September 3, 2017


       The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church began Sunday morning in Lviv, Ukraine with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the historic St. George’s Cathedral. At the majestic Eucharistic liturgy, presided over by the head and father of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, a new auxiliary bishop for the Archeparchy of Philadelphia was consecrated. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Metropolitan Stefan Soroka and Bishop David Motiuk, as according to the Church’s ancient tradition, were the three consecrating bishops for Bishop Andriy Rabiy.

       During his homily at the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude spoke about the newly-ordained bishop and about the theme of the Gospel reading on the parable of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-42). However, his most emphatic moments were reserved to his call to prayer for this year’s Synod of Bishops.

       “Today, we will experience the beginning of the working sessions of the Synod of Bishops of our Church. Present are bishops from the whole world. A Synod is a special occasion. A special event in the life of our Church.” He reminded the Bishops that as those who participate in the fullness of the priesthood of Christ by their episcopal office, they are called to be concerned for their own souls, “and of those of the people entrusted to us so that in due time we will render to the Lord the fruit that is rightfully His.” He went on to explain that the principal and central theme of the Synod will be ‘prayer’. “At our Synod we want to ask our Divine Teacher, and beg of Him as did the Apostles – ‘Teacher, teach us to pray’. We want to understand how does the Ukrainian Catholic Church pray today, both in Ukraine and in the diaspora… how we are to be true teachers and students of authentic prayer… how we are to care for the prayer of our Church? Just as we know that a person that does not breath – is dead; so it is that the Christian soul that does not pray – dies. A Church that is not a community of prayers, alas, begins to die. Let us ask our Heavenly Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit that care for our Church that they would fill us with the strength of prayer…. That every son and daughter of our Church would always feel and understand that, above all, their Church prays for them and this is one of the most important ways to care for the vineyard of Christ today. May this time, the time of the Synodal activity, be a time of grace and renewal. With our full lungs let us breath with prayer! I ask that the whole body of the Church in Ukraine and in the diaspora, all of our laity and clergy and monks and religious – pray for our Synod and its activity during these 10 days. May we as ‘a Church that prays’ serve God and our people in Ukraine and in the diaspora in an appropriate way.”

See the full sermon of His Beatitude here:

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