Christ is Risen!

Truly He has Risen!

In this Easter period the Church asks us to reflect on the things that matter most for us as a community of believers. In this year, 2016, where is the Church going?  Perhaps you may well ask why an Easter message starts with this as a question.  Fundamentally, the purpose of the church is to help people to lead the Christian life by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.  There have been many initiatives recently that raise the issue of Christian life.

Christ Our Pascha, the Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has now been translated into English and will be published soon. I have ordered 2,000 copies for our eparchy. It is my intention to see that every Ukrainian Catholic family has a copy of this catechism for their education in understanding more deeply the faith of our Church. This book has more to it than questions and answers about religion. It offers insights into the spirituality of our tradition by investigating Christian belief, liturgical practices and the ethical standards needed for Christian life.

Last year the Ukrainian Catholic Church held a Sobor in Ivano-Frankivsk which discussed the Church’s program for evangelisation, Vision 2020. On further consideration the Synod of Bishops decided that our Church should continue with its implementation of this program. The theme of the program for this year is Stewardship of Divine Gifts: A Christian Way of Life. All the parishes of this eparchy will participate in the program this year under the direction of their parish clergy with the assistance of lay leaders.

This year is also a jubilee in which the universal church marks the year as a year of mercy. Pope Francis reminds us that our God is one whose name is mercy. Resources have been sent to the parishes that will enable them participate in the events of the Year of Mercy.

On Friday 10th April, Pope Francis released his long awaited Apostolic Constitution. Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). This is his response to the last two years of meetings and synods of bishops held in Rome. Church teaching remains as it always was. Pope Francis has here give the Church a pastoral strategy for every imaginable aspect of family life. It is his desire that families become places for the full development of love. He is clear that the role of clergy is to form consciences not replace them.

May the mercy of Jesus be with you this Easter and may you and your families be blessed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

+Peter