Catechesis

«In unified conciliar fashion, the Church professes Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the God-bearing One (Ukrainian: Bohorodytsia)or Mother of Godand Ever-Virgin; and the Church venerates her in the feasts of the liturgical year and in icons. At Marian feasts, the Church prayerfully commemorates the saving events of the life of the Mother of God: the Conception by Saint Anne, the Mother of God’s Nativity, her Entrance into the Temple, the Annunciation, the Encounter in the Temple, and her Dormition. The Church sees in her the perfect model for our growth in holiness.» 

(CatechismsoftheUkrainianCatholicChurch, ChristourPascha, 311)

 

May the Lord open our hearts to the needs of the poor, the defenseless, those who knock on our door to be recognized as a person.

May God who remembers us, God who heals our wounded memories by anointing them with hope, God who is near to lift us up from within, help us to build up the good and to console hearts.

 It takes more strength to repair than to build, to start anew than to begin, to be reconciled than to get along. This is the strength that God gives us. 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Saying “yes” to the Lord means having the courage to embrace life with love as it comes, with all its fragility and smallness, with all its contradictions.

 The example of Saint John the Baptist invites us to be a Church that is always at the service of the Word of God; a Church that does not want to draw attention to itself, but to Jesus Christ.

 The Beatitudes are not for supermen, but for those who confront the challenges and trials of every day.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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The bishop, who presides in love,ordains for ministry his assistants  – the priests (presbyters). “Between presbyters and bishops there was no great difference. Both had undertaken the office of teachers and presiders in the Church; and what the apostle Paul has said concerning bishops is applicable to presbyters” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Timothy 11, 1). The apostolic role of the priest consists in acting as the head of the Eucharistic community on behalf of the bishop, expressing communion with the bishop by commemorating his name, and ministering for the sanctification and salvation of the people of God entrusted to him.  

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha,296) 

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May the Holy Spirit lead us to live more fully as children of God and as brothers and sisters. 

 Holy Spirit, harmony of God, You who transform fear into trust and hard-heartedness into gift, come into us!

 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity tells us that we do not have a solitary God up there in heaven, far away; no, He is the Father who gave us his Son, who became man like us, and who sends his own Spirit to be even closer to us.  

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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The Source of all grace is God the Father. From the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit, the grace of God descends upon all creation and sustains its existence. By the power of grace, being has been wisely ordered, the laws of nature have been established, and the beauty of the universe and of humankind has been designed. Of all that was created, only humankind, called to life in God, has been granted the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, the Treasury of Blessings, who grants God’s grace in a variety of gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12, 4-13). In this cooperation (in Greek,synergia) the natural powers(in Greek,energiai) of humankind are united with the divine and uncreated gift of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 266) 

 Джерелом Благодаті є Бог Отець. Від Отця, через Сина в Дусі Святому благодать Божа сходить на все творіння і підтримує його існування. Силою благодаті премудро укладено буття, встановлено закони природи, написано красу всесвіту і людини. З-поміж усього творіння лише людина, покликана до життя у Бозі, обдарована здатністю співдіяти зі Святим Духом, Скарбом дібр, який дарує Божу благодать у різних дарах (Послання до Корінтян 12, 4-13). У цій співдії (синергії)природні сили (енергії)людини поєднуються з божественним, нествореним даром благодаті Святого Духа.

 (Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 266)

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The Holy Spirit loves to shape unity from the most beautiful and harmonious diversity.

Let us choose the way of Jesus. It is a way that demands effort, but the way that brings peace.

When the Holy Spirit abides in our hearts, it is he who makes us understand that the Lord is near and takes care of us. 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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In the assembly of all the saints, the first place belongs to the most holy Mother of God. She is the “icon of the Church, the symbol and anticipation of humanity transfigured by grace, the model and the unfailing hope for all those who direct their steps towards the heavenly Jerusalem”. (John Paul II, Light of the East).  Standing together with her before the heavenly throne are “the apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and every righteous soul that finished this life in faith” (see Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom , Anaphora). They are all living icons of God, witnesses and bearers of the new creation. They stand before God in unceasing prayer; and they are present among us by the grace of God in their relics and icons.     

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha,310) 

У соборі святих першість належить Пресвятій Богородиці. Вона є “іконою Церкви, символом і первістком переображеного благодаттю людства, взірцем і твердою надією для всіх, хто прямує до небесного Єрусалиму” (Іван Павло ІІ, Апостольский лист OrientaleLumen{Світло Сходу}.Разом із нею предстоять перед небесним Престолом “апостоли, євангелисти, мученики, ісповідники, посники й усяка праведна душа, що спочила у вірі” (Божественна Літургія святого отця нашого Йоана Золотоустого, Анафора).  Усі вони є живими іконами Божими, свідками та носіями нового творіння. Вони предстоять перед Богом у своїх безначальних молитвах і присутні серед нас Божою благодаттю у своїх мощах та іконах.

 (Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 310)

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If you trust in the goodness of the Lord, you will understand the meaning of events and the purpose of your life.

 

In our lives there are crosses, there are difficult moments. But in these difficult moments we feel that the Holy Spirit helps us to go forward and overcome the difficulties.

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Let us remain united to the Lord Jesus through listening to the Word, through the sacraments, a life of fraternity and service to others.

 It is the Spirit who is the protagonist of Christian life, the Holy Spirit, who is with us, accompanies us, transforms us, it is victorious with us. 

 PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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God proposes Himself, He never imposes Himself; He enlightens us, but never blinds us.

 

Mary, Virgin of Fatima, we are certain that each one of us is precious in your eyes and that nothing in our hearts has estranged you. Guard our life with your embrace, guide us all on the path to holiness.

 

God has placed this plan in our hearts and in all creation: to love Him, our brothers and sisters, and the whole world, and to find true happiness in this love.

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Faith must lead us believers to see other persons as our brothers and sisters that we need to support and love.

May each of us, wherever we may be, in all that we do, be able to say: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”.

 PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

Christ is risen, and with Him our creative hope arises to face the problems of our day, because we know we are not alone.

 Let us welcome Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives. In this way, we will draw His transforming power upon all creation as well.

 The martyrs of all times, with their fidelity to Christ, tell us that injustice does not have the last word: we can continue to hope in the risen Lord.

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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By death on a cross, Christ descends into Hades, to the place of the dead. In Christ’s descent into Hades, the Church hymns the power of the Resurrection: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (1 Cor 15, 55). The icon of the decent of Christ into Hades portrays him in the bright garments of the new creation. The light-bearing Christ dispels the gloom of death, scatters the darkness of Hades in order to find Adam and Eve. Together with Adam, Christ brings forth out of the shadow of death those who awaited him, the righteous ones of the Old Testament.  

 (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha,230)

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Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive! This experience is at the heart of the Christian message.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Dear parishioners,

May the risen Lord renew your hearts, give you peace and joy!

May He bestow upon you His heavenly blessings.

Have a blessed Easter celebration!

Fr. Vasyl

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Дорогі парафіяни, нехай воскрреслий Господь Ісус Христос обдаровує вас миром та радістю і нехай благословить вас Своїми дарами!

 

У Христі, отець Василь

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The Church begins to celebrate the Resurrection as victory over death with the commemoration of the raising of Lazarus, during which Jesus reveals himself to be “the Resurrection and the Life”. “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (Jn. 11, 25). The Floral Triodion begins with Lazarus Saturday. It leads into Holy Week, which bears the good news about Christ’s victory over sin and death through his Passion and the Cross. The sign of the imminent victory is the entrance of Christ, the God-man, into Jerusalem. “As man he wept for Lazarus, and as God he resurrected him from the dead. As man he sat upon the donkey, and as God they cried out to him: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Ilarion, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Sermon on Law and Grace, 26). 

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 221)

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 *Lent is the time to rediscover our way back to life. The Lord is the destination of our journey in the world: the course must be set on Him.    

 *Almsgiving helps us emerge from the foolishness of living to accumulate everything for ourselves, under the illusion of securing a future that is not ours.

 *Lenten fasting frees us from our attachment to things, from the worldliness that anaesthetizes the heart.

 *Lent invites us to look upward with prayer, which frees us from a horizontal, flat life, where we find time only for our ego, but forget God.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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If you believe in God you must try to live justly with everyone, according to the golden rule: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7, 12)

God’s love is the only power capable of making all things new.

Christians promote peace, starting with the community in which they live.  

At the beginning of Lent, it would do us good to ask for the grace to preserve the memory of all that the Lord has done in our lives, of how He has loved us.

Prayer gives consistency and vitality to everything we do.

Sometimes we may feel we are alone in facing difficulties. But, even if He doesn’t intervene immediately, the Lord walks by our side and, if we keep going forward, He will open up a new path.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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FEBRUARY – NATIONAL DAY OF MARRIAGE

EVERY YEAR IN FEBRUARY WE CELEBRATE THE NATIONAL DAY OF MARRIAGE. THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE, CELEBRATE AND STRENGTHEN MARRIAGE. POPE FRANCIS’ EXHORTATION “THE JOY OF LOVE,” ABOUT MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE.

“The word of God tells us that the family is entrusted to a man, a woman and their children, so that they may become a communion of persons in the image of the union of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (no. 29). “Every family should look to the icon of the Holy Family of Nazareth” (no. 30).

“No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole” (no. 52).

“The sacrament [of marriage] is a gift given for the sanctification and salvation of the spouses” (no. 72). “The Church is a family of families, constantly enriched by the lives of all those domestic churches” (no. 87).

“In our families, we must learn to imitate Jesus’ own gentleness in our way of speaking to one another” (no. 100).

“Love opens our eyes and enables us to see, beyond all else, the great worth of a human being” (no. 128).                            

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PRAYER FOR MARRIED COUPLES

Almighty and eternal God, You blessed the union of husband and wife so that we might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on us. Renew our marriage covenant. Increase your love in us, and strengthen our bond of peace so that, [with our children], we may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing. For are a merciful and loving God and we give glory to You, Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen

МОЛИТВА ЗА ПОДРУЖЖЯ

Всемогутній і вічний Боже, Ти поблагословив союз чоловіка і жінки, щоб ми стали образом єдності Христа з Його Церквою. Поглянь на нас ласкаво, віднови наш шлюб. Обдаруй нас своєю любов’ю та зміцни наш союз в мирі, щоб ми [з нашими дітьми], завжди втішалися даром твого благословення. Бо ти благий і Чоловіколюбець Бог наш, і ми Тобі славу віддаємо, Отцю, і Сину, і Святому Духові, нині і повсякчас, і на віки вічні. Амінь.

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We all need to be healed, and we can all heal others if we are humble and meek: with a good word, with patience, with a glance.

 

Prayer purifies the heart from turning in on itself. Prayer of the heart restores fraternity.

 

The secret to navigating life well is to invite Jesus on board. The helm of life should be given to Him, so that He can direct the route.  

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Meekness and tenderness: these human virtues seem small, but they can overcome the most difficult conflicts.

 Friends, Jesus teaches us to believe. Seek out and listen to the voices tat encourage you to look ahead, not those that pull you down.

 PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

The Church believes that there is only one unique Revelation of God to humankind, the fullness of which was brought to us and given by Jesus Christ, so that no other Revelation exists {Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum (The Word of God), 4}.God’s Revelation continues to be transmitted by the Church, the Body of Christ, that we may continue to grow in faith and knowledge of God.   

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 28)

 

Церква вірує, що існує тільки одне єдине Боже Об’явлення людям, повноту якого приніс нам і передав Ісус Христос, так що іншого Об’явлення не існує. {ІІ Ватиканський Собор, Догматична Конституція про Боже Об’явлення DeiVerbum(Боже Слово), 4. Боже Об’явлення продовжує передаватися в Церкві – Тілі Христовому, щоб ми зростали у вірі й богопізнанні.

 (Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,28)

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Saying “yes” to God’s love is the first step to being happy, and to making many other people happy.

Prayer from a humble heart is heard by God.

           PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Virtue of the Month for Families: Honesty

Honesty is one of the foundational stones of any relationship, whether it be with family, friends or neighbors. Building a relationship without honesty is like to building a house over a sink hole. Sooner or later, being dishonest with another, will be found out and cause a relationship to sink into an abyss, so destroyed and unrepairable that the relationship will never be restored. But even more harmful is when we are not honest with ourselves. When we ignore whom we really are with the image of who we think we are or hope to be.  This could be due to egotism, when we need to project ourselves to be better than others, which lowers our worth, while trying to lower the worth of others in order to help us falsely believe that we are better than they.  Being dishonest with our self, when we blame others for our failures.  By doing this, we pass up the opportunity to work on our weaknesses, that only leads to repetition of the same failure.  When we cheat in order to win, we always lose, no matter the outcome of the game. To have strong, lasting and meaningful relationship, “honesty is the best policy” should be more than just our motto, it should be our way of life.

 

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Out of love for us, the Lord reveals to us his Law as the “path of life” (see Psalm 15 {16}, 11). We are called to walk along this path which leads from the slavery of sin to the freedom of God’s children. This paschal character of God’s Law indicates the goal and substance of the Christian calling. Therefore, God’s Law in no way contradicts human freedom; rather, it grants freedom through the grace of the Holy Spirit: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. With my open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments” (Psalm 118 {119}, 130-131).  

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 823)

Господь із любові до нас відкриває нам Свій Закон як “дорогу життя”, якою ми покликані виходити з рабства гріха до свободи дітей Божих. Такий пасхальний характер Божого Закону вказує на мету і зміст християнського покликання. Тому моральний закон ніяк не суперечить свободі людини, а навпаки, завдяки благодаті Святого Духа дарує її: “Слова твої, відкрившись, просвітлюють, дають розуму простим. Широко відкриваю уста мої, прагну, бо я велінь твоїх бажаю” (Псалом 119, 130-131).

 (Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,823)

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The Spirit of God speaks freely to each person through feelings and thoughts. The Spirit cannot be confined with simple reasoning, but must be welcomed with the heart!

 

Don’t let the sufferings you see frighten you. Place them before the Crucifix and the Eucharist from which we draw patient and compassionate love.

 

Baptism is the best gift we have received. Through it, we belong to God and we possess the joy of salvation.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

The spirit of the world is conquered with the spirit of faith: believing that God is really in the brother and sister who are close to me.

 Do not be afraid to weep when you encounter difficult situations: tears are drops that irrigate life. Tears of compassion purify hearts and feelings.

 Love does not tolerate indifference; love is compassionate. Love means putting your heart on the line for others.

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

May Mary, Mother of God, protect and accompany us during this new year and bring peace of her Son into our hearts and world.

 

If we live as Jesus taught us, and in harmony with what we proclaim, our witness will bear fruit.

 

To make peace is to imitate God, who wants to make peace with us: He sent us his Son, and He has forgiven us.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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At the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan, the public ministry of the Saviour begins (see Mt 3; Mk 1). John the Baptist points to Christ in the Jordan and identifies Him as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1, 29). During the baptism of Jesus, the Most Holy Trinity is made known: “Worship of the Trinity was revealed; the voice of the Father bore witness to You, naming you the beloved Son, and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the world’s certainty” (Troparion, Feast of Theophany). “The voice of the Father” is the voice of the Heavenly Father, and the “Spirit in the form of a dove” is the Holy Spirit, who descends upon Christ, revealing him to be the Son of God. For this reason, Church tradition refers to the Baptism of Jesus Christ as the Theophany (from Greek, meaning divine appearance). 

 

            (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha,197)

 

Let us welcome God’s love in the Christ Child, and let us commit ourselves to making the world more humane and worthy for the children of today and tomorrow.

 

Looking at Jesus we see the face of the God who is Love, and we learn to recognize Him in the faces of our brothers and sisters. 

 

Even when we pray alone, we pray together with all the people of God.

 

This is the first step in order to grow on our journey of faith: listening. Before speaking, listen.

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

Joy, prayer and gratitude are three ways that prepare us to experience Christmas in an authentic way.

 

Our life spreads light when it is given in service. The secret of joy is living to serve         

                   PopeFrancis@Pontifex

 

“Saying or doing?” Am I a Christian of words or deeds? “Sand or rock?” Am I building my life on the rock of God, or on the sand of worldliness? “High or low?” Is my life inspired by the Magnificat?

This Advent make yourself small, make yourself humble, make yourself a servant of others, and the Lord will give you the ability to understand how to make peace.

                                                                 PopeFrancis@Pontifex

We cannot truly follow Jesus when we are weighed down by things, because if the heart is crowded with other goods, there will be no room for the Lord, who will become just one thing among others.

 Let us ask the Lord for the grace of being generous, so that our hearts may be opened and we may become kinder.

 None of us can survive without mercy. We all have need for forgiveness. 

                           PopeFrancis@Pontifex

«The Mystery of God’s Life, “the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations” (Col 1, 26), was revealed to humankind in the Incarnate Word of God. In the same way, the Church of Christ, the mystical Body of Christ, becomes visibly manifest in self-governing Churches. It is in these, and formed out of them, that the one and unique Catholic Church exists».  (II Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 23)

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 285)

 

Таїнство Божого життя – «тайна, захована від віків та поколінь»(Послання до Колосян 1, 26) – було явлене людям у воплоченому Слові Божому. Подібно і Христова Церква – таїнственне Тіло Христа – видимо являється в помісних Церквах, «у яких і з яких існує одна і єдина Соборна Церква». (ІІ Ватиканський Собор, Догматична Конституція про Церкву – Світло Народів, 23).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,285)

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If you want to listen to the Lord’s voice, set out on the journey, live out your search. The Lord speaks to those who search.

 

Faith is life: it is living in the love of God who has changed our lives. Faith has to do with encounter, not theory. 

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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    Praying is not like using a magic wand. Prayer requires commitment, constancy and determination.

   Spend time before the Lord in contemplation, and do everything possible for the Lord at the service of others. Contemplation and service: this is our path of life.

   Each of us is the wounded man, and the Good Samaritan is Jesus, who approached us and took care of us.

 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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Glory to Jesus Christ!Slava Isusu Khrystu!               September 18, 2018

Dear parents, 

Our 2018/2019– (K – Gr. 8) Parish Catechetical Programwill begin on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 11:00AM. We will be meeting in the Parish Hall (School Building) for orientation, to collect the registration forms and to get to know each other.

Let us consider how important the Catechetical teaching is in helping children understand their faith and live it fruitfully at different stages in their lives. To help your children to get to know God is the primary responsibility of you, the parents! The Church supports you in this endeavor by providing regular catechetical programs during the year. It is imperative that you as parents give this opportunity to your children to grow up in a Christian way at home and also by attending church on Weekends. The following is our schedule: Saturdays, 4:00PM – Sunday Vigil Liturgy (English); Sundays, 8:00AM (English) and 9:30AM – (Ukrainian).

If for any reasons you are unable to bring your children to our religion (catechetical) classes on Sundays, please make sure you attend one of the Divine Liturgy on a weekly basis as mentioned above! Our parish community will be grateful for your presence and prayerful support!

We all live today in a very secularized and distracting world. This means that many people choose to live their lives without a spiritual and prayerful relationship with God. The reality is that without God we are unable to create a better world, both for ourselves and others!For this reason we have to take this issue seriously, because our parental instinct leads us toward wishing happiness for our children, peace of heart and mind, and that they be good people when they become adults. But how can this happen if many parents today choose to stay away from Church, and thus from God Himself? The fact is that God is the ultimate source of all these good things that we wish to our children! Therefore, for this and many other reasons, I personally and humbly invite you, to attend our church services. You will see the difference God can make in your life! Therefore, I want to thank those who already partake in church services and events, and who are an example to all of us on how we must strive to live as Christians.

If you choose to enroll your children to our program, which I strongly urge you to do, please know that our Catechetical classes will take place on Sundays from 11:00AM to 12:00PM.

Please complete the registration form and bring it with you on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018. If you have any questions please email me or call me at (315) 252-5573.

Also, please share the content of this letter with other families and your friends, whom I may not know yet. Invite them to enroll their children in our catechetical program and/or come to church with you. Thank you for your help and God bless you! You are all in my prayers!

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Goodness is loving and never imposes itself. It is a choice.

It takes effort to always do good… The road to holiness is not for the lazy!!

When I am merciful, I am a true child of the Father, because the Father is merciful.

Mary our Mother knows the joys and difficulties that we experience along our journey.                                 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

The love of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, and makes us able to love.

Jesus came down on earth so that we could go up to heaven: this is the mystery of the Cross.                                               

 PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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We Christians do not have a product to sell, we communicate Life.

To pray is the first missionary task of every Christian. It is also the most effective.

Dear Mothers, be like Saint Monica and never give up. Pray unceasingly for your children!

Our world needs a revolution of love! Let that revolution begin with you and your families!

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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The primary context in which faith is transmitted is the family. Parents form their children in the faith by the example of their lives and the words of their prayer. In teaching the Gospel and witnessing to it, parents become the first catechists for their children. As they raise children in a Christian manner, parents create in their family a special atmosphere, one of common prayer before icons and the observance of Sundays and feast days.

  (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 67)

 Першим середовищем передавання віри є сім’я. Батьки виховують у вірі своїх дітей прикладом життя і словом молитви. Вони навчають дітей Євангелія і свідчать його своїм життям, стаючи для них першими катехитами. По-християнськи виховуючи дітей, батьки створюють у сім’ї особливу атмосферу спільної молитви перед іконами, святкування неділь і свят.

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,67)

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The Family is an icon of God: the bond between a man and a woman generates life and communion.

 

The Family is the cradle oflife and the school of love and acceptance. It is a window thrown open to the mystery of God.

 

We must protect the Family. Our future depends on it.

 

 The Family is where hope is forged.

 

By embracing God’s love, we change the world and transform history.

 

                                                PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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(…) Related to the feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God is the feast of the Conception of Saint Anna when she conceived the Most Holy Mother of God. This feast is also called the Immaculate Conception of the Most Holy Mother of God (December 9/22, nine months before her Nativity). Since in her Dormition the Mother of God “did not abandon the world”, her “standing before us in the Church” and her unfailing intercession for humankind before her Son are expressed in the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God (October 1/14). In the Dormition, the Mother of God was bodily taken up to heaven. However, she left us her precious relics – her robe and her sash – as “a powerful safeguard” for her faithful children. These relics are venerated in the feast of the Placing of the Precious Robe of Our Most Holy Lady in the Church at Blacherne in Constantinople (July 2/15 and Placing of the Precious Sash (August 31/September 13).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha,576, b)

Зі святом Різдва Богородиці пов’язане свято Зачаття святої Анни, коли зачала Пресвяту Богородицю, або Непорочне зачаття Пресвятої Богородиці (9/22 грудня – за дев’ять місяців до її Різдва). Оскільки в Успенні Богородиця «світу не залишила», її предстояння в Церкві та її неустанне заступництво за людство перед своїм Сином виражене у святі Покрова Богородиці (1/14 жовтня). В Успенні Богородиця була переставлена з тілом до неба, однак залишила свої святощі – ризу і пояс – як «могутнє забороло» для вірних дітей. Ці святощі вшановують у свята Покладення ризи Пресвятої Владичиці нашої Богородиці у Влахерні (2/15 липня) і Покладення пояса Пресвятої Владичиці нашої Богородиці (31 серпня/13 вересня).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,576, b)

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Mary, Mother of tenderness who is always near, teach us how to live and have faith.

 Still today there are so many martyrs, so many who are persecuted for the love of Christ. They are the real strength of the Church!

 Thanks to the gift of the Eucharist, our lives too become “bread broken” for our brothers and sisters.

 Charity is the most effective form of witness, because in it people see the love of God. 

PopeFrancis@Pontifex

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With particular love the Church venerates the most Blessed Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary. She is inseparably tied to the salvific work of her Son. In the course of the yearly cycle, besides the feasts of the Mother of God (the Encounter and Annunciation), we celebrate her Nativity (September 8/21), her Entrance into the Temple (November 21/December 4), and her Dormition (August 15/28).

The Nativity of the Mother of God is the beginning of our salvation, the Entrance is its proclamation, and her Dormition is a sign of its fulfillment. (…)

       (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 576, a)

Церква з особливою любов’ю вшановує Преблагословенну Богородицю і Приснодіву Марію, яка нерозривно поєднана зі спасенним ділом її Сина. Протягом річного кола, крім уже згаданих свят Богородиці (Стрітення і Благовіщення), святкуємо її Різдво (8/21 вересня), Введення у храм (21 листопада/4 грудня) та Успення (15/22 серпня). Від Різдва Богородиці почалося наше спасіння, у Введенні – його проповідання, а в Успенні – знак його звершення. (…)

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 576, a)

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Praying together, walking together, working together: this is the way that leads to Christian unity.

A person’s dignity does not depend on them being a citizen, a migrant, or a refugee. Saving the life of someone fleeing war and poverty is an act of humanity.

We encounter Jesus in those who are poor, rejected, or refugees. Do not let fear get in the way of welcoming our neighbour in need.

Choosing to follow Christ helps build a more just, more friendly, more humane society, that is closer to the heart of God.

Let us share the journey of refugees and migrants with concrete gestures of solidarity.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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Love is always at the service of others. Because love is seen in actions, not words.

Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, and war.

Never tire of encountering Jesus in prayer, in listening to the Word of God, and in receiving the Eucharist.

The Holy Spirit gives us the strength we need to achieve holiness in the midst of our everyday lives.

Let us share without fear the journey of migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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The divine love by which the Christian loves their neighbour, is selfless and sacrificial. “It does not insist on its own way” (see 1 Cor. 13, 4-7). This love manifests itself in the capacity to love even one’s enemies (see Mt. 5, 44-45). It is precisely in this kind of love that a Christian reveals the face of the loving God who saves sinners through his love, and reconciles them to himself, transforming them into believers justified in Christ (see Rom. 5, 10-11).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 848)
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Божественна любов, якою християнин любить ближнього, є безкорисливою, жертовною і такою, що “не шукає свого” (див. 1 Кр. 13, 4-7). Вона виявляється у здатності любити навіть ворогів (Мт 5, 44-45). Саме в такій любові християнин показує обличчя люблячого Бога, Який Своєю любов’ю спасає грішника, примирює його із Собою та змінює його на віруючого, виправданого у Христі (див. Рм 5, 10-11).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 848)
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Loving Christ is not a superficial sentiment. It is an attitude of the heart that we demonstrate when we live as He wants us to.

Love can recognize good things even in bad situations. Love keeps a tiny flame alight even in the darkest night.

If you want a heart full of love, be merciful!

Love is the measure of faith.

Love is the only light which can constantly illuminate a world grown dim.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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The apostolic role of the laity consists in bringing the Church into all aspects of social life: “The laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They …work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven (II Vatican Council, Light of the Nations 31). In the sanctification of the world, the laity is called to cooperate closely with the hierarchy. Saint John Chrysostom calls upon his faithful to share in his ministry: “Do not then cast all (the burden) on your teachers; do not (cast) all upon those who preside over you” (Homilies on Hebrews, 30, 4).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 299)
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Апостольство мирян полягає в оцерковленні всіх ділянок суспільного життя: “Страраючись про речі земні та впорядковуючи їх по-Божому, шукати Царства Божого, щоб … (речі земні) стали немов закваскою на освячення світу з нутра” (II Ватиканський Собор, Догматична конституція про Церкву 31). В освяченні світу миряни покликані до тісної співпраці з Ієрархією. Іван Золотоустий закликає своїх вірних розділити з ним його служіння: “Не полишайте все на учителів, не перекладайте усіх трудів на предстоятелів” (Коментар на Послання до євреїв, Гомілія 30, 4)

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 299)
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When the Holy Spirit is present, something always happens. Where blows the Spirit, things are never at a standstill.

The Eucharist gives us the strength to produce the fruits of good works, and to live true Christian lives.

Love of God and love of neighbour should be the two cornerstones of our lives.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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The Church, as the place where Father, Son and Holy Spirit act, is an icon of the Most Holy Trinity, that is, a community where human beings can commune with God and with each other. As God is one in three Persons, so also the one community of the Church exists in the coming together of self-governing Churches that live in communion with each other.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 272)
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Церква як середовище діяння Отця, Сина і Святого Духа є іконою Пресвятої Тройці, тобто спільнотою сопричастя Бога з людьми і людей між собою. Як один Бог є у трьох Особах, так і єдина спільнота Церкви існує в соборності помісних Церков, які перебувають у сопричасті між собою.
(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 272)
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Mary lived Jesus’ Beatitudes like no other: she is saintly among the saints, she shows us the way to holiness and accompanies us.

Holiness doesn’t mean doing extraordinary things, but doing ordinary things with love and faith.

We become holy when we work for others. When we do so, we continue the creative action of God in history.
Pope Francis @Pontifex

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The Holy Spirit fashions the Church and gives life to her as the Body of Christ, making her the place of salvation: “For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church” (Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresis, II, 24, 1). All people are called to the Church, “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Rev. 7, 9); see Rev. 16, 6), regardless of culture and background. It is this same Spirit within the Church who reveals to Christians the very mystery of salvation; “For progress in the knowledge of truth we give thanks to that divine and magnificent Spirit, the Author and Leader of the Church” (Didymus the Blind, Commentary on 2 Peter, 3, 5).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 265)
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Святий Дух творить Церкву, оживляє її як Тіло Христове й робить “місцем” спасіння: “Де Дух – там Церква, а де Церква, там Святий Дух” (Іриней Ліонський, Проти єресей, ІІІ, 24, 1). До Церкви покликанні всі люди, “від усякого народу і племен, і людностей, і язиків” (Од. 7, 9; Од. пор. 14, 6), незалежно від їхньої культури і походження. Цей же Дух у Церкві відкриває християнам таїнство спасіння: “Поступ у пізнанні правди завдячуємо тому Божому і чудовому Духові, Творцеві і Провідникові Церкви” (Дідим Сліпий, Пояснення на друге послання святого апостола Петра, 3, 5).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 265)
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Let us allow ourselves to be humbly led by the Holy Spirit in order to avoid taking the wrong road and closing our hearts.

We begin building peace in our homes, streets, and workplaces: wherever we craft communion and community.

There is no freedom greater than letting yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead you wherever he wishes.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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Personal or private prayer always has an ecclesial dimension. Saint Cyprian teaches: “When we pray, we pray not only for ourselves but for the entire people, because we all are one people… Christ himself, our teacher and master, desired that each would pray for all, as he, having gathered all within himself, brought them to the Father” (Cyprian of Cartage, On the Lord’s prayer, 8). Therefore, those who pray in the name of Christ, always pray in the Church, the Body of Christ, and for the Church. Christians who praise the Lord or thank him or ask for something for themselves or for others, become the voice of their neighbour. The basis of this prayer is the common partaking of Christians in Christ’s priesthood, for the sanctification of the world.
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 669)
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Особиста, чи приватна, молитва завжди має церковний вимір. Святий Кипріян навчає: “Коли молимося, то молимося не тільки за себе самих, а й за весь народ, бо ми всі є одним народом (…) Сам Христос, учитель і наставник єдності, бажав, щоб кожен молився за всіх, подібно як Він, зібравши всіх у Самому Собі, привів їх до Отця”(Святий Кипріян Картагенський, Про Господню Молитву, 8). Отже, той, хто молиться в ім’я Христа, завжди молиться в Церкві, Тілі Христовому, і для Церкви. Кожний християнин, коли славить Господа чи благодарить Його чи чогось просить для себе або для інших, стає голосом свого ближнього. Така молитва має за основу спільну участь християн у Христовому священстві для освячення світу.

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 669)
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Convert our hearts, Lord, so that love may spread here on earth.

Be one with Christ when you pray, take care of your most vulnerable brothers and sisters, and work for peace.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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In your merciful loving-kindness You took flesh for us, O Christ our God. You gave light to a man who, from his mother’s womb, lived in darkness. How boundless is Your compassion! You anointed his eyes with the mud Your fingers had molded and made him worthy to be flooded with light divine. So now enlighten him, O giver of light; illumine our spiritual perceptions, for You alone are the Fountain of grace.
(Sunday of the Man born blind, Saturday Vesper, Stichera at the Praises)

The Church is where we are to grow in the holiness that is granted by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us on the path of holiness, offering the grace of repentance and divinization in the Holy Mysteries of the Church. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the truth that “the Church, embracing in her bosom sinners, {is} at the same time holy and always in need of being purified (II Vatican Council, LG –Light of the Nations 8). Those who enter the Church through the doors of repentance, pass through the doors of Paradise into God’s sanctification and blessing. The greatest miracle that takes place in the Holy Church is the transfiguration of a sinner into a saint. As members of the Church grow in holiness, the Lord transforms all creation, liberating it from the dominion of “this world” and its forces, and directing it towards the fullness of the “new earth”. (Book of Revelation 21, 1)

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 289)
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Церква є місцем зростання людини у святості, дарованій благодаттю Святого Духа. Святий Дух веде людей дорогою святості, даруючи у святих Таїнствах Церкви благодать покаяння та обожествлення. Святий Дух відкриває людині ту істину, що “Церква, яка обіймає у своєму лоні також і грішників, є святою і водночас потребує очищення” (ІІ Ватиканський Собор, Світло народів 8). Входячи до Церкви крізь “двері покаяння”, люди вступають у “райські двері” Божого освячення і благословення. У Святій Церкві звершується найбільше чудо – переображення грішника в праведника. Через зростання членів Церкви у святості Господь переображує все творіння, визволяючи його з-під панування стихій “цього світу” і скеровуючи до повноти “нової землі” (Книга Одкровення 21, 1).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 289)
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Joyfully performing works of charity for those who are suffering in mind and body, is the most authentic way to live the Gospel.

Praying means being with God, experiencing God, loving God

The Lord Jesus communicates His love for us, so that we can love God and our neighbor as He has loved us, by giving His life for us
Pope Francis @Pontifex

«Near the pool at the Sheepgate lay a paralytic, who upon seeing You called out: I have no one to help me into the waters when they are stirred. Before I reach the pool, another goes before me and obtains cure; and so I lie here with my sickness. Without delay, the compassionate Savior said to him: For your sake I became incarnate; for your sake I was clothed in the flesh; and yet you say you have no one. Take up your pallet and walk. All is possible with You, O Lord; all is obedient to You, and all submits to You. Remember us all, and be merciful to us because You love all people,
O most holy One!»
(Sunday of the Paralytic, Saturday Vesper, Stichera at “O Lord, I have cried…)

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Sending the twelve apostles to preach the Gospel, Jesus “gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness” (Matthew 10, 1). He promised that healings would accompany their preaching: “They will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16, 18). Following Christ’s example, the apostles also enjoined prayers for the afflicted: “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven” (Epistle of James 5, 14-15). The Church continues the Apostolic Tradition: it celebrates the Mystery of Holy Anointing for the healing of soul and body, and for the forgiveness of sins.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 464)
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Ісус посилаючи дванадцятьох апостолів на проповідь Євангелія, “дав їм владу над нечистими духами, щоб їх виганяли і лікували всяку хворобу й усяку неміч” (Євангеліє від Матея 10, 1). Він обіцяв, що проповідь супроводжуватиметься зціленнями: “На зхворих будуть руки класти, і добре їм стане” (Євангеліє від Марка 16, 18). Услід за Христом апостоли також заповідають моління за недужих: “Нездужає хтось між вами? Хай прикличе пресвітерів церковних і хай вони помоляться над ним, помазавши його олією в ім’я Господнє, і молитва віри спасе недужого, та й Господь його підійме; і як він гріхи вчинив, вони йому простяться” (Послання Якова 5, 14-15). Продовжуючи апостольське Передання, Церква звершує святе таїнство Єлеопомазання на зцілення душі і тіла та прощення гріхів.
(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 464)

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Mercy opens the doors of the heart because it makes us feel like we are all children of one Father

The Christian vocation means being a brother or sister to everyone, especially if they are poor, and even if they are an enemy.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, Saturday Vespers – Stikhera
«Why do you sprinkle your myrrh with tears, O women disciples? The stone is rolled away, and the tomb is empty; behold, Life has triumphed over Death. The seals give brilliant witness; that the guards of the godless have watched in vain, that mortal nature has been saved by the flesh of God, and that Hades is in mourning. Hasten in joy, proclaiming to the apostles, that Christ, the conqueror of Death, is the first-born of the dead. He shall go before you into Galilee».

Angels announced to the myrrh-bearing women: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24, 5-6). The Resurrection from the dead is the victory over bodily corruption: “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (Epistle to the Romans 6, 9). In the Resurrection, the body of Christ is new and glorified, free from earthly limitations of time and space. Precisely because of this, the Resurrection of Christ is the revelation of God’s new creation. On Sunday, the first day after the Sabbath, the Church celebrates the Resurrection of Christ as the first day of the new creation.
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 233)
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Ангели звістили жінкам-мироносицям: “Чому шукаєте живого між мертвими? Його нема тут: Він воскрес! (Лука 24, 5-6). Воскресіння з мертвих є перемогою над тлінністю тіла: “Христос, воскреснувши з мертвих, вже більше не вмирає: смерть над Ним більше не панує” (Послання до Римлян 6, 9). У Воскресінні тіло Христа нове, прославлене, вільне від земних обмежень простору і часу. Саме тому воскресіння Христа – це явлення нового творіння Божого. У “перший день після суботи”, у неділю Церква святкує Христове Воскресіння – перший день нового творіння.

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха, 233)
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The Word of God is a light in the darkness: it helps us face our difficulties without fear.

Through the Eucharist we enter Christ’s paschal mystery, allowing us to pass from death to life with Him.

God covers us with His mercy, He enfolds us in Christ, so that we can become instruments of His goodness.

I wish to repropose the call to holiness: “Rejoice and be glad”.

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The Resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of our own resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15, 20-22). The faith of the Church is entirely based on the Resurrection of Christ: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15, 17-18). “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died” (1 Thessalonians 4, 14).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 234)

Воскресіння Христове є запорукою нашого воскресіння: “Христос воскрес із мертвих, первісток померлих. Бо тому що через чоловіка смерть, через чоловіка й воскресіння мертвих. Як бо в Адамі всі вмирають, так у Христі й оживуть всі” (Перше послання до Корінтян 15, 20-23). На воскресінні Христовому основується вся віра Церкви: “Як Христос не воскрес, то марна віра ваша – ви ще у гріхах ваших” (Перше послання до Корінтян 15, 17-18). “Бо коли ми віруємо, що Ісус умер і воскрес, тож так і тих, які поснули в Ісусі, Бог приведе з Ним” (Перше послання до Солунян 4, 14).

(Катехизм Української Греко-Католицької Церкви, Христос наша Пасха,234)
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Let us go forward with the joy of Jesus’ Resurrection, knowing He is always by our side!

Love is the only invincible weapon, because it has the power to disarm the forces of evil.

May Christ who conquered the darkness of sin and death, grant us peace in our days.

Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive! This experience is at the heart of the Christian message.
Pope Francis @Pontifex

The spiritual life flows from God’s action in us and for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3, 16). This action of God is also called a service, a ‘liturgy’ of God for us: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20, 28). Therefore the Christian’s entire spiritual life is service to God and neighbour – “a liturgy of life”. Thus, we join ourselves to God’s service with our own service; the Divine Liturgy becomes our personal liturgy, our service. To live this liturgical life means to show love for God and neighbour through thought, word, and deed.
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 723)
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Faith becomes tangible when it finds its expression in love and, especially, in the service of our brothers and sisters in difficulty.

When we allow Jesus to enter our lives we discover the secret to keeping alive the flame of our spiritual life.
Pope Francis @Pontifex
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MEDITATION FOR PALM SUNDAY, 2018 – Metropolitan Stefan Soroka
Have you ever felt alone even when surrounded by people? You feel that no one really knows you for the person you really are. Jesus knows how you feel. The Palm Sunday Gospel story tells of one such occasion in the life of Jesus. Jesus knew the crowds singing ‘hosanna’ was hollow. They had hoped that Jesus would deliver them from political domination by Rome. Jesus had not come to give them political freedom. He had come to give them something more. He had come to Jerusalem during the Passover to be their sacrificial lamb. He had come to give them eternal life with God. Even the disciples did not comprehend the significance of that ride into Jerusalem. No one seemed to be aware that Jesus had come to Jerusalem to die. He would not set up an earthly kingdom, but he would establish a spiritual kingdom by sacrificing himself. How lonely Jesus must have felt. Jesus carried the weight of loneliness. Jesus survived Palm Sunday because he had hope and faith in his heavenly Father. Next time you feel alone or think that no one really understands your secret thoughts, take heart. Someone does know how you feel. He is waiting for you in the calm lonely eye of the stormy crowd. He went through his Palm Sunday experience alone, so that you will not have to go through yours the same way. Even when those around you will not, or cannot understand you, God does! Reach out to Jesus Christ this Holy Week in special prayer, meditation and through Holy Confession. You will come to know Him more personally in His resurrection on Easter Sunday! A Blessed Holy Week!

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Jesus made Himself like the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies to give life. Our hope springs from that love-filled life.

Nobody can be discarded, because we are all vulnerable. Each one of us is a treasure whom God allows to grow in his or her own way.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we find our way back to the Lord, and rediscover the meaning of life.

I thank all women who every day strive to build more humane and welcoming societies.

With so much to do, we often neglect what is really important: our spiritual lives, and our relationship with God. So let’s stop and take time to pray!

When you meet other people in the Lord, you can be sure God’s surprises will follow.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«An “icon in words” that portrays the kingdom of God is the Sermon on the Mount, especially the Beatitudes announced by Christ: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land. Blessed are those who huger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil word against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven (Matthew 5, 3-12).
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 204)

«The Kingdom of God is a gift of God’s love: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13, 34). When we receive divine love into our life, we begin to perceive others in a new way – as our neighbours (Lk 10, 25-37). The power of love even conquers hatred towards enemies: ‘You have heard that it was sad, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy”. But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matthew 5, 43-45)».
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 207)

«Christ called twelve apostles (meaning those who are sent). Upon them he founded the Church and sent them into the world to preach the Gospel: “He called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message” (Mk 3, 13-14). The apostolic ministry continues in the ministry of the Church hierarchy and in the apostolate (mission) of all the faithful. “The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith… {and} carefully preserves it… proclaiming and teaching them… with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth” (Saint Irenaeus of Lyons). For this reason, in the Symbol of Faith we profess the Church of Christ to be apostolic. The apostolicity of the Church is realized in the ministry of bishops, priests, deacons, monastics, and laity, who work together for the sake of salvation of the whole world.»
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 294)
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When we confess our sins with humility and sincerity, we receive forgiveness and are reunited with God and our brothers and sisters.

Christians are called to keep alive the memory of how much God has done through them.

The Lord is present in our lives, showing us all His love and encouraging us to respond with generosity.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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PASTORAL OF THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY OF THE U.S.A. “CALL TO PRAYER IN OUR FAMILIES”
January 26, 2018

This is the way the rest of our entire life could pass us by. The problem is that we identify ourselves with our body and aspire to attain happiness on the physical level. However, the human being is comprised not only of a body, because there is also a soul. That is why, Saint Augustine, reflecting on this understanding of our nature, says: “My heart is restless until it finds its rest in the Lord”.

Our dwelling with the Lord, our prayer, fills us with the understanding as to how and what we should do, what to avoid, and how to build relationships with people. In this manner, we begin to be ever more aware of what God really wants of us in this case or in a different situation. The quality of our prayer may be seen from the way we are afterwards. Our prayer puts an imprint on our entire life!
We can frequently think that conversation with God, which is prayer, is a useless waste of time. The reason might also be that we ourselves do not completely understand how important it is for us to abide with our Creator. We are materialistic because we live in this materialistic world. Throughout life, we devote much time to everyday matters or concerns, although we see how little time we spend in prayer. Very often, owing to a lack of prayer, we stumble upon a mistaken conviction and make the incorrect choice. We can be certain that the root of all our negative conditions, problems, and crisis is the same ― neglect of prayer. From personal experience, each one of us knows that, when we are “watchful” about prayer, then everything else also goes well, in harmony and uniformity with God.
Exactly for this reason we call upon all Christian families to nurture shared morning and evening prayer in the family circle. Especially we encourage you to gather together and pray as a family in your homes at 9:00 o’clock in the evening (regardless of time zones). We should pray, each one for their needs: for the family as well as the parish, for the eparchy and the entire Church, for peace in Ukraine and USA, for vocations and other intentions. Therefore, let us begin this year with prayer together, with reflection on God’s Word, in selfless service to one another and with trust in God!
As a basis for our prayer we can use the “Introductory Prayers” starting with “Heavenly King”,through the “Our Father” and adding the “Hail Mary”. (…)
We also encourage our pastors to facilitate weekly or periodic prayer meetings with the faithful. It can be an opportunity to share experiences about prayer and to grow in our faith. The Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church can serve as an excellent source for learning and reflection on our faith. Excerpts read during the prayer meetings and before or after our worship gatherings may facilitate greater insight into the power of faith in our daily life.
Your hierarchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church join in solidarity with you with our fervent and steadfast prayers offered for all. Let us gather in our families at home, and in our parish and eparchial families for shared prayer. We love you and we pray for you.
+Stefan Soroka, Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians – Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States; +Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford; +Benedict Aleksiychuk (author) Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago; + Bohdan J. Danylo, Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma; +John Bura
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia; +Andriy Rabiy. Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia
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Christ, the Good Shepherd, who came to find the ‘lost sheep’ calls all to repentance: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4, 17). Without repentance, there can be neither salvation nor new life. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Christ reveals the essence of repentance as a return to the Father and the acceptance of his gift of forgiveness. In repentance, we come to know God as a loving and merciful Father. He accepts repentant sinners and rejoices at their conversion, ‘for he is good and loves mankind’.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 780)

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The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth.

There is no better medicine to heal so many wounds than a heart capable of mercy.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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Repentance forms the foundation of Christian spirituality, since all movement toward God, inaugurated by him and suggested by his grace, is characterized by repentance. The beginning of this movement is a fundamental interior change (conversion) which brings about a new way of seeing oneself, others, and the Lord God. The goal of this movement is liberation from sin and a return to the fullness of life in God. During Matins on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee we sing: “Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of life. As we worship in your temple this morning, teach us how to purify the temples of our bodies, and in your compassion, purify me by the goodness of your mercies.
(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 782 )

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Confessing our sins may be difficult for us, but it brings us peace. We are sinners, and we need God’s forgiveness.

We are all sinners. But may the Lord not let us be hypocrites. Hypocrites don’t know the meaning of forgiveness, joy and the love of God.

How to live a good marriage? United to the Lord, who always renews our love and strengthens it to overcome every difficulty.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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In the simplicity of the nativity scene we encounter and contemplate the tenderness of God which reveals itself in the Baby Jesus.

In the name of Jesus, with our witness, we can prove that peace is possible.

The Family is the harmonious union of differences between a man and a woman. When it’s open to life and to others it’s even more authentic.

God is in love with us. He draws us to Him with tenderness by being born poor and fragile among us, like one of us.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The summit of God’s Revelation is the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. In his words and deeds he revealed the love of God the Father. The apostles, Christ’s disciples, received the Word of God and proclaimed the good news about him to the whole world. They witnessed to Christ by the word of their preaching and by the example of their lives. The mission of the apostles was taken up by their successors, the Holy Father of the Church, who preserved and safeguarded the unbroken continuity of Apostolic Tradition by means of the episcopal succession down to our times».

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 14)

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Only in the silence of prayer can you learn to listen to the voice of God.

The mission of schools and teachers is to develop an understanding of all that is true, good and beautiful.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«Even having lost true knowledge of God because of the fall, a human being does not stop seeking the One who is the origin of all things. Speaking about this search to the inhabitants of Athens, the Holy apostle Paul said: “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god’. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands’ (Acts 17, 22-24).»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 25)

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«Encountering Jesus can give a decisive direction to our life, filling it with meaning.»

«Charity is more authentic and incisive when it is lived in communion.»

«Joy multiplies when you share it!»

«I appeal for peace and disarmament: in this world wounded by violence, we need fraternity among peoples.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The more Jesus occupies the centre of our lives, the more He allows us to come out of ourselves and brings us closer to others.»

«In the Cross our hope is reborn. Hope born of the Cross is different from that of the world, because it is born of the love of Jesus.»

«Let us find the courage to purify our hearts by removing the rocks and thorns which choke
the Word of God.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«When Adam and Eve transgressed the commandment, they severed their bond with God. Their choice became the cause of death, and the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” became its instrument. The cross was also such an instrument of death, prepared on Golgotha for the Son of God, Jesus Christ. However, by accepting death on the cross, he transformed the instrument of death, the cross, into a “tree of life”: “Truly, O Christ, the tree of life has blossomed. For the cross, planted in the earth, fed with blood and water from your pure side, has put forth life for us”. It has become a life-giving cross.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 139)
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Today there are many who hunger for God, who hunger for dignity. As Christians, we must help them to be satiated by God.

Charity helps us to know the truth and truth calls for acts of kindness.

Truth is an inseparable companion of justice and mercy.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«The Cross occupies an important place in every church. We see it on the Holy Table, and on the analoy or tetrapod. It crowns the iconostasis, and in the sanctuary we see it behind the Holy Table. It also crowns churches, chapels and graves. The Cross is the sign of Christ’s victory over sin and death, the manifestation of God’s love for us. For this reason we venerate the Cross by prostrating ourselves before it and kissing it».

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 641)

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«Devotion to the Mother of God has deep roots in the Kyivan tradition. Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise consecrated Rus’-Ukraine to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God. Many churches were built and many icons written in her honor. The most famous icons of the Kyivan princely period, written in the Byzantine tradition, are the following: the Vyshhorod Icon (today known as the Vladimir Icon), and the Belz Icon (known today as the Czestochowa Icon). From this tradition, the unique form of Ukrainian iconography developed. The facial characteristics of the Mother of God on Ukrainian icons are kind and gentle; her gaze is warm and heartfelt».

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 314)
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May the Virgin Mary obtain for us the grace to be enlivened by the Holy Spirit, so we can witness to Christ with evangelical honesty.

Being men and women of the Church means being men and women of communion.

Mary, Our Mother, sustain us in moments of darkness, difficultly and apparent defeat.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«The holy apostle Paul teaches that our faith in God and his Revelation is born as a response to the Word that is heard (Epistle to the Romans 10, 17). Therefore, the Church from the very beginning, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, proclaimed the risen Christ (in Greek, kerygma) and taught the faith (in Greek katekhesis; see Acts of the Apostles 2, 14-41). Kerygma is the proclamation of the Paschal event of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, manifested in the witness of the life of a Christian community. Kerygma is united with the call to believe in Jesus Christ. Faith leads to conversion, reception of Baptism, and readiness to follow Christ: “In this do I believe and will not be ashamed; before the nations I will profess this faith, and for its profession I will lay down my life” (Ilarion, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Confession of Faith).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 53)
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“We always need to rediscover God’s love and mercy in order to develop our relationship with Him.”

“May nothing stop you from living and growing in your Heavenly Father’s friendship, and from witnessing to His infinite goodness and mercy.”

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«With boldness, the Church addresses the Mother of God, the first to be divinized by grace, with the words, “Most holy Mother of God, save us”. The Church does so with the understanding that it is God’s grace that saves and acts in her. Her peaceful death, tranquil as sleep in the fullness of grace, became an awakening into heaven itself; it is appropriately called the Dormition (Falling-Asleep). The Dormition of the Mother of God is portrayed on the icon of the feast as a birth into heaven: Christ holds in his arms the soul of Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes. In the celebration of the Dormition, the Church professes that in her death the Mother of God did not undergo bodily corruption, but has been “translated from earth to heaven” (Stichera at Vesper, Feast of Dormition) “raised body and soul into heavenly glory by the Lord” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 966). From among the human race, the Mother of God was the first to be glorified in her body. This is an image of our own resurrection as well. The Mother of God, being the Mother of Life, was transferred to Life; and “in her Dormition she did not abandon the world” (Troparion, Feast of Dormition). Her constant intercession before the Creator is celebrated by the Church in the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God (October 1/14); “Today the Virgin stands before us in the church and together with the choirs of saints invisibly prays to God for us” (Kontakion, Feast of Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 313)
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«Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, but is able to see a tomorrow.»

«Forgiveness sets our hearts free and allows us to start anew. Forgiveness gives hope. Without forgiveness, the Church is not built up.»

«Jesus does not leave us alone because we are precious to Him.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«In unified conciliar fashion, the Church professes Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the God-bearing One (Ukrainian: Bohorodytsia) or Mother of God and Ever-Virgin; and the Church venerates her in the feasts of the liturgical year and in icons. At Marian feasts, the Church prayerfully commemorates the saving events of the life of the Mother of God: the Conception by Saint Anne, the Mother of God’s Nativity, her Entrance into the Temple, the Annunciation, the Encounter in the Temple, and her Dormition. The Church sees in her the perfect model for our growth in holiness.»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 311)
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In Mary we see that humility is not a virtue of the weak but of the strong who don’t have to treat others badly to feel important.

The journey of entrusting ourselves to the Lord begins every day, starting each morning.

Mary’s Assumption regards our future: it turns our gaze heavenward announcing the new heaven and new earth with Christ’s victory.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The Incarnation of the Son of God is the eternal divine plan for salvation: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life’ (Jn 3, 16). Precisely this love towards humanity – his love for humankind (in Greek – philanthrophia) – brought about the coming of God into the world. The Fall of the human race did not put a stop to God’s love: ‘Merciful Saviour, you loved me much when I was at enmity with you; in strange self-emptying you came to earth… While remaining still upon the heights of your ineffable glory, you glorified me, formerly so disgraced’ (Sunday Matins, Canon of the Resurrection, Canticle 4).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 182)
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«The Gospel is Good News filled with contagious joy, for it contains and offers new life».

«We effectively do good when we do it without seeking reward and in the concrete situations of everyday life».

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«A sign of the coming of the kingdom of God is the preaching of the Good News (the Gospel): “Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the good news of God, and saying: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mk 1, 14-15). The Divine Word, the Son of God, spoke in all his power and with full authority. We read, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” (Jn 7, 46). The word spoken by Christ is not his own, but the word of the Father, who sent him (Jn 14, 24). The power of Christ’s word is professed by the apostle Peter: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life! (Jn 6, 68).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 209)

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«When we need help, let us turn to the Father who always looks on us with love and never abandons us.»

«Let us be led by the Virgin Mary on the path that leads to the holy mountain that is Christ, where God and man meet.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Christ began his public ministry with the proclamation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mk 1,15). The kingdom of God is personified in Jesus Christ. One becomes a participant of the kingdom through faith in Christ and by holy Baptism: “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16, 16; see also Jn 3, 5). We were created for the kingdom of God: “Whatsoever good things are sown in the human soul, these are the offspring of the kingdom of God and have been sown by God the Word, who was in the beginning with God” (Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew). The Kingdom of God is the will of the Father, announced by the Son and fulfilled in the Holy Spirit. This “Blessed …kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” will last “forever and ever”.»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 203)

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«A Christian’s mission in the world is splendid, it is a mission intended for everyone, it is a mission of service, excluding no one!

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The Holy Fathers of the Church were witnesses of the Apostolic Tradition. They defended its purity and aligned their own theological teaching with it. The fullness of God’s Revelation is found in Christ Jesus. However, in the course of history, the Church has progressively uncovered the depths of this Revelation. In their sermons and explanations, the Fathers of the Church further deepened the understanding of Apostolic Tradition and professed it in a conciliar fashion. Their heritage is an integral part of Holy Tradition. In the course of each liturgical year, the Church commemorates the Holy Fathers, who clearly defined at Ecumenical Councils that which in the Church has been believed always, everywhere, and by all.»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 57)
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“Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life,
far away from poverty, hunger, and war”.

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«The bearer of God’s grace in the world is Christ’s Church. Through the ministrations of the Holy Mysteries, by means of sanctification and blessing, she apportions grace to those who believe in Christ. Through prayer, ascetical effort, and a life of virtue, Christians grow in the grace of the Holy Spirit to the fullness of divinization. Transfigured by grace, human nature abides in God’s nature, ‘without division or confusion’. At the same time, in humankind and through humankind, the nature of all creation is transfigured to its final consummation, as ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ (Revelation 21, 1).»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 267)

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«Go forth and reach out to all people at the margins of society! Go there and be the Church, with the strength of the Holy Spirit.»

«Each one of us is precious; each one of us is irreplaceable in God’s eyes.»

«There is great need to feed Christian hope, which gives us a new view capable of discovering and seeing the good.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Let us not be distracted by the false wisdom of this world, but to follow Jesus as the one sure guide who gives meaning to our life.»

«We must not turn our backs on the new forms of poverty and marginalization that prevent people from living a life of dignity.»

«Love requires a creative, concrete response. Good intentions are not enough. The other is not a statistic, but a person to take care of.»

Pope Francis @Pontifex
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«The grace of the Holy Spirit is indispensable for humankind’s salvation. Although gifted with an intellect and will, without grace, a human being is only a soul and body, because it does not understand the Spirit of God (Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, The Gift of Pentecost). Being conscious of the absolute necessity of divine grace, the Church begins every divine service with the prayer “Heavenly King” thus invoking the Holy Spirit. The liturgical invocation of the Holy Spirit (in Greek, epiklesis) “upon us and these gifts here present” completes the consecration of the Holy Gifts and our own selves.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 260)

«The Holy Spirit bestows upon us a wealth of gifts. And though there is one Spirit, there are many gifts (1 Cor. 12, 4). “There is not a single gift that creation possesses that has not come from the Holy Spirit” (Saint Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 19, 49). The Holy Spirit brings meaning and purpose to the history of humankind, directing it toward Christ, the Divine Logos. The Holy Spirit is the Source and Giver of every human life. It is the Holy Spirit who creates humankind in the image of Christ, making it a living soul, his temple and the dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity».

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 256)
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Let us allow ourselves to be humbly led by the Holy Spirit in order to avoid taking the wrong road and closing our hearts.

We must never forget that the natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone.

The Church needs everyday saints, those of ordinary life carried out with coherence.

Humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak, but of the strong.

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«In his Ascension, Christ raised renewed human nature to divine glory. The liturgical stichera of the Ascension feast sings of the open “doors to heaven” and how Christ enters “into heaven,” where he is greeted by angelic powers in fear and trepidation. He is lifted up “upon the clouds,” above the cherubim and “higher” than heaven. As God, to him belongs a “place” at the right of the Father…” 

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 237)

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«During the forty days after his Resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples, confirming them in faith. He then ascended into heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father: “He led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Lk 24, 50-52; Mk 16, 19).

The apostles’ joy lies in the fact that in his Ascension Christ does not abandon the world: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28, 20). Christ invisibly abides in the world, in which humanity is called to attain salvation. The apostles receive from Christ the blessing and commission to preach the Gospel to all creation (Mt 16, 15) and to make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe all that Christ commanded them (Mt 28, 9-20).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 236)

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«Our hope is the Lord Jesus whom we recognize as living and present in us and in our brothers and sisters».        

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«By its very name, Christ – Our Pascha, our Catechism already points to the Paschal foundations of faith: Christ has “trampled death by death”, and by his Resurrection “has granted life eternal”. Faith in the Resurrection of Christ leads us to faith in God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; for Christ, the Son of God, “one in the Holy Trinity”, in the Holy Spirit has revealed God the Father to us. The Church solemnly professes this faith of the apostles in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith”.

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 6)

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«By his resurrection, Jesus Christ has set us free from the slavery of sin and death, and has opened before us the way to eternal life.»

«Let’s work together to increase solidarity and sharing. Cooperation helps to build better and more peaceful societies

«May our attitude be gentle and humble, attentive to caring for the poor                                          

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Concerning faith in the risen Christ as the very source of Christian life, the apostle Peter preached the following: “Jesus of Nazareth …God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power… This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses” (Acts of the Apostles 2:22-24,32). The significance of the Resurrection for our salvation is affirmed by the apostle Paul: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile” (1 Corinthians 15, 17). Thus, for almost two thousand years, the Church has unceasingly witnessed and preached the Resurrection of Christ in order that people may believe and be saved: “How are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? … So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:14,17).»                                                               

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 2)

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«He died, He was buried. He rose and He appeared. Jesus is alive! This is the heart of the Christian message.»                                                           

Pope Francis @Pontifex


«The growth of the Christian in deification is marked by the services of the Sundays from Pascha to Pentecost: it begins with the encounter with the Risen Christ (Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday, and Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women), which leads to radical changes in particular persons – and in us as well (Sundays of the Paralytic, of the Samaritan Woman, and of the Man born blind). The image of “living water” at the feast of Mid-Pentecost indicates the promise of the Holy Spirit, through whose grace we receive divinization»                                                             

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 572)

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«Let us meditate with wonder and gratitude on the great mystery of the Lord’s resurrection».

«Since Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and new heart at every event of our lives, even the most negative one»

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The source of Christian life is faith in the risen Christ. This faith, formulated by the Church in the Nicene Creed, also known as the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith, is expressed in her liturgical prayer. Through this liturgical prayer we become partakers of Christ’s Passover – partakers of new life in Christ. In this new life, we grow by means of spiritual work and moral effort…»                                 

 (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 1)

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«Once we have ‘completed the Forty days that bring profit to our soul’, on Lazarus Saturday, the day that begins the Floral Triodion {in the Kyivan tradition}, the Church beseeches the Lord: ‘Grant us also to behold the Holy Week of Your Passion, that in it we may glorify your mighty acts’(Lazarus Saturday, Vespers). Indeed, we pray to behold the Resurrection, the Ascension, the sending of the Holy Spirit, and the glorious second coming. On the days of Passion Week, we liturgically commemorate and experience anew the last days of the earthly life of Jesus – his passion, death and burial – and we await his Resurrection, when the Lord, as a ‘grain of wheat, buried in the earth, has yielded a rich harvest, raising to life the mortal sons of Adam’ (Great and Holy Saturday, Matins).  

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 571)

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«Prayer is powerful. Prayer conquers evil. Prayer brings peace».

 «If we learn to read everything in the light of the Holy Spirit, we realize that everything is grace».

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«If we engage the Fast with zeal, we will experience what is described by Saint John Chrysostom in his teaching: ‘Having in this week attained the practice of not swearing at all; and in the following having extinguished wrath; and in that which succeeds it, having pulled up evil-speaking by the roots; and after that, having amended what yet remains; thus going forward in our course, we shall come by little and little to the very summit of virtue’ (Homilies on Statues, 4,6).

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 570 b.) 

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«Lent is a favourable season for deepening our spiritual life through fasting, prayer and almsgiving».

«May the certainty of faith be the engine of our lives»

«Fasting is fruitful when accompanied by concrete expressions of love towards our neighbors, especially those in difficulty».

«Let us remember our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution for their faith. May we be united with them».

«The peace that springs from faith is a gift: it is the grace of feeling that God loves us and that he is always beside us».

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Saint John Chrysostom, in his teaching on fasting, emphasizes the fruits of fasting in the moral and spiritual life: ‘What advantage is it, if we have gone through the Fast devoid of good works? If another says, ‘I have fasted the whole of Lent’, then you should say, ‘I had an enemy, but I was reconciled; I had a habit of speaking evil of others, but I put a stop to it; I had a habit of swearing, but I have broken through this evil practice’” (Homilies on statues 16, 6).»  

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 570 a.) 

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«It is vital that we sow the seeds of goodness in order to cultivate justice, foster accord, and sustain integration, without growing weary».

«The Church wishes to be close to each person with the love, compassion and consolation that come from Christ».

 «The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable»

 Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«The Lenten liturgical services progressively reveal the essence of true fasting: if we sow the “seeds of repentance” (First Sunday of Lent), our “shoots of virtues” will grow to maturity (Second Sunday of Lent), to allow us to consume the fruit of the life-giving Tree “which leads us back to paradise” (Third Sunday of Lent, the Veneration of the Holy Cross), and by way of the “spiritual ladder” (Fourth Sunday of Lent, Commemoration of Saint John of the Ladder) reach the summits of spiritual purification and repentance (Fifth Sunday of Lent, Commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt).

 (Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 569{b}) 

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 «Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour»

 «Let us pray for one another so that we may open our doors to the week and poor»

 «May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word»   

 Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Authentic fasting means “to put away all evil, to control the tongue, to resist anger, and to abstain from lust, slander, falsehood, and perjury” (Apostichon , First Week of Great Fast). The meaning of fasting for the Christian is presented in a sticheron from the Vespers of Cheesefare Sunday: “Le us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves from spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; and as we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit, may we persevere with love, and so be counted worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness behold his holy Passover”. (Sticheron, First Week of Great Fast).  

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 569{a} ) 

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 «Let us strive to fast during Lent with a smile, rather than a long face».

«Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return».                                                       

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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«Every year Christians prepare for the celebration of holy Pascha during the time of the Great Fast (Lent). The Fast lasts forty days as an image of the forty-year journey of the People of God into the Promised Land and the forty-day fast of Christ in the wilderness.

By training the Christian to abstain from sin, the Fast leads to interior freedom and true joy. Throughout the Fast, the Church liturgically accompanies Christians with hymns from the Lenten Triodion that point to the deeper sense and purpose of the Fast – reconciliation with God and neighbour, service to God and others.»

(Catechisms of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Christ our Pascha, 220)

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«Lent urgently calls us to conversion. We are called to return to God with all our heart.»

«Fasting is not only about abstaining from food. It also means sharing food with those who are hungry.»              

Pope Francis @Pontifex

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