions, how to put all that into practice, as well as familiarizing the colloquium participants with the culture and the city's sights. Therefore, the Ukrainian organizing committee plans to organize visits of the participants of the Colloquium to the 10 most successful parishes of the UGCC in Lviv, visits to the monasteries in Univ and Krekhov, cities of Zhovkva, known for their sacred and historic architecture.

It was decided that the CEP workshops will be held at the conference hall of the Lviv Theologian Seminary of the Holy Spirit (UGCC).

The Ukrainian Organizing Committee of the CEP has a year and a half to organize this extraordinary religious and social event in the western capital of Ukraine.

It should be noted that the Movement of Christian Parishes that is called the Colloquium of European Parishes was founded in 1961. Every two years, the Catholic representatives from different European countries gather for a congress involving bishops, priests, theologians and active lay people to discuss the question of how to be good Christians in the modern world, how to convey faith to the next generations, how to seek new forms of evangelism, how to revive the parishes. This movement began in the RCC in 1963, and the Greek Catholics of Ukraine, Romania of Hungary joined the latter decades. It currently embraces 35 countries.

Since 2005, the delegations of St. Volodymyr Foundation from Lviv has participated in the CEP forums of the UGCC. It is this Foundation, chaired by Igor Matushevsky and Lesya Krypiakevich, which together with the Presidium of the European Parliaments' Colloquium, has undertaken responsibility to become the co-organizer of CEP in Lviv in 2019.

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"The Ukrainian Organizing Committee of CEP plans to do everything that this religious meeting of the European scale in Lviv became not only a successful religious and social event, but also brought new emphases to the traditional meetings of the Colloquium. A blessing for to hold CEP in Lviv has been already received from Metropolitan Igor (Voznyak) of the UGCC,” says Igor Matushevsky.

Уляна.jpgHead of CEP Organizing Committee of Ukraine Ulyana Shchurko: “St Volodymyr Foundation has been a participant of these meetings for many years, and every time we get convinced that Ukraine has something to show for Europe, even to teach it something. Because where there is a decline in Europe, we have a flowering. We want to show what Ukraine is, what the UGCC is, to introduce ourselves, the laity, as full members of the Church. We want to show the Europeans the activity, life, youth in the Church. We want to show that the UGCC is living, young, and ii is not only beneficial for us to work with them (Europeans), but it is also beneficial for them to work with us. This will enable us not only to share experiences of the best practices and active life of the parish in different countries, but above all it will enable us to “rejuvenate” Christianity of Europe, which is now experiencing not the best times, to reveal the authenticity, beauty and depth of our church tradition and faith, give a second breath to Christianity in Europe.”

“We expect that by holding such a meeting in Lviv, we will become better Christians. The time of preparation will stimulate our parishes to be more active, to become communities. So that both the clergy and the laity bore together the responsibility for a living parish. In 2019, we must show the vitality of our Church. Therefore, the discussion of the theme “Who will help us to be Christians in modern Europe” is very timely and relevant,” said Mykhailo Dymyd, Member of the CEP Organizing Committee from Ukraine.

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The Colloquium of European Parishes has a youth dimension. The meeting of 2019 in Ukraine will be no exception. Active Lviv parish youth from Europe will arrive in Lviv. Therefore, the Youth Committee of the CEP, which is led by Fr. Brian from Malta, discussed the program of the CEP 2019 in Lviv for young people. Irina Butynets is responsible for the youth program on the part of Ukraine.

“Such meetings bring together Christian youth from different countries, because it turns out that everyone is worried about one and the same issue: The Church should be more open to the youth, it should understand it. In the Church, young people should feel good. We hope that the youth program that we offer, as well as new meetings, discussions, musical evenings, will be rich and interesting for the youth of the CEP,” says Iryna.

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Participants of the youth program will hold their activities mainly on the premises of the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Ukrainian Catholic University.

The meetings of the Organizing Committee and the CEP Presidium were ended by a joint Liturgy in Ukrainian, German and English at the church of Clementy Sheptytsky in Lviv.

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Thus, the slogan and topic of CEP-2019 in Lviv have been defined. Grownup and youth programs have been approved. All that remains is to implement everything at the highest level possible. That is what the Ukrainian organizing committee will deal with during the preparation for this large-scale European religious summit in the summer of 2019.

Photos courtesy of Mark-Bogdan Kalyniak and Lesia Krypyakevych

 

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    • В. Ясеневий | 22 June 2018, 10:44

      Нові розвиває, бо старі ЗАКРИВАЄ. Та закриває більше і частіше...парафії за відсутності вірян закриваються. На жаль.

    • Mauricio | 22 June 2018, 03:42

      Strong and clear points !

    • Mauricio | 22 June 2018, 03:36

      All indicates that Tomos of Autocephaly, restoring canonical status to the legitimate Church of Ukraine, its a matter of days, if not months. God bless Ukraine!

    • Mauricio | 22 June 2018, 03:34

      Moscow servants are not happy these type of news. When a Patriarch receives and bless a group of Christians ¨not belonging¨ to a canonical Church ...

    • В. Ясеневий | 20 June 2018, 22:25

      Первая причина всех проблем - Независимость от москвы-рассеи - УКРАИНЫ... Отсюда и все проблемы...Еще демон-ленин говаривал, что без Украины рассеи не бывать...

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