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His Beatitude Sviatoslav to the priests: People are the greatest wealth of our Church, so take care of them!

People are our greatest wealth. In today’s circumstances, caring for our faithful means communicating with them, and, after learning about their needs, responding as quickly as possible. The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, said this during an online meeting with UGCC priests serving in Austria, Portugal and Latvia.

The video conference on the peculiarities of pastoral care in lockdown was also attended by: Head of the Pastoral and Migration Department Bishop Stepan Sus and representatives of the PMD – Fr. Andriy Hakh and Fr. Roman Ilnytsky.

“I was once asked what is the greatest wealth of our Church? I say: our people. So, dear fathers, take care of our people!” urged the Head of the UGCC.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav said that taking care of people in today’s circumstances means communicating with them, but in a new way. “Adopt new ways of communication. The survivors of the underground remember how we consecrated Easter baskets before the radio. There was the livestreaming of the Vatican liturgy. We didn’t even see anything – just heard. So there is no problem with sanctifying your Easter basket today. But to those who do not remember, they need to be told about it,” noted the Head of the Church.

He added that communication allows first and foremost to learn about people’s needs. “The more problems a person has, the more intense we need to communicate with him/her. And knowing the needs, we should respond to them as quickly as we can,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Primate also greeted the pastors on the coming Easter. “Today, priests, like medical professionals in hospitals, are at the forefront of this new, deadly disease. The life, health and ministry of each of us is a great treasure of the Church of Christ. I want to thank you for all the work you do in your countries.”

He also noted that the challenges of the new pandemic demand answers from the Church, how in the current quarantine conditions to accompany the faithful and serve the people.

“We are on the verge of very powerful change in the global dimension. The epidemics that once took place in Europe have affected not only the human body but also the foundations of human society. Ukraine will be completely different than before the epidemic. And our Church will be different. I want her to be better. Today you are looking for new ways of pastoring, how to accompany our people when they cannot reach the Church, how to overcome their fear, panic. The church has an important role to play in bringing new people into the new culture. Therefore, I want you to be a generator of light and hope in your own countries. Such light must come from Christ – there is no other hope,” concluded the Head of the UGCC.