XXX Colloquium of European parishes in Lviv ended with a Party of Nations

1 August 2019, 13:16 | Reports | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Olha Khvorostovska

The Party of Nations united various national cultures at the XXX Colloquium of European Parishes in Lviv on its final day. During three working days of the Colloquium, the participants listened to informative reports, discussed them in working groups, got acquainted with the life of the UGCC and the challenges it faces in this difficult time for Ukraine, visited parishes and saw how they live. There were many discoveries, sincere amazement and even small but so bright miracles.

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"This is the first time we have to hold such a significant event, besides, it's an anniversary. Therefore, there were some challenges, but we feel God's blessing and guardianship, which are evidenced by small miracles that we have experienced, - says the member of the organizing committee, Deputy Chairman of the St. Volodymyr Foundation Volodymyra Lesia Krypiakevych. - For example, we had to fax important documents, but could not find where it can be done. I went up to a man in a hall and asked who I could turn to. He took a key out of his pocket and opened a necessary office and we quickly sent a letter. He turned out to be on vacations, but at that very moment he went in for five minutes to do his business. Or another story: during visits to the parishes, in the St. George Cathedral there was a group from Catalonia and they had difficult times dealing with translation until a priest, who lived for a long time in Barcelona and knew Catalan, came. He happened to be in the Cathedral at the right time and volunteered to be our interpreter. Thanks to him, everything went just fine."

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And in the evening, July 31, on the last working day of the Colloquium, the participants took part in the traditional Party of Nations, which, as they said, was a real party and they were impressed by it a lot. Many participants came to the party in vyshyvankas, traditionally embroidered Ukrainian shirts: Ukrainians, as usual, wore festive outfits, the Romanian delegation showed theirs and many guests from other countries have already managed to buy vyshyvankas too, as a souvenir from Ukraine.

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The organizers decided to move away from the usual officialdom and make the party come alive, so they invited those present to be participants, not spectators.

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"First of all, the task was to present culture, but not academic, official culture; the participants of the meeting had the opportunity to get acquainted with it during numerous excursions and walks around the city; the task was to present the culture of everyday life -  how Ukrainians have fun, what wonderful songs and dances we have. ­Therefore, we decided to invite the folk band "Virly" to play popular Ukrainian melodies, sing our favourite songs," says Ulyana Shchurko, the head of the organizing committee from Ukraine.

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Therefore, folk music amused guests, attracted them to traditional Ukrainian dances like mlyn, arcan, polka, and they happily responded, so the party was a success.

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In addition, foreign delegations had an opportunity to present their cultures. The Belgians were the first: they sang a song about how they are proud of being Belgians and what distinguishes them from other nations. Therefore, the Swiss delegation presented everyone a folk song in French, one of the languages of the Confederation, so they were singing along with the Belgians and the French, and all the others were repeating the movements.

Everyone remembered the presentation of the Romanian delegation. Father and daughter sang two Romanian folk songs. Beautiful voices, wonderful performance and amazing melody!

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Later on, the Italian delegation sang a song about peace and a few more favourite songs of theirs.

And then it was time for delight and surprise: the guys-seminarians who helped with the organizational issues of the meeting, worked at the kitchen and were elegant waiters in the dining room - they offered to sing for the participants of the Colloquium. Two folk songs in their performance became a real highlight of the Party of Nations. Participants listened to them with delight, then gave a storm of applause and both collectively and privately said a lot of warm words of gratitude for such an artistic performance.

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"It's just awesome! I did not expect that it would be so fun, with ease. I really liked Ukrainian dances and folk music. And your seminarians - this is something extraordinary, how they were transformed: they were running with trays, and then they began to sing so powerfully that it took our breath away, touched our hearts," says Silvana Arena from Malta.

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"I don't understand the language and I can only guess what these songs are about, but they are wonderful, especially while being performed by seminarians, they are real professionals," - enthusiastically says Konstantin Gerbrich, Germany.

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"It's majestic! It's just an extraordinary party, it's a good opportunity to get to know each other better, to feel each other, and this is the most important thing we expected from this meeting,"  - Doris Kisters shares her impressions.

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Besides, there were presentations of other delegations, words of gratitude, and there was a lot of friendly communication, sparkles of sincerity in the eyes, real interest in each other.

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Today, on the final day of the Colloquium, participants will follow a cultural programme once again; its highlight is a visit to Zhovkva, an ancient historical centre, and Krekhiv, a religious centre.

The next Colloquium will be held in two years, in 2021 in Romania. It will be organized in the city of Timișoara.

Angelo Pop, vicar general of the diocese of Lugoj with the centre in Timișoara, Romanian Greek-Catholic Church:

— It was very important for me to take part in this Colloquium. The topic was very well developed. My heart was deeply touched with the modern interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, which teaches that in reality each of us can be both a younger and an elder son, but first of all we should be a merciful father, and I say this as a priest and as a father of the family. Moreover, it was important for me to see the realia of the life of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, its activities. We visited a small parish where I saw its happy future because there were many little children. In Romania, in small towns, there are few little children in parishes, most believers are older people. And here I have seen a lot of children and the youth, their activity, they were as numerous as the elders. Your land is very beautiful, and the Seminary is just wonderful, I see a piece of Heavens here.

We have seen not only the theological, pastoral side of life in Ukraine but also cultural, because the culture is part of our life, it moves the faith forward.  I have already been to different countries, I really enjoyed how Ukrainians presented their culture.

We have our plans for the future Colloquium, which we are now presenting and discussing with the praesidium. Besides, we have to wait for the results of this Colloquium: we have surveyed the participants, so we have to study the answers and think about the future on this basis. But my idea is that the motto of the XXXI Colloquium of European parishes should be "Our Life and Our Faith".

One of our bishops-martyrs, whom Pope Francis beatified while being recently in Romania, cardinal Iuliu Hossu, in 1950, when our bishops were closed under house arrest in an Orthodox temple, in response to the Orthodox Bishop, who persuaded them to go to Orthodoxy and get freedom, said: "Our faith is our life, and we can not separate our faith from life." I would really like to see the following Colloquium built upon these words.

Photos: Stefan Dmytryshyn

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    • Ігор Затятий | 20 August 2019, 16:03

      Писка замурувати тій Натаньяховій за те, що розпалює юдофобію, плюючи на землю подарований хліб

    • barni | 17 August 2019, 20:22

      Та ні "Нінєль-міхуєль" я був неароджений простою УКРАЇНСЬКОЮ СЕЛЯНКОЮ, в простій українській хаті, з діда-прадіда правовослвній родині(на відміну від тебе). Електика в мене в хаті є. А

    • enzian | 17 August 2019, 16:18

      Мішка, пий зеленку і закусюй бинтом. Добре допомагає від москвославія головного мозку.

    • Михаил | 17 August 2019, 14:24

      Вам пора лечиться электричеством! Во всех ваших комментариях, вы постоянно говорите гадости про Католическую Церковь и даже про самого Папу. Вас что, в детстве уронили с третьего этажа или просто

    • barni | 15 August 2019, 19:37

      Що ж, поблагослови Господи, ВИБРАНИЙ БОГОМ НАРОД !!!

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