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Ukrainian Church
655,564 people attend liturgy every Sunday

Bishop Peter: Not Just Statistics

Over the last 10 years, our Patriarchal Vision 2020 group has been presenting us with a pastoral renewal programme to rejuvenate our church worldwide. After 10 years, the programme has proved to be very beneficial. A new pastoral programme for 2020-2030 is now being prepared.

As part of the 2020 programme worldwide surveys were taken in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Each of the survey results were published. I wish to report only on the 2017 survey, the most recent one. In general, you have to say that the numbers are growing. For example, in 2011 we had 3,301 parishes in the world; in 2017 there were 4,137. Ukraine obviously had the greatest growth.

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Just for your interest, I will now present statistics from the survey as an indication what the numbers in our church are. 3,809 questionnaires were answered. 92% of our parishes in the world. Therefore, the numbers I quote are not absolutely the real numbers in our church, they would be slightly higher (8% more). The response was unbelievable, but the team really made a big effort to get a good response.

Having read these statistics, have a think about what they can say to you and your local parish. How do we compare to the rest of the world.

Our church has 1,789 parish priests and 2,375 parish administrators. These numbers do not include monks and priests who do not have anything to do with parishes. This is a survey only about our parish structures. We do not have numbers on how many priests there actually are in the church. The average age of the clergy is 47 years old. There are 3,322 parish churches. 1,289 parishes are equipped for the disabled. 927 parishes have parish bulletins.

3,026 parishes have catechetical training for young people. There are 9,384 catechists in the church. There are 3,040 lay people and 2,500 priests teaching catechism. Icon painting is held in 88 parishes.

Sermons are preached in 3,523 parishes in Ukrainian, 472 in English, 158 in Portuguese, 50 in Polish, 29 in Russian, 16 in French, 11 in German, 21 in Italian and 2 in Spanish. Bible study is taught in 1,063 parishes with 21,206 people participating. 240,814 people worldwide are being catechized. There are 492 schools teaching catechists.

Sermons are preached in 3,523 parishes in Ukrainian, 472 in English, 158 in Portuguese, 50 in Polish, 29 in Russian, 16 in French, 11 in German, 21 in Italian and 2 in Spanish.

1,081 parishes in the church have daily liturgy. Only 156 parishes in the world have monthly liturgies. Vespers is served in 127 parishes daily. 982 parishes have vespers once a week.

The Julian calendar is used in 3,237 parishes. The Gregorian calendar is used in 508 parishes. In 2017, there were 14,251 weddings in the church. There were 33,495 baptisms. 900 adults were baptised. First confession-40,692 children. There were 38,496 funerals. Parish missions were held in 2,363 parishes. There were 2,725 pilgrimages of various kinds arranged.

There are 4,113 choirs in our church. 345 youth choirs. There are 4,896 cantors. 665 parishes have no cantors. There are 19,466 altar servers. There are 125,593 members of prayer groups. The most popular is the Apostolate of Prayer with 40,606 members. Mothers in Prayer has 39,587 members.

655,564 people attend liturgy every Sunday, 889,823 on major holidays and 1,192,282 people attend Christmas and Easter.

655,564 people attend liturgy every Sunday, 889,823 on major holidays and 1,192,282 people attend Christmas and Easter.

There are 244 military chaplains, 15 seafarers’ chaplains, only 167 military chaplains work in Ukraine. 86 parishes have soup kitchens for the poor. 2,150 parishes visit prisons, 820 parishes work with seniors’ homes, 989 help families, 139 pro-life organizations, 175 parishes work with alcoholics.

There are 330 parish Caritas. 1,467 parishes help other poorer parishes. The war in Ukraine was the cause which prompted the biggest humanitarian aid effort.

There were 841 canonical visitations in the church in 2017. There are parish councils in 2,668 parishes. 2,486 parishes carried out “pastoral planning”. There were 981 religious vocations in the church.

The Vision 2020 programme was used in 3,658 parishes.

There are 408 brotherhoods and 732 parish women’s leagues. The mission group exists in 813 parishes, Ukrainian youth for Christ in 225 parishes, other youth groups in 359 parishes. 720 summer camps were held. 283 parishes share their church with other churches. 536 parishes have common services with other churches. Ecumenical services are held in 487 churches. 61 parishes had conflicts with other churches.

The Vision 2020 programme was used in 3,658 parishes.

Having read these statistics, have a think about what they can say to you and your local parish. How do we compare to the rest of the world.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper

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