The Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Bishop Bohdan (Dzyuralh) and his deputy Fr. Andriy Khimyak visited Rome on February 24-28.

The main purpose of the trip was to explore opportunities and discuss organizational issues related to the preparation of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held this year at the Pontifical Ukrainian College of St. Josaphat in Rome, the Department of Information of the UGCC reports.

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It referred to the possibility of serving for both bishops in certain parishes of Rome and Italy on September 8, 2019. According to Bishop Bohdan, “such a worship is very important as it gives the members of the Synod the opportunity to better understand the realities of the lives of our faithful in Italy and the pastoral challenges that exist for us in this country, and at the same time, will signal the support of our faithful and clergy on the part of bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.”

The secretary of the Synod of the UGCC familiarized himself with the state of pilgrimage preparation and a program of festivities on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the consecration of St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Rome. The central event of the celebrations will be the Divine Liturgy in the cathedral on September 1, 2019, headed by the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in co-operation with all members of the Synod of Bishops. On this occasion, pilgrims from Ukraine and settlements will be expected in Rome, as well as numerous faithful of the UGCC staying in Italy.

In addition, representatives of the Secretariat of the Synod met with the Council of the Congregation of Sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and discussed preparation for the solemn Liturgy on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth and 100 years of repose in the Lord of the blessed Josaphata Hordashevska. The Liturgy led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav in concelebration with the members of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC will be held on Thursday, September 5th (beginning at 15:00) in the Basilica of St. Mary the Great (Santa Maria Maggiore).

“What we saw and discussed with the leaders of the Ukrainian church institutions in Italy gives rise to hope that the Synod of Bishops in 2019 will be held at a high enough level. Given that the main theme of this year’s Synod is “Communion in the life and testimony of the UGCC,” the conduct of the Synod’s meetings in Rome will be a clear testimony to the unity of the UGCC in its global dimension and confirmation of our communion with the Successor of the Holy Apostle Peter the Holy Father, which is the integral part of our eclectic consciousness and identity,” Bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh) summed up the results of the Rome visit.