“On this bright Feast of the Annunciation, our Christian love and sons’ feelings of gratitude and respect are revealed to the Father and Head of Our Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, who, 10 years ago, at the St. Yura Cathedral in Lviv, accepted the fullness of Christ’s priesthood through the episcopal ordination,” said Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, in his sermon to the faithful during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.
On Sunday, April 7, 2019, the clergy and laity of the UGCC, gathered together on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, had the opportunity to thank God for ten years of the bishop’s service of His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“His Beatitude Sviatoslav traveled overseas to far-flung Argentina to serve our faithful there, but he didn’t stay there for a long time,” added the preacher. – “He returned to his native land to receive here on his arms the cross of spiritual guidance of the multi-millionth Greek-Catholic community in Ukraine and in the world. Your Beatitude, now your spiritual children around the world unite with you in grateful prayer for the gift of your personality for our Church, for the Ukrainian people,” said Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh.
According to him, the Annunciation reminds us that a great deal depends on each person, especially in the context of the difficult period of the Ukrainian State.
“We all expect the Annunciation, we need good news, good news, but at the same time, we so easily follow fake and accidental prophets. We forget that for the true Annunciation we must always have two actors: God, who removes the shame from His people and always brings forth a gospel – joy, salvation, life, hope; and the person who must read the moments of God’s visit and answer them. Moreover, man must allow the Word of God to change, first and foremost, his own heart, so that it could act through him in the world,” said Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh.
In his view, freedom and dignity are the great and valuable gifts we received from God. However, freedom can be abused, and dignity is easy to lose.
In addition, he also mentioned the blessed Josaphata Hordashevska and cited the words of John Paul II during his visit to Ukraine (when he proclaimed her the blessed: “She, by her daily and faithful dedication, was following Christ, devoting herself to children, sick, poor, illiterate, and in the often difficult and unforgettable situations of suffering, she was able to embody the Gospel in her daily life in an extraordinary way.”
The Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Bishop Claudio Gucerotti also expressed his congratulatory speech on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the bishop’s service of His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
“I want you to feel during this holiday the presence of the Pope, which is full of love. He gives you your kiss and your parental hugs. His blessing embraces the years that have passed, and those years that remain before you,” said Bishop Claudio Gucerotti, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine.
In addition, he thanked His Beatitude Sviatoslav for his ministry and wished “that God would fill him with the gift of wisdom,” which is what we “give as a bouquet of flowers, on behalf of the whole Church.”
“We understand as bishops that our achievements are your joy and our problems are your cross,” said Bishop Josyph Milian, Assistant Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy in congratulations. – Your cooperation in various fields: spiritual, social, political and social life, gives us, bishops, an opportunity for joy. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Synod of the Bishops of the UGCC chose the youngest but most worthy candidate to bear the cross of the Church.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav expressed the words of sincere gratitude for the greetings. He thanked all those who performed the rite of his ordination, especially the Bishop Ihor Voznyak, Metropolitan of Lviv.
The spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics also emphasized: “The idea of the Annunciation takes on a special place in our Church, as on this day a number of bishops celebrate their anniversaries: 11 years of the Episcopal ordination of Bishop Josaphat Hovera, Exarch of Lutsk, 5 years – of Bishop Mykhailo Bubniy, Exarch of Odesa, 3 years – of Bishop Volodymyr Hrutsa, Assistant Bishop of Lviv Archeparchy. And on this day Fr. Andriy Maksymovych, administrator of the Patriarchal Curia, celebrates his birthday.”
At the end of the Liturgy, the Head of the UGCC asked to pray for honest elections and a wise choice of Ukrainians.
Department of Information of the UGCC