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Catechetical Commission /©UGCC
Catechetical Commission /©UGCC

Bishop Peter’s address to Heads of Catechetical Commissions

The Synod of Bishops was held in Briukhovychi, Ukraine in September 2018. The main theme of the Synod was dedicated to the Word of God and catechization.

Heads of Catechetical Commissions

Catechists

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear colleagues in the catechetical service!

I sincerely greet you on the Day of the catechist! In the name of our Church, thank you for your service.

I am including in this letter the main initiatives of the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission for this year.

The Synod of Bishops which was held on the topic of the Word of God and Catechesis has just finished. The Synod carefully examined the fundamental questions with regards to our Catechism – “Christ Our Pascha” and analyzed the state of catechetical service, and the formation of catechists in our Church.

Read more:

The Catechism “Christ – Our Pascha” which first came out in 2011, is very effective in our Church. Translations into Polish, German, France, and Italian are being worked on, and it will soon be published in Spanish. Our Catechism unites our Church throughout the world and allows us to form our identity.

In their resolutions and in the Post Synodal pastoral letter, the Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church reflected on the state of the proclamation of the Word of God and catechetical teaching in our Church. They have proposed in their norms, that having properly read the signs of the times, we must unite all our efforts to fulfill our very important mission of catechetical service. The Post Synodal letter will be published soon. I invite you to carefully read this document of the Synod, as it is very important and timely for us, in that it calls on us to consider new methods of proclaiming the Word of God and the transferal of faith. We are very pleased that after much hard work and prayers, the Synod has for the very first time dedicated a pastoral letter on the Word of God and catechesis.

This requires new ways of thinking, the search of new methods of education in faith in order to help our people in their current circumstances.

The Synod of Bishops this year has dedicated much time to catechization of different age groups, especially accenting the role of the family and the parish in the churching of an individual.

We are experiencing the fact that fewer and fewer children return to catechization after the “First Confession”. Millions of people have left Ukraine and are now living in the diaspora. It is an obligation of the Church to follow these people and serve them where they are living. This requires new ways of thinking, the search of new methods of education in faith in order to help our people in their current circumstances.

The Youth Catechism “We are walking with Christ” will soon be sent out to our eparchies so that we can become familiar with it and so that we all can contribute to its development. I ask you to read it and use it in your apostolate with our young people. We would also like to hear your comments on it and proposals to improve it.

The Word of God and the Biblical apostolate. We all must deepen our knowledge of Sacred Scripture; more attention is to be given to the training of leaders of Biblical groups. Recently we have been developing programs plus commentaries on separate Gospels. This year we are working on the reading the Gospel of St. Luke. In October we will present a program of reading plus a commentary on this Gospel. Please, make sure, that families and biblical groups pray with Sacred Scripture.

Also we can inform you that we have just published vol.3 (of 6) of the International Biblical Commentary. This is yet another tool in our learning of the Word of God.

At the Synod, after 25 years of service due to my upcoming retirement, I have presented my intention to retire from the Catechetical Commission. It is with the fondest of memories that I remember my work with all of you in our eparchies and am very grateful for everything that we as a Church have been able to accomplish through prayer and hard work in the last 25 years. We can say that the catechetical apostolate has grown and matured throughout our Church.

A lot has been accomplished, but the possibilities of new and better service demand that we are able to respond to the challenges of the future.

I especially want to thank sr. Luiza Ciupa, SMI, who for the last 22 years has selflessly worked in our Church in the catechetical field. I want to thank God for all the colleagues in the catechetical service I have met over the past years.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will bless our new team, the new head of the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission, Bishop David Motiuk and Mr. Nazar Duda, the new Vice Chair of the Commission.

I sincerely welcome the newly elected head of the Patriarchal Catechetical Commission Very Rev. David Motiuk. He is the Eparch of our Edmonton eparchy, a doctor of the canon law and he has already many years of distinguished service in the catechetical field. I ask all eparchies to work with him for the greater glory of God.

We will all continue work with you catechists, so that our Church may be able to recognize the challenges that our mission will face in the coming years. A lot has been accomplished, but the possibilities of new and better service demand that we are able to respond to the challenges of the future.

Again I greet you on this Day of Catechist and call you to fruitful further cooperation.

With pray and respect.

May God bless you! + Peter (Stasiuk)

Head of Patriarchal Catechetical Commission

Lviv, September 14, 2018

 

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