OFFICIAL SOBOR DOCUMENT

  

Our Plan for the Present:

Our Hope for the Future

Home Up

SOBOR October 1 & 2, 2005

 

 

Table of Contents

  

1.0.      Evangelization and Reconciliation …………………      3

2.0.      Ukrainian Catholic Formation ………………………..      9

3.0.      Prayer and Worship …………………………………....     12

4.0.      Social Mission of the Church ………………………...    16

5.0.      Community Building …………………………………....    20

6.0.      Ministries: Lay, Religious, Ordained ……………...     24

7.0.      Ecumenism – Catechumenate ……………………….     27

8.0.      Stewardship ……………………………………………....     30

9.0.      Family – Marriage ……………………………………....     33

10.0.    Youth – Teens – Young Adults ………………………    38

11.0.    Role of Women in the Church ………………………..    47

12.0.      Communication ………………………………………......     49

References …………………………………………..............……...    52

 

 

1.0. EVANGELIZATION & RECONCILIATION

 

1.1. Introduction

 

“Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!” (Mt 28: 19-20).

 

“Because of this we no longer look on anyone in terms of mere human judgment. If at one time we so regarded Christ, we no longer know him by this standard. This means that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new! All this has been done by God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s transgressions against them, and that he has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. This makes us ambassadors for Christ, God, as it were, appealing through us. We implore you, in Christ’s name: be reconciled to God!”  (2 Cor 5:16-20).

 

All the baptized and confirmed (chrismated) in Christ have received the mission to evangelize. The fulfillment of this mission demands ongoing preparation, education in faith for people of all ages, and a spirit of prayer that the whole message of Christ may be proclaimed (Redemptoris Missio n.83).

 

The task of evangelization and reconciliation must go hand-in-hand in our Eparchy in order to continue our Lord’s mandate of going forth to teach all nations and baptize them.  Evangelization and reconciliation are intertwined.  Reconciliation means more than an act of confessing one’s sins.  Reconciliation is the mission to heal and re-member the Body of Christ in Christ’s spirit of love and compassion.  We must seek to heal the hurts and pain caused by alienation.  In Christ’s spirit, we need to reach out humbly to inactive Catholics and the fallen away. 

 

In recent times, awareness of the ecumenical efforts made by all Christians, challenges us all to make visible the unity of love to which Christ calls us; “that all may be one…”  We need to be willing to admit the real or perceived hurts and injustices that sometimes were experienced by individuals and families in interactions with clergy, religious or church members, and to ask for and offer forgiveness, as well as accept it from those who desire reconciliation (Pope Paul VI  On Evangelization in the Modern World 1975 Evangelii Nuntiandi).

 

Who is to evangelize?  The mission of Jesus (Mt 28) is very clear: all disciples are called to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News.  The family is the primary center of evangelization, as our traditions and faith are made real and passed on from generation to generation.  The church family lives out its responsibility to proclaim the Holy Gospel of Jesus in the Holy Mysteries, in catechesis, in community and service to others, and in works of charity and justice.  A parish that does not evangelize dies! In the church family, the clergy and religious members, as well as informed and educated laity, are to be in the forefront of evangelization and reconciliation.  The various parish organizations, societies and ministries cooperate in evangelization and reconciliation.

 

1.2. Eparchial Position

 

1.2.1. It is important to give credit to our spiritual pioneers: our bishops, priests, sisters, brothers and parents.  They were the stewards of our Ukrainian Catholic Faith in very trying circumstances. The spiritual needs were recognized by them and they rose to the occasion by catechizing in homes, establishing parishes, organizations, schools, institutions and the financial means needed to support numerous efforts in spreading the Good News.

 

1.2.2. Many lay people laboured for the good of the Church by making enormous sacrifices to overcome the challenges presented by other Christian denominations whose members were not properly educated in our faith. Misunderstandings and accusations often led to inappropriate and strained relationships and expressions of our faith.

1.2.3. Efforts to evangelize flourished in the first half of the 20th century, largely because of the living day-to-day example set by holy people.  Many souls were evangelized through the observation of lives of steadfast faith. Simple words of consolation, forgiveness and patience were a light in otherwise shadow filled days.

 

1.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

Evangelization

 

1.3.1. The Eparchy of Saskatoon must strive to bring about an enthusiasm for and understanding of the faith so that its members will freely and eagerly live according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In all areas surveyed, the number one concern was the need for education and knowledge of our faith – a prerequisite for being individuals who evangelize others, bringing the Good News with us wherever we go.

 

1.3.1.1. Applicable catechism study for both adults and children must be supported by the ongoing development of teaching materials.

 

1.3.1.2. The Eparchy should explore the feasibility of promoting our faith and tradition through the media, such as the new Catholic television channel (Salt and Light), radio, internet and other forms of mass communication.

 

1.3.1.3. The Eparchy should become involved in coordinating and providing missionaries to the parishes because missions are an effective tool for evangelization.  One means of providing assistance to the parishes would be to establish a databank of homilists, retreat masters, and speakers, identifying their areas of specialty as well as the necessary contact information.

 

1.3.2. The Eparchy should encourage each church member to assume personal responsibility for “making disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).

 

 1.3.2.1. The Eparchy should provide training (workshops) for people to learn how to become active in evangelization and reconciliation, fostering an atmosphere of forgiveness and love for each other so that true reconciliation will become a reality.

 

§         Priests need to be provided with continuing professional development opportunities to develop their gifts for evangelization.

 

§         The Eparchy should continue to maintain a current library/resource centre containing materials on evangelization.

 

 1.3.2.2. The Eparchy should include a component in marriage preparation courses and in marriage encounter programs that enkindle a desire to become more deeply involved in the faith.

 

1.3.3. The Eparchy must encourage the clergy and laity to collaborate and work together to recognize and capitalize upon opportunities for evangelization through pastoral care ministries (such as care of the sick or elderly, ministering to the bereaved) and through a visible presence in the Catholic school systems, correctional facilities, and the like.

 

Reconciliation

 

1.3.4. The Eparchy should be the “trigger” for reconciling discontented and fallen-away members.  After all, Jesus said, “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices”   (Lk 15:4-6). 

 

1.3.4.1. The Eparchy should encourage parishes to conduct “exit surveys” with a hope of gaining insight into the reasons that people have left the Church.

 

1.3.4.2. Parishes should be encouraged to make personal contact as soon as possible after a detachment is known so that an immediate attempt can be made to heal the hurts. Delay makes reconciliation more difficult.

 

 1.3.4.3. The Eparchy should encourage parishes to extend an invitation to people who have been away from the church for some time, letting those people know that they are wanted and needed.

 

1.3.4.4. The Eparchy should encourage parishes to hold social events that foster reconciliation.

 

1.3.4.5. Eparchial workshops should be held to address how people fall away from an active life of faith and how they can be brought back into the fold.

 

Welcoming

 

1.3.5. The Church must extend a welcome not only to the people within our church but to others as well, for salvation is for all.

 

1.3.5.1. Greeters are required at all weekend services.

 

1.3.5.2. The priest should be personally available to speak with the people at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy.

 

1.3.5.3. In our hospitality, we must be respectful of the needs of all people who choose to attend our services.

 

1.3.5.4. The Eparchy needs to encourage all parishes to search out new venues for informing newcomers to the area of the existence of the church and the services available at the church e.g., Welcome Wagon packages, newspaper advertisements including address and times of services, signage at the church, a recorded telephone message on the church phone regarding times of services, etc.

 

1.3.5.5. The Eparchy should co-ordinate the movement of church members from one parish to another in order that they may be welcomed and encouraged to participate in the life of the parish in their new community.  This could be done by setting up a network among the parishes – the parish losing the member should be required to notify the Eparchy and the community to which the member is moving.

 

Home Up

2.0. UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC FORMATION

 

2.1. Introduction

 

The basic building blocks of faith are the nuclear family, the parish family, and the Eparchial family.  The family unit (a community of life and love) is the environment in which spiritual formation should begin and flourish.  Faith is cultivated in the family from the cradle to grave with education and support required at all stages of a person’s life.

 

In order to have a solid Ukrainian Catholic foundation, we must have a true Christian formation as the basis of our faith. Writing to the Christians of Ephesus, St. Paul emphasizes that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the very centre and life of the Christian faith.

 

“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:16-19).

 

This call from Christ within us places responsibility for spiritual development on each of us. Our individual responsibility is shared with the community of faith, our families, our parishes, our Eparchy, and our whole Ukrainian Catholic Church. From the earliest Christian times, it was always recognized that it takes a lifetime to grow in faith.  St. Paul's letter to the Galatians points this out: “my little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:19).  Once our faith matures, we are able to say with St. Paul that: “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

 

The challenge that we have been undertaking in our Sobor process is to discover how best we, as the Ukrainian Catholic Church, can foster and support the process of Christian formation for all our members at every point in their lives. Our focus and effort is to address and satisfy the spiritual and religious needs of families, parents, children, teens, young adults, mid-life persons and seniors. That is the reason for our catechetical statement: “catechesis from the cradle to the grave.”

 

2.2.  Eparchial Position

 

2.2.1. The Eparchy recognizes that all Ukrainian Catholics, bishops, clergy, religious and laity must assume cooperative responsibility for meeting the spiritual educational needs of children, youth, and adults through prayerful and judicious use of resources, qualified people, finances, facilities and materials. Ukrainian Catholics must realize it is not enough to donate from their material resources; rather they must also share their gifts of time and their personal talents and gifts. Adult catechesis is vital to the future of our Ukrainian Catholic Church. We, as part of the whole Catholic Church, must be true to our faith and spirituality according to the Eastern Rite. The Holy See has asked us to study and to be true to our heritage. To do this prudently, we must engage in a gradual but thorough education of our faithful in Eastern Catholic theology, spirituality, liturgy and practices. This is not a choice. It is our obligation, responsibility, and eventual realization.

 

2.2.2. The following programs that assist Ukrainian Catholic Church Formation are currently available in our Eparchy:

·         Lay Formation Program

·         Catechist Certification Program

·         Study Days

·         Religious Education Centre/Resources for spiritual reading material

·         Youth Ministry programs

·         Engaged Encounters/Marriage Preparation Courses/Marriage Encounters

·         Bible and Faith Classes for all ages

·         Missions and Retreats

Volunteers and trained catechists are required to ensure that these programs continue to operate and meet the needs of parishioners and others interested in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

 

2.3.  Action Items And Recommended Implementation

 

2.3.1. Although each individual must take responsibility for his or her own formation, the Eparchy and parishes must provide a comprehensive plan for Ukrainian Catholic formation, including doctrine, moral teaching, liturgy, Bible studies, Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) and prayer at all levels of spiritual and religious formation.

 

2.3.1.1. The Eparchy should continue, fully implement, and expand the currently available programs.

 

2.3.1.2. The Eparchy should require each parish or pastoral district to designate their representative of Education who would be responsible for identifying the educational needs within the parish or district, examining and evaluating available programs and other resources, and communicating to the parish or district what programs and other resources they can utilize to meet their needs.

 

2.3.2. The new UCREC (Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Centre) website should be developed to include a database of frequently asked questions about such topics as: Divine Liturgy, Holy Mysteries, Icons, Eastern Rite theology and spirituality, etc. There should also be a link between the UCREC website and the Eparchy’s website.

                                         (http://www.skeparchy.org.)

 

Home Up

3.0.  PRAYER & WORSHIP

 

3.1.  Introduction

 

The source of our heritage is Christ and the summit of our hope is celebrated liturgy, solemnized in all our church services. In the Old Testament, God revealed through the prophets proper methods of worship. In the New Testament, the Son of God, Jesus, revealed to us the Paschal Mystery of His passion, His death and His resurrection from the dead, His glorious ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Our liturgy of the New Testament joins the eternal celebration in heaven, which was introduced by Jesus during His earthly exile, in fulfillment of the Father’s holy will.

 

It is no wonder that during the Divine Liturgy we sing the Cherubic Hymn which states:     “Let us who mystically represent the cherubim and sing the thrice holy Hymn to the life-giving Trinity, now lay aside all cares of life”.

 

It is up to us, individually and collectively, to give our utmost effort to make our celebration most fitting for our God, our Creator and our Father.

 

When we as Church gather to celebrate any liturgical service, it is the whole community, the Body of Christ, its Head and members that celebrate, all according to their own proper function.  In a liturgical celebration the Church shares in Christ’s priesthood (we worship), which is both prophetic (the Word of God is proclaimed in the readings and through the homily) and kingly (service is given to God and His people). Nurtured and schooled by the frequent, if not daily, celebration of our liturgical services, all members of the Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, further participate in Christ’s unceasing prayer to the Father through their own prayer life and common celebrations.

 

In the document The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Council Fathers emphasized the centrality of the Paschal Mystery – the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus - as the focal point of every action of the Church (the People of God).  Our liturgical services constantly remind us of these truths.  In addition to Christ’s substantial and continuous presence in the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine, the same Constitution states that the presence of Christ is also to be found in the person of His minister (the priest), in the other holy mysteries (sacraments), in the proclamation of the Word of God and in the assembly of the faithful gathered in common prayer.

 

This same Council defined the assembly’s role as “full, conscious and active participation.” As well, the Council encouraged the use of the vernacular to engage the assembly fully in the sacred mysteries. It also mandated that all liturgical action be done with clarity, beauty and simplicity.  The Council further affirmed the role of the assembly by encouraging the adaptation of the liturgical services to the various cultures and traditions of the people in worship.  The Synod of Bishops in the Ukrainian Catholic Church defines and legislates these adaptations, not the local parish.  The local ordinary (bishop) oversees the implementation of the adaptations and changes of practice.  With this in mind, our Eparchy can look forward to positive changes that will bring us closer to a true Byzantine (Eastern Rite) spirituality and practice, which is our rightful inheritance.

 

3.2.  Eparchial Position

 

3.2.1. During the pre-Sobor listening sessions, a great number of the faithful expressed concerns and needs. These concerns reflect a need throughout the Eparchy for an ongoing educational process to ensure a proper understanding of all aspects of our liturgical life, including services, liturgical cycles, validity of both Julian and Gregorian calendars, etc. The faithful of our Eparchy as well, are experiencing a need for cantor training; uniformity and standardization of texts in all parishes;  explanations and standardization of practice in regards to standing and kneeling positions; greeting one another during Liturgy (the Kiss of Peace); Holy Communion for infants and pre-school children; and other confusing issues. In other words, WE NEED LITURGICAL CATECHESIS! After all, good and holy celebrations foster and nourish faith.  Poor or bad celebrations may weaken and even destroy faith and almost always will turn people away.

 

3.2.2. In the past, when there was a dire shortage of priests in our Eparchy, deacons provided the Service of the Word and Holy Communion outside of the Divine Liturgy.  By acquiring priests from our Mother Church in Ukraine and ordaining our own candidates to the priesthood, we will be able to staff all our parishes or pastoral districts. The Eparchial Study Days have been a great venue for educating the faithful in various aspects of the liturgical life of our Church.

 

3.3.    Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

3.3.1. Our Eparchy should be in frequent contact with the Archeparchy for guidance regarding matters of worship.  In order to educate, direct and enhance our parishes in their liturgical life of prayer and worship, an Eparchial Liturgical Office must be established with a place, a budget, resources and staff.

 

Through its resources and availability for assistance, this office should: 

·         provide ongoing formation of clergy in homiletics, preaching, liturgics and their application;

·         provide appropriate workshops for the education of the faithful in our liturgical practices and spirituality;

·         offer seminars, conferences, retreats and formation programs of prayer and worship for the enrichment of all;

·         direct cantor and lead-singer training courses;

·         ensure that all parishes throughout the Eparchy obtain all necessary texts and music in a standardized form, beginning with booklets which contain the propers (tropars, kondaks, epistles, etc.) for each Sunday and each major Feast Day (in quarterly installments) for use by all parishioners; and

·         provide expertise in the areas of iconography and all forms of sacred art/architecture of our Byzantine Ukrainian Rite.

 

3.3.2. A liturgical team should be formed to assist parishes in our Eparchy in the assessment and enhancement of liturgical life.

                                

 3.3.3. The Eparchy must ensure that a greater effort be made by each parish to identify, encourage and nurture the gifts of all parishioners,  especially our young people, in the service of prayer and worship.

 

3.3.4. Throughout our Eparchy, the Holy Mysteries of our faith should be carefully prepared according to the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches and celebrated according to Liturgical prescriptions.

 

3.3.5. Throughout our Eparchy, liturgical practices should follow the prescribed rules as set out in the liturgical books and in the Ordo Celebrationis.

 

3.3.6. The Eparchy must ensure that all parishes foster the spirituality of our “domestic church” by encouraging and supporting household and family prayer.

 

 Home Up

 

 

4.0.  SOCIAL MISSION of the CHURCH

 

4.1.  Introduction

 

The basis of the Church’s social mission is the very person of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad news to the poor… proclaim liberty to the captives … and release to prisoners” (Lk 4:18). Jesus identifies himself as “one of the least of these”, (Mt 24:45) having nowhere to rest His head. He commands His disciples to lead lives of service, especially among the poor and vulnerable.

 

Today, the social teachings of the Church emphasize the call of Jesus to discipleship. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Church’s social documents state that “respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that everyone should look upon his/her neighbor as another self, above all bearing in mind his/her life and the means necessary for living it with dignity” (Gaudium et spes, n. 27).

 

The sacred dignity of the human person is the basis for the Church’s social teachings. The Church teaches that each and every person has fundamental rights to freedom, food, housing, health care, a living wage, and family and community relationships. These rights constitute essential elements of full humanity, bestowed on each human person by the Creator in whose image we all are created. Furthermore, the Church’s social mission is characterized by a preferential love for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable, ensuring that people have the basic human necessities for life. Our work for justice is a constitutive, essential component and dimension of the proclamation of the Holy Gospel. This basic orientation identifies us as Jesus’ disciples, followers and Christians, called to continue His mission of compassionate love, service and justice. If you want peace, then work for justice.

 

4.2.  Eparchial Position

 

Our Eparchy is the whole province of Saskatchewan. It is here, first of all, that we should work socially and politically for justice. In striving to live according to a consistent ethic of respect for all human life, we face many difficult decisions. All Catholics are called to have hearts that become outraged at the social conditions that degrade the human person.

 

Even before our Eparchy was officially established, Ukrainian Catholics worked together to respond to the social needs of the times. We took care of our orphans after the devastating Spanish flu of 1918. The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate provided for the needs of orphans at St. Ann’s Children’s Home in Ituna, Saskatchewan for several decades.

 

Dedicated people, families, and especially the religious, priests, and deacons who supplied the services in our two outstanding boarding institutions, St. Joseph’s College and Sacred Heart Academy, answered the dire need to educate our youth. Ukrainian Catholics also established the Sheptytsky Institute to assist students coming from rural areas to study at the University of Saskatchewan by providing accommodations, spiritual guidance and services, making the Institute a home away from home.

 

More recently, the focus shifted to providing for the needs of the elderly in our Eparchy. Our senior citizens have the St. Volodymyr Villa and St. George’s Senior’s Residence in Saskatoon and St. Basil’s Manor in Regina for their retirement. There is a need for a similar facility in the Yorkton Deanery. For those who need higher levels of care, we are blessed by St. Joseph’s Nursing Home, operated by the Ukrainian Sisters of St. Joseph.  However, there are still many elderly who, though living at home, may not have adequate care.  The Knights of Columbus have undertaken a project known as Columbian Care in response to this need.

 

Then there are those who suffer long-term disability or illness.  Every parish should see to it that disabled persons have access to active participation in the life of the parish community.  In cases of terminal illness or extreme disability, the Church upholds the right of every person to refuse extraordinary measures of care. At the same time, the Church vigorously continues to oppose the hastening of death through assisted suicide or euthanasia.

 

As an Eparchy, we must examine what our greatest needs are now and what they will be in the near future and respond to those needs.

 

The Church teaches abstinence, chastity before and during marriage, and condemns contraception and abortion. It promotes the culture of life and condemns the culture of death. It is in this arena that every Catholic of any political persuasion should openly stand for Catholic principles of justice.

 

4.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

4.3.1. In our Eparchy, we need an Office of Family Life and Social Ministry, from which we could direct Respect for Life and Pro-Life activities. We could provide information regarding adoption services, family services, outreach for the elderly, counseling services and services for immigrants. We need to develop our own Charity Services and implement a Stewardship Way of Life within the Eparchy so that we can better respond to social needs as and when they arise.

 

4.3.2. The Eparchy of Saskatoon should ensure that the people receive proper and correct education about social issues on which the church has a definite position. Moral teachings are not fashions or fads - they must be followed regarding sex education of children, abortion, co-habitation outside of marriage, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, contraception, pornography, stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, divorce, etc.

 

4.3.2.1. The Eparchy needs to develop a list of Catholic Churches, organizations and professionals with experience or expertise in areas of social concern who can provide direction to Ukrainian Catholics and make referrals to agencies that embrace Catholic virtues and Catholic philosophy.  This list must be readily available to all people within the Eparchy.

 

4.3.2.2. The Eparchy should provide a Catholic voice and perspective on all social issues. Immoral and often fashionable trends and thinking of the world should be exposed for the role they play in a “culture of death”. The “culture of life” must be safeguarded on all fronts.

 

4.3.3. The Eparchy must encourage the faithful to develop and exercise a more compassionate and Christian attitude towards others. This will result in an assumption of greater social responsibility towards the victims of poverty, racism, violence, etc. This could be done by implementing hands-on charitable works - programs at the parish level, such as an organized parish effort to visit the ill, elderly, lonely, bereaved, mentally and physically challenged, etc.

 

Home Up

 

 

5.0.  COMMUNITY BUILDING

 

5.1.  Introduction

 

In the real and deepest source of the Church community, what we seek to live out is the communion that we share in the mystery of Christ, Himself.  In the Holy Mysteries of our Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion, we become the adopted children of God sharing His life as a gift through Sanctifying and Actual Grace.  To accept this gift from God requires of us an active, personal response.  We can look upon building Christian Community as our attempt to respond to the gift of God by shaping our lives and our Church Community, Parish and Eparchy in accord with this mystery of communion with the Blessed Trinity.  There is perfect harmony and love in the Holy Trinity and we ought to strive for harmony and love in our church community.

 

From this perspective of our efforts to respond to God’s grace, our efforts to build Christian community will be successful to the extent that the church is able to establish at every level (family, parish, eparchy, nation, and world) a sense of ownership or need for personal involvement or stewardship.  When that happens, then “let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). “The Church…receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of that kingdom” (Lumen Gentium n.5). In our God-given nature we become part of and are fulfilled by that mission when we have a sense of ownership in it.  Christ is that fire that burns in our hearts.  We will be successful in building our community when we accept the responsibility to ignite that fire and nourish it. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).

 

The structures of our Church provide the vehicle through which our common beliefs are lived.  Building community does not happen; it must be built deliberately and patiently. “It is the sacrament (Holy Mystery) of the Eucharistic Bread, that the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ is both expressed and brought,” (Lumen Gentium, n.3).  The Holy Spirit unifies us in our diversity.

 

Building community involves sharing a community vision or goal and actively participating in its realization.  Successful communities with true ownership and participation understand that they are trustees of the past, stewards of the future.  We are called to union with God, not merely as individuals, but as a holy community, the people of God.

 

Each parish has two basic ministries, spiritual and social.  Spiritual ministry works to deepen faith. “He commanded his apostles to present to all people the gospel message so that the human race might become the Family of God in which the fullness of the Law would be love” (Lumen Gentium, n.32). Social ministry is given direction in the encyclicals which outline the Church’s social teachings, in the Beatitudes and in the second great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk 12:31).  Therefore, all who freely choose to participate in the parish’s spiritual and social ministries form and belong to the community.

 

A parish or eparchy, as a community, is unified and validated by these five characteristics:

·         The call of God

·         The message of Christ

·         The grace of the Holy Spirit

·         The celebration and sharing of the Eucharist

·         Apostolic ministry of the Bishop

 

It will be successful as a community when

·         everyone knows and everyone does

·         everyone takes responsibility

·         everyone takes his or her turn

 

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of us has received” (1 Pt 4:10).

 

At the heart of successful involvement are leaders who serve, listen, communicate and educate.  All clergy, religious and laity in leadership positions should be trained in the skills of community building, leadership, team management and spiritual formation.  Each member must become a responsible participant in defining the community’s needs and implementing both the spiritual and social ministries.  Structures help to realize these two ministries.

 

5.2.   Eparchial Position

 

5.2.1. Our heritage is a rich one, beginning with Christ and His statement to St. Peter, “On this rock I will build my church” (Mt 6:18).  In 988, this same church was implanted in Kyivan-Rus.  We are the descendants of that nation, that church.  Through the centuries, our church has survived and today it is up to us to build her up and pass her on to the new generation.  How blessed we are that our Mother Church in Ukraine is free again.  How blessed we are with so many martyrs and confessors of our faith!

 

 

5.2.2. Church structure is spelled out in the church’s canon and particular law.  We have a Major Archbishop (Patriarch), a Synod of Bishops, Metropolia, Eparchies, Protopresbyterates (Deaneries), Parishes and Missions.  That is the structure governed by laws, constitutions, by-laws and policies. Parishes have pastors/administrators, parish councils, organizations and membership.  All these facilitate right order and procedure. The very soul is the vibrant, faith-filled community.

 

 

 

 5.2.3. The Structure of the Eparchy of Saskatoon

BISHOP

VICAR GENERAL

CONSULTORS

Presbyteral Council

Finance Council

Eparchial Pastoral Council

Saskatoon Deanery

Regina Deanery

Prince Albert Deanery

Yorkton Deanery

District Parishes

District Parishes

District Parishes

District Parishes

 

5.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

5.3.1. The Eparchy should continue to engage the Eparchial Pastoral Council in developing eparchial spiritual life by:

·         continuing education and building faith communities

·         retreat programs

·         assisting each parish and pastoral district to continue to promote hospitality, welcoming new members and fostering a spirit of unity

 

5.3.2. The Eparchy should encourage and promote pastoral districts to develop an understanding that they belong together as a unit and should work together to achieve pastoral goals by:

·         pastoral district bulletins

·         sharing gifts among parishes (cantors)

 

Home Up

 

6.0.  MINISTRIES: LAY, RELIGIOUS, ORDAINED

 

6.1.    Introduction

 

“Jesus came and said (to his disciples); all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:18-20).

 

The chief mission of the Church is to carry on the mission of Jesus Christ, Himself, namely, to proclaim and establish among all peoples the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace. All baptized persons are called by God to participate in the Church’s mission through the life-giving and faith-sharing ministries of word, worship, witness and service.  It is God’s gift of life, itself, and God’s gift of faith in Jesus that call all Christians to these ministries- vocations.  “What you have received as a gift, give as a gift” (Mt 10:8).

 

On October 11, 1962, the largest and most representative Ecumenical council of the Church in recent history was convened in Rome by Pope John XXIII, known as The Second Vatican Council. Among the most beneficial contribution to the Church was the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, (Apostolicam actuositatem), by Pope Paul VI, November 18, 1965.

 

Some twenty years later, another document, Christ’s Faithful People (Christifideles Laici) was promulgated by Pope John Paul II.  These two documents must be studied to fully understand the different roles of the faithful in the mission of the Church in today’s world society.

 

 The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church clearly speaks of the responsibilities of church leadership to empower the laity in their role as collaborators in the mission of Jesus:

 

“The pastors… should recognize and promote the dignity as well as the responsibility of the laity in the church.  They should willingly employ their prudent advice and confidently assign duties to them in the service of the Church, leaving them freedom and scope for action. Indeed, they should give them the courage to undertake works on their own initiative” (Lumen Gentium, n.37).

 

In adopting a communal vision of the Church as the People of God, Vatican II placed a renewed emphasis on the importance of sacramental initiation as the foundation for all ministry and every apostolic mission. It is Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation) and  Holy Eucharist that empower all Christians, lay and ordained, as sharers in the mission of Jesus and participants in the priestly, prophetic and pastoral roles of Jesus Christ. Ordination, however, uniquely configures the priest to act in the person of Christ.

 

Clearly, Jesus intended His mission of proclaiming the gracious presence of God to be continued when He invited His disciples to love one another as He had loved them and to make disciples of all nations.  In using their gifts and respective callings in a collaborative effort, lay and ordained will make Christ’s Church the perfect icon of Christ, the mystical presence of Christ in the world.

 

6.2. Eparchial Position

 

6.2.1. The late Father Julian Habrusewich, writing in the Jubilee Book Ukrainian Catholics of Saskatchewan, 1955, stated that there were 149 active churches.  In the monumental work by the late Anna Maria Baran, Ukrainian Catholic Churches of Saskatchewan, printed in 1977, she enumerated 170 churches.  Today, in 2005, there are 98 active churches, some of which hold services weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, yearly.

 

6.2.2. In the pioneer times, there was a great shortage of priests and nuns. After World War II, there were a good number of priests and nuns. Today, once again, there is a shortage of priests and nuns.  Our Eparchy is recruiting priests from Ukraine. 

 

6.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

6.3.1.      The Eparchy should strengthen its Vocation Program by

 

6.3.1.1.  Having 2 Vocation Sundays a year.

6.3.1.2.  Arranging visits from religious to the parishes.

6.3.1.3.  Having intentions for vocations during liturgical services.

 

6.3.2. The Eparchy should identify opportunities for a fuller involvement of the laity in ministerial roles by

 

6.3.2.1. Working to promote effective collaboration among the laity, the religious and the ordained.

6.3.2.2.   Encouraging people to participate in ministries.

6.3.2.3.   Creating a favorable atmosphere for all forms of ministry.

 

6.3.3. The Eparchy shall organize formation programs for lay ministers, Minor Orders and the Diaconate.

 

6.3.3.1.  Each parish and parochial district should encourage capable members to participate in the Lay Formation Program.

6.3.3.2.  The Eparchy, through the Religious Education Centre, should continue to provide on-going education and formation opportunities for both ordained and lay ministers.

 

         6.3.4.    The Eparchy should provide for, monitor and demand of its ministers, both ordained and lay, accountability for the highest standards of professionalism in conduct of their ministry and continuing growth and formation for their respective ministry.

 

            6.3.4.1. The Eparchy must forthwith develop a Code of Conduct for all those involved in any kind if ministries within the Eparchy.

 

Home Up

 

7.0.  ECUMENISM- CATECHUMENATE

 

7.1.  Introduction

 

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as your Father, as you are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (Jn 17:21).

 

“Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time” (Catechism of the Catholic Church ref. 820).

 

The Council Fathers of Vatican II recognized the discrepancy between Christ’s prayer for unity and the fractured Body of Christ.  Originally, the Church was one.  In response to the brokenness of Christians, they stated that this brokenness “openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages that most holy cause, the preaching of the Gospel to every creature” (Unitatis redintegration.1). Thus, everyone must work toward the restoration of unity among all Christians by healing the wounds of division.

 

We still have prayers for the catechumens in our Divine Liturgies, recognizing those who are growing in Christ in pastoral ways that are both different from and similar to earlier times.

 

7.2.  Eparchial Position

 

Owing to the historical misunderstandings, quarrels, animosities and divisions, many villages and towns had two Ukrainian churches, Catholic and Orthodox. We all suffered a great loss.  Then some Protestants who came to the aid of settlers also drew away many of our pioneers.  For a number of reasons, many descendants joined other churches. Today, we need to build bridges, have reconciliation events and be more welcoming.

 

7.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

7.3.1. The basis of authentic ecumenical encounter is to be founded on a genuine relationship with Christ and a clear sense of one’s own identity as an Eastern Catholic. 

 

7.3.1.1.        The Eparchy should continue providing programs that educate Ukrainian Catholics about the history of the Church and the traditions of the Eastern Rite.

 

7.3.1.2. Parishioners should be informed and make use of the wealth of resources that are available at the Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Center and the wisdom of our priests, sisters, catechists, lay formation program, books, workshops and the internet, in order to acquire a better knowledge of the teachings of other Christians and non Christian faiths with which we are in contact.

 

7.3.2.   To work towards the union of all believers, we must undergo a process of internal renewal that would make us more faithful to the Gospel.

 

7.3.2.1. The eparchy should provide and implement Bible study programs and encourage parishioners to participate.

 

7.3.3. It is important that we have an accurate knowledge of the Churches and non-Christian faiths with which we are in contact. We must continue meeting in practical forms of cooperation and in discussions.

 

7.3.3.1. The Ukrainian Catholic Church should partake in activities that would strengthen relationships with our Orthodox brethren.

 

7.3.3.2. We must continue to engage in collaborative works, ecumenical activities and common prayer with all Christian churches.

 

7.3.4. We need to invite, gather and be responsive to new people attending our Church.

 

7.3.4.1. We must extend invitations to our neighbors, not only for social events, but also for learning opportunities through special Feast Days, special observances, open houses and workshops (particularly to community and schools).

 

7.3.4.2. We must be welcoming, loving, willing and able to share our faith with them.

 

Home Up

  

8.0.  STEWARDSHIP

 

8.1.  Introduction

 

The origins of Stewardship are found in the Old Testament and in the Jewish tradition of tithing.  Recall the Sunday’s Gospel about the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector.

 

In the New Testament, Jesus’ parables teach that the followers of Christ will be held accountable for their stewardship.  Recall the parable about the talents.  In the letters of the apostles, stewardship is applied in various contexts that allow our present day application to cover how we deal with the gifts of time, talents and treasure.  As members of the living Body of Christ (the Ukrainian Catholic Church), we are called to the stewardship way of life by sharing our time, talents and treasure to build up the kingdom of God on earth.

 

“Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).

 

8.2.  Eparchial Position

 

Several years ago, one of our parishes had the process of introducing and implementing the Stewardship Way of Life and has reaped noteworthy results. Two workshops on Stewardship Way of Life were conducted for the clergy of our Eparchy.  Stewardship Way of Life was proposed on two occasions during the Forum For Dialogue on May 1 & 2, 1998.  What needs to be done is to educate the laity and set up the process.

 

8.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

8.3.1. Everyone in our Eparchy (individuals, families, parishes and administration) should accept and embrace the Stewardship Way of Life as our fundamental spirituality.

 

8.3.1.1. Parishes need to be educated by the clergy in the basic values and understanding of the Stewardship Way of Life.

 

8.3.2. The Eparchy should establish an office of Development and Stewardship in harmony with the Future Plans Committee and provide training in the process of implementing the Stewardship Way of Life in our parishes.

 

8.3.2.1. Parishes need to send dedicated members to be promoters of stewardship.

 

8.3.2.2. The Eparchy should set up weekends of training for dedicated volunteers.

 

8.3.3. Parishes and Church organizations should develop the needed support system to answer the local needs of the children, youth, adults and seniors.

 

8.3.3.1. Each parish and pastoral district should have a finance council, volunteers committee, and a list of the gifts and talents available to serve where and when need arises.

 

8.3.3.2. The Eparchy and parishes should set up demographic information available to all for their use.

 

8.3.4. The parishes need to help the Eparchy to set up a master plan, which would wisely use the personnel (talents and times) and the financial resource (treasure).

 

8.3.4.1. Each parish and organization should evaluate their needs, abilities and resources to avoid waste duplications and frustrations. We need to work together to achieve common goals and answer the needs of the Eparchy.

 

8.3.4.2.  Reports of parishes to parishioners should be accurate and on time.

 

8.3.4.3. The Eparchy has financial obligations that depend on parish contributions. Therefore, these collections should be forwarded to the Chancery Office on time.

 

8.3.5. The Eparchy does and will continue to publish accurate annual reports of all income and expenses and charitable works in a spirit of accountability to the parishes.

 

Home Up 

 

9.0.   FAMILY- MARRIAGE

 

9.1.  Introduction

 

Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, life-long union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love.  They commit themselves completely to each other and to the responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them (USCCB, Nov 12/2003, pg 1 & 2).

 

The family is the oldest structure of all humanity.  Our Holy Father states that, at the heart of every people of culture, the family is also “the domestic church” (John Paul II, Letter to Families, 1994 No.3).

 

God has established the family as the primary cell of society.  All Christians, clergy  and dedicated families, must support the solid establishment and healthy growth of family life. Parents have, as their mission, the task of transmitting life. The family is the “domestic Church,” both parents contributing to the formation of their children.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “On the threshold of his public life, Jesus performs his first sign – at His Mother’s request – during a wedding feast” ( Jn 2:1 –11). The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding of Cana.  She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation, henceforth, that marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence (CCC 1613).  Marriage is a Sacrament that requires the spouses to make an ongoing, daily commitment.

 

The Holy Bible tells us in Gn 1:27, that a man “leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” And then again, in Gn 1:28, God blesses the man and woman and commands them to “be fertile and multiply.”

 Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan for creation. The Church teaches that the valid marriage of baptized Christians is a Holy Mystery (Sacrament).  Jesus Christ made marriage a symbol of His love for His Church (Eph 5:25-33).

 

In the Gospel of St. John (13:34), Jesus said, “and now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

 

Couples share relationships where they remain side-by-side, in which they walk hand-in-hand, privately or publicly. To love another person is to see the face of God. Their lives are a witness that family life is filled with God’s grace. Every couple living the sacrament of marriage should recognize that they are Church. The needs of elderly couples, widows, widowers, broken families and single parent families are equally important and must be addressed.

 

9.2.  Eparchial Position

 

9.2.1. The Second Vatican Council teaches that the Creator made the married state the foundation of human society (Apostolicam actuositatem n.1).  At the Synod on the Family in 1980, Pope John Paul II pointed out the perverse threats and tensions to family and marriage.  These included the wrong concept of the marriage covenant, the degradation of family values, a spirit of independence between spouses, serious misconception regarding authority between parents and children, the growing number of divorces, the veil of abortions, sterilization, contraception, excessive materialism and consumer mentality, and the diminished respect for procreation (Familiaris Consortio).

 

9.2.2. The average age of the family in church has increased. In some parishes, young families are few and senior members are left to carry out the parish practices.

 

9.2.3. According to Canon Law, couples must be prepared for the Holy Mystery of Crowning (marriage). Engaged couples must take the pre-marriage courses or weekends or individual pastoral counseling.   

 

9.2.4.  For married couples, Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are promoted in our Eparchy. A mentoring program with older couples witnessing to younger couples is also in progress. Familia, at St. Peter & Paul Parish in Saskatoon, is a recently formed, 4-year program, geared to couples in support of family life and Catholic growth. It meets the needs of couples who wish to study the encyclicals written by our Holy Father. Ukrainian Catholic family retreat camps are available at St. Michael’s Camp at Madge Lake.

 

9.2.5.   In our Eparchy, we have programs such as Study Days, which include families.

 

9.2.6.  Couples and families today face enormous burdens. If the family weakens, so does the whole Church. We are members of the Body of Christ.  Even though the priest’s role is essential, the commitment of all parishioners is needed. The family that prays together, stays together.

 

9.3.    Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

9.3.1. The Eparchy should work towards establishing a Pro-Life and Family Office in order to:

 

9.3.1.1. Offer programs, workshops, and seminars on the Church teachings on marriage and family, e.g., Papal encyclicals, role of Catholic parents, financial planning, natural family planning, stress management etc.

 

9.3.1.2. Seek out and provide resources, leaders and programs for marriage preparation that are appropriate for a variety of circumstances of engaged couples.

 

9.3.1.3.  Speak out against pre-marital sexual relationships (common-law), or any others that do not conform to the teachings of the Gospel and or Church, especially those that exist within our parishes.

 

9.3.1.4.   Promote a deeper appreciation of the family as the basic unit of society and cornerstone of our Ukrainian Catholic Church.

 

9.3.1.5.  Obtain, store and publish resources to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children in our faith according to our rite and spirituality, family prayer, family Bible study, family retreats, camps and social opportunities across the Eparchy, etc.

 

9.3.1.6.  Support and show special care to couples who live in a non-sacramental marriage, to encourage and instruct them to get their marriage blessed by the Church, to be sensitive to inter-faith and inter-racial or inter-ethnic marriage.

 

9.3.1.7. Offer leadership courses in marriage preparation, natural family planning, parenting, etc. and compile a list of resource people to teach and to take these courses

 

9.3.1.8. Support seminars and workshops for those experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome (e.g., how to relate to spouses, etc.).

 

9.3.2.  Develop a mandatory position statement on caring for the elderly in the parishes (e.g., physical, mental, spiritual and financial care of the elderly) and give greater emphasis to the ministry for, to, and with the elderly.

 

·         Other ideas: adopt-a-grandparent program

·         Outreach, visiting programs

 

9.3.3. Provide an Eparchial statement regarding preservation of Sundays, Feast Days and Liturgical Holy Days as days to be spent as family.

 

9.3.4. Young adults and teenagers should have catechesis lessons on the vocation of marriage and its spirituality, birth control, common-law etc.

 

9.3.5. The Eparchy should strive to be a primary place of support for families in special circumstances and with special needs, including support/education for those falling through the cracks, e.g., divorced, including the church’s stand/position on liturgical practices and beliefs regarding divorce.

 

9.3.6. The Eparchy and the parishes should have outreach programs for troubled marriages and families. The Retrouvaille program and other programs should be made available to troubled marriages before it is too late.

 

9.3.7. Parishes should extend support, understanding, and assistance to single parent families, widows, widowers and seniors.

 

9.3.8. Parishes should offer education on topics of domestic violence, alcohol, drug and sexual abuse and should assist and protect victims in whatever way possible.

 

9.3.9. The Eparchy should provide professional development for clergy, religious and laity with regard to marriage counseling, marriage preparation and family life.

 

9.3.10. Information regarding the Eparchial Marriage Tribunal, divorce and annulments needs to be published or made available to people of the Eparchy.

 

Home Up

 

10.0.  YOUTH – TEENS - YOUNG ADULTS

 

10.1. Introduction

 

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Mt 19:1).

 

“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tm  4:12).

 

“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’ Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord God!  I do not know how to speak, I am only a youth.’  But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, I am only a youth. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord” (Jer 1:4-8).

 

It is the nature of human beings, and especially youth, to seek the Absolute, the meaning and fullness of life. “Dear young people do not be content with anything less than the highest ideals!” (Message of the Holy Father for World Youth Day 2002).

 

Over the past twenty years, youth ministry has progressed dramatically, and, with that progress, has come much learning and insight.  It is understood that youth ministry is more than a Sunday night youth group meeting or a once-a-month religious education night.  It is more than a catechesis program or a retreat or a teen sports league.  We have learned that it is all of these things and more.  Youth ministry is the loving response and outreach of the whole faith community to its younger members as they search and struggle on their journey of faith.  That loving response requires a willingness on the part of the faith community to meet young people where they are on that journey, to help them open doors that will lead to a closer encounter with God in their lives, and to swing open the doors of the faith community to welcome them to a sense of home and belonging.  These goals are lofty, but it remains absolutely essential that efforts be made to attain them in as creative and engaging a manner as possible.  So the work of youth ministry continues to move toward the goal of comprehensive and all-inclusive approaches (YouthWorks, Center for Youth Ministry Development).

 

10.2.  Eparchial Position

 

10.2.1. Youth ministry in the Eparchy of Saskatoon focuses on young people from childhood through young adulthood (mid-thirties).  This definition is based on the Catholic Church’s categorization of youth.  The Eparchy of Saskatoon supports youth, teens and young adults through the position of the Ukrainian Catholic Youth and Campus Ministry Coordinator and through St. Michael’s Teen and Youth Camps and St. Volodymyr Camp. 

 

10.2.2. Currently, the youth coordinator and campus coordinator positions are filled by one person. Together, they are a full-time (32 hours/week) position for 10 months per year and a part-time (16 hours per week) position for 2 months per year.  Initiatives from this office include four youth/young adult retreats per year (Winterfest, The Spring Thing, Summerfest and Ukrainian Catholic Youth for Christ Rally), national and international youth events (World Youth Day, Unity, Canadian Catholic Student Conferences), and support to local parishes and Deaneries in the area of youth ministry when requested and presence to the young people of the Eparchy. 

 

10.2.3. St. Michael’s Teen and Youth Camps and St. Volodymyr Camp are governed by an elected board and coordinated by a hired director.

 

10.2.4. One parish in the Eparchy has a half-time, paid Children’s Program Coordinator, whose responsibility is ministry for young people from birth to Grade 12.  Throughout the Eparchy, there are 8 Youth Contacts, who have been appointed by their respective clergy or parish councils.  They take responsibility for youth ministry in varying degrees.  Some simply relay information and promote events, while some take a more active role by coordinating and facilitating activities for young people.  None of them receive remuneration, formal training or intentional support.  There are 11 parishes/areas that do not have any youth contact at all.  In some of them, the priest fulfills the duties of the youth contact.  In some of them, there are no visible youth, and therefore, there is not a perceived need for any youth contacts or coordinators.

 

10.2.5. Most rural areas report very few young people, not just in church, but in the community. Youth and young families are leaving for bigger cities that have more employment opportunities.  Even parishes with visible young people notice a decline in their presence and involvement at church and in the parish community.  Many have become “Christmas and Easter Catholics.”

 

10.2.6. There are many activities competing for the time and resources of young people and their families.  Many are choosing secular activities over church activities, both on Sundays and during the week.  Many teens and young adults work on evenings and weekends.  An informal survey was given to first-year students at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon in September 2004.  It indicated that these students are working an average of 16 hours per week in addition to their full-time academic schedule.

 

10.2.7. Apart from competing secular activities, there are also many spiritual options for young people.  The Roman Catholic Church and many evangelical churches are investing much time, personnel and financial resources into youth ministry as they have made young people their priority. This is evident in their well-trained youth ministry leaders, their catchy promotions and their youth-friendly programming.  It is good to work collaboratively and benefit from the expertise and resources of these groups.  However, in many places in the Eparchy, these groups are the “only show in town” and the Ukrainian Catholic young people go where they are being fed. Very often the young people of the Eparchy are poorly educated in the Ukrainian Catholic faith and see it as “backward and old-fashioned.”  These other ways of relating to God are very appealing when there is no understanding or education to ground them in Ukrainian Catholic spirituality.

10.2.8. Youth ministry is seen by many as the responsibility of the priest, parents and a few people who have volunteered or been “coerced” into being youth coordinators/contacts. Where there are few or no visible youth, youth ministry is generally seen as pointless, since parishioners do not see any direct benefit to their community.

 

10.2.9. Involvement for young people in the parishes of the Eparchy varies widely, but most places report having altar servers and involve young people in Divine Liturgy through serving (Altar Boys/Children of Mary), being candle bearers, reading the Epistle and leading responses.  A few places have regular Youth Liturgies, where the young people look after all the lay ministries (serving, reading, singing, ushering, welcoming) during Liturgy.  Programming takes various forms throughout the Eparchy, with the bigger centres offering a wider range of opportunities from Sunday school programming, catechism for children, Altar Boys/Children of Mary programming, Youth Groups/UCY, young adult programming, sacramental preparation, Ukrainian dancing classes and Ukrainian language classes.  Other ways young people are involved are through various eparchial youth events, St. Michael’s Camp, St. Nicholas celebrations, Christmas pageants, Easter teas, social functions, upkeep of church buildings, cemeteries and fundraisers.  Except for a few parishes, there seems to be a consistent gap in programming for those youth from grades 6 – 8.

 

10.2.10. As of January 1, 2006, there will be 8 Catholic school divisions in the province: Saskatoon, Regina, Holy Trinity (Moose Jaw, Shaunavon, Swift Current), Holy Family (Weyburn, Estevan), Yorkton, Prince Albert, North West Catholic (North Battleford) and Lloydminster. Ukrainian Catholic involvement in the Catholic school divisions varies across the province. A pastor has indicated that a major portion of his ministry in Yorkton is done in the Catholic schools through teaching visits in all classrooms, celebrating the Divine Liturgy, leading grade 9-12 retreats, and conducting workshops for teaching staff.  He also indicated that the school board solicits his input regarding spiritual programming.  The Catholic school division in Saskatoon hires a Byzantine Rite coordinator at 0.25 time.  This is commendable, but a quarter-time position doesn’t allow the position to be as effective as it could be.  The clergy in Saskatoon are involved in the Catholic schools at a minimal level.  Because of the large number of schools, they cannot be expected to be involved at a level that would have a noticeable impact.  The youth ministry coordinator has been invited on one occasion to lead a Grade 8 retreat for Holy Family school, where the St. Nicholas Bilingual Program is housed.  The St. Nicholas Bilingual Program provides an opportunity for students (K-8) to become functionally bilingual in Ukrainian. Similarly, E.D. Feehan provides this opportunity for grade 9-12. They also aim to extend students’ understanding of the Ukrainian Byzantine Church tradition through Ukrainian Catholic religious education and worship.

 

10.3.  Action Items And Recommended Implementation

 

10.3.1. The Eparchy, Deaneries and Parishes should recognize and support youth ministry as a priority in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

 

10.3.1.1. Youth Ministers should be hired for the deaneries and parishes.  They should receive proper education in the Ukrainian Catholic faith through the Catechesis Certification Program and/or Eparchial Lay Formation Program.  They should receive proper training in youth ministry which is offered annually in Regina.  They should receive ongoing support in youth ministry through retreats, conferences, and meetings with other youth ministers.

 

10.3.1.2.  Leadership by young people should be made a priority

·         By sponsoring a group of teens each year to attend “Youth Leader,” a leadership training program offered annually in Muenster. 

·         By sponsoring post-secondary students each year to attend annual Catholic student leadership conferences.

 

 

10.3.2. The Eparchy, Deaneries and Parishes should recognize and affirm the importance of a Ukrainian Catholic presence in the school systems in the Eparchy.

 

10.3.2.1. The Eparchy should encourage the Catholic school boards in the province to hire a qualified Eastern Church co-coordinator.

 

10.3.2.2. Ukrainian Catholic teachers in the Catholic school systems should receive on-going support and education on how to live as a Ukrainian Catholic in a pre-dominantly Roman Catholic environment.

 

10.3.2.3. Ukrainian Catholic catechism modules should be prepared for every grade level. 

 

10.3.2.4. Practicing Ukrainian Catholics should be encouraged to pursue positions on school boards.

 

10.3.3. The Eparchy, Deaneries and Parishes should encourage “a willingness on the part of the faith community to meet young people where they are on their journey of faith, to help them open doors that will lead to a closer encounter with God in their lives, and to swing open the doors of the faith community to welcome them to a sense of home and belonging” (YouthWorks, Center for Youth Ministry Development).

 

10.3.3.1. Eparchial, national and international events for Ukrainian Catholic young people should be extensively promoted and encouraged.   Necessary means for young people to participate in these events (transportation, adult chaperones and some financial subsidization) should be provided.

 

10.3.3.2. Divine Liturgy should be made more meaningful for young people by “teaching” the Liturgy, by using English for the homily, by presenting the homily in a way that young people can understand and relate to, by allowing music that appeals to young people, by allowing instruments to be used for hymns and by empowering them to be servers, readers, cantors, etc.

 

10.3.3.3. Education regarding the Ukrainian Catholic faith and its practice is imperative for young people.  It is necessary that the Bishop clearly define acceptable practices (e.g.: infant reception of Eucharist, ordination of married men, female altar servers, standing vs. kneeling during Divine Liturgy, etc.).  This information needs to be conveyed by as many means as possible – through educational programming and resources, bulletin inserts, and especially, through the pulpit since that is the only means of spiritual education available to many in the Eparchy. Of particular importance is the education of parents, so that they have the means to educate their children.

 

10.3.3.4. A resource of age-appropriate Ukrainian Catholic programming for Ukrainian Catholic young people from birth through mid-30s should be created and made available to those doing youth ministry.

 

10.3.4. The Eparchy, Deaneries and Parishes should offer a “loving response and outreach of the whole faith community to its younger members as they search and struggle on their journey of faith.”  In other words, they should strive to become a youth friendly community.

 

10.3.4.1. Youth ministry should be promoted throughout the Eparchy as everyone’s responsibility.  The adult faithful should have opportunities to become educated in youth ministry and what it means to become “youth friendly” through annual workshops offered through the Eparchial Youth and Campus Ministry Office.

10.3.4.2. The clergy (Bishop, priests and deacons) and religious (brothers and sisters) should recognize their unique and instrumental role in youth ministry.  Their excitement, involvement and support of young people set an example and inspire the faith community.  Nothing says more or means more to a young person than someone who takes a personal interest in them and is present to them.  Clergy and religious should make their participation in youth events (both parish and community based) a priority.

 

10.3.4.3. Positions on parish and eparchial councils and within parish and eparchial organizations and boards should exist for and be filled by young people.  These positions should not be token positions, but real, viable positions.

 

10.3.4.4. Opportunities for intergenerational interaction based on Gospel values should be created and encouraged throughout the Eparchy.  These interactions should promote love, acceptance and equality, rather than criticism, alienation and an age-based hierarchy.

 

10.3.5. The Eparchy, Deaneries, Parishes and Youth and Campus Ministry office   should strive to improve communications regarding youth ministry.

 

10.3.5.1. The Eparchy’s website should have a youth ministry page that is created and maintained to inform and appeal to young people.

 

10.3.5.2. A regular Youth Bulletin should be published with events, opportunities and items of interest for young people.

 

10.3.5.3. Parents, relatives, clergy and young people should submit names and contact information of Ukrainian Catholic young people to the youth database that has been created so that they can be personally informed and invited to participate in events.

 

10.3.6. A system should be set up for parishes to send off young people who are leaving home and to welcome those who are new to the community.  This system would be dependent on communication between the “old” and “new” parish communities, their pastors, parents of the young people and the young people themselves.

 

 Home Up

 

 11.0.  ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH

 

11.1. Introduction

 

“God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; MALE AND FEMALE”, emphasis added (Gen 1:27).

 

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:27-28).

 

These two foundational scriptures establish forever the unique vision of God’s revelation concerning the relationship between the sexes.  Humanity is neither man alone, nor woman alone. It is the two shared in equality and mutuality. As Pope John Paul II has said in his apostolic exhortation, Mulieris Dignitatem, in social and political roles, both men and women, according to their individual capacity, are to be acknowledged and respected. In addition, he gives emphasis to the defense and protection of the dignity of women as persons in marriage, family, education and society (The Roles of Women in Contemporary Society, n.3 and n.40).

 

11.2. Eparchial Position

 

11.2.1. Historically in our parishes, the women and men were separated. The primary role of women included cooking, cleaning and embroidering. Women were not allowed to hold parish council positions, to be cantors, readers or ushers. The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate provided catechism, including First Solemn Holy Communion. The Sisters of St. Joseph provided a nursing home and spiritual care for all, including the clergy. In many parishes, the UCWLC branches were organized and this led to a change in the role of women.

 

    11.2.2. At present, women do serve on parish councils, as cantors, readers and ushers The role of women has expanded. The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate are now training catechists to teach and they operate the Religious Education Centre. The Sisters of St. Joseph continue to operate the nursing home and are now teaching young children. They also operate the Icon Corner. The UCWLC, while facing some dwindling numbers, are focusing on social and spiritual issues.

 

11.2.3. The women in our Ukrainian Catholic Church and in our Eparchy deserve greater recognition, respect and dignity.

 

11.3.  Action Items And Recommended Implementation

 

11.3.1. The Eparchy of Saskatoon should designate a special weekend to celebrate and honor the significant roles of women in the Church and find ways to support and affirm their contributions to our Church and our parishes, institutions and faithful.

 

11.3.2. Eparchy and parishes need to recognize women as equal members of our Church who are actively responsible, consulted and given equal decision making roles, as well as a voice in the governance of their parishes and of the Eparchy.

 

11.3.2.1. The Eparchy should provide and encourage retreats, seminars,    workshops, social gatherings, etc. appropriate to all women.

 

11.3.3. Parishes need to be aware and to recognize the charisma of the religious sisters in our Eparchy, as they have a role according to their Order.

 

11.3.4. Further study is required to see in what ways the roles of women could be expanded, e.g., lead singers, readers, cantors, children and youth ministries, and extraordinary ministers for Holy Communion.

 

Home Up

 

12.0.  COMMUNICATION

 

12.1.  Introduction

 

Webster’s Dictionary states that the word “communication” means the act of giving, especially information, or means of exchanging messages.

 

In the Old Testament, God communicated with His chosen people through His prophets. The messages were not always well received by the chosen people; in fact, some or most of the messengers were abused and even killed.

 

In the New Testament, God spoke through His Son, Jesus Christ. "And the Word became flesh and lived among us" (Jn 1:14). Further, in the New Testament, we read that Jesus and the Apostles were gathered on the Mount of Olives and Jesus said to them "....go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you" (Mt  28: 19-20).

 

Communications within the Church, herself, are governed by mutual charity and by pastoral sensitivity. All the members of the Body of Christ, from the Bishop to the newly baptized, are joined together by the love of Christ and by sharing in His Eucharist. Our communication with one another, therefore, takes on a familiar, yet solemn, character. For more effective building up of the Body of Christ, every means of communication within the Church must be based on the principle of charity. 

 

It then follows that the Church pursues the humanization of impersonal technology. All the benefits of our scientific age can be sensitized to human needs in order to promote justice and goodness within the household of faith. Here, the Church can take the lead in taming, harnessing and correcting technology’s potential for dehumanizing society. The Church should move forward with a renewed enthusiasm to embrace our society’s informational capacity.

 

At the Eparchial level, therefore, good communication is the key to a smoothly functioning Church and to a fostering of a well-informed and united faith community.

 

12.2.   Eparchial Position

 

12.2.1. Many strides towards improving communications within the Eparchy have been made beginning with the Forum for Dialogue at Holy Cross high school in Saskatoon in May of 1998. Since then, the Eparchy has created a Youth Co-coordinator, an Eparchial Youth Ministry Commission, an Eparchial Programs Committee chaired by Sister Pat Lacey, SSMI, of the Religious Education Centre at Sheptytsky Institute in Saskatoon, and an Eparchial Committee for Property Provisions set up by Msgr. Rudolph Luzney, the Eparchial Administrator at the time.

 

12.2.2. The Eparchy has publicly released its financial statements, has computerized its Chancery Office, has installed a fax machine and e-mail capabilities, has its own website and has the Eparchial News. The establishment of Deaneries has facilitated communication and decision making within the Eparchy. Nonetheless, communication deficiencies still exist and need to be addressed.

 

12.3.  Action Items and Recommended Implementation

 

12.3.1. The first priority is to address the immediate eparchial needs.

 

12.3.1.1. Set up and publish policies and establish protocols for

 

·         using contemporary methods of communication such as telephones, newspapers, faxes, internet and meetings in person;

·         making the clerical way of life more visible outside the church setting; and

·         researching sermons and homilies and making them church related and appropriate to current world and social issues.

12.3.1.2. The Chancery Office should be obliged to provide copies of these policies to every parish in the Eparchy. It is a good step forward in improving the sharing of information. This information should flow immediately from top down. Not only priests, but every parish council in rural areas should have copies.

 

12.3.1.3. Policies should be developed with meaningful input from the laity as well, while recognizing their need to be informed about issues properly. That way, regardless of outcome, lay people would feel they were part of the decision-making process.

 

12.3.2. Since the printed, as well as the spoken, word is so important in the spreading of news and information in our society, the Eparchy can continue and even improve the following:

 

12.3.2.1. parish bulletins - so that they are in every parish, where it is feasible. Perhaps, up-to-date parish information could be distributed to all parishes via e-mail and/or website.

 

12.3.2.2. the Eparchial Newsit should continue to be published, always seeking relevant and important issues to report and comment on.

 

12.3.2.3. the Eparchial website - www.skeparchy.org can post more up-to-date information, as well as include current events. The Eparchy’s e-mail address (admin.skeparchy@sasktel.net) is an excellent way for any member of the clergy to communicate instantly with the Chancery, or for any parishioner to contact the clergy. The Eparchial website should include the Religious Education Centre and Sheptytsky Institute.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

-          Catechism of the Catholic Church, LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA, 1994

-          Jubilee Book Ukrainian Catholics of Saskatchewan 1905-1955,   Fr. Julian Habrusewich

-          The New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition

-          Revised Standard Version Bible

-          Ukrainian Catholic Churches of Saskatchewan,  Anna Maria Baran, 1977

-          Ukrainian Settlement in Canada 1891-1941, published 1941,

                   ПРОПАМЯТНА КНИГА

-          Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA, 1995

-          Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, DOCUMENTS OF SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

-          USCCB (UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS), BISHOPS STATEMENT: Between man and woman; questions and answers about marriage and same sex union, Nov.12, 2003

-          YouthWorks, Canadian Edition, 1994, published by CENTRE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY DEVELOPMENT AND CANADIAN MINISTRY SUPPORT SERVICES

-          Lumen Gentium, SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the church in the Modern World

-          Sacrosanctum Concillium, SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

-          Familliaris Consortio, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION OF HIS HOLINESS, Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, 1994, No. 3

-          Ordo Celebrationis, Rome, 1944; translated by Fr. Matthew Berko, published by Redeemers Voice, 1958

-          VATICAN WEB SITE (http://vatican.mondosearch.com/) for the following:

§         Apostolicam actuositatem, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

§         Christifideles Laici, Christ’s Faithful People

§         Unitatis redintegration

 

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