Certified Course “Healing the Wounds of War” Begins for UGCC Clergy

September 19, 2023, 12:47 40

On September 18, a compulsory certified program for the clergy of the UGCC, Healing the Wounds of War, began at the Patriarchal House in Lviv. The three-day course for priests is sponsored by the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives and consists of three areas: mental health, pastoral care, and theology.

Certified Course “Healing the Wounds of War” Begins for UGCC Clergy

The program “Healing the Wounds of War” for the clergy is organized by the UGCC Commission on Pastoral Health Care. According to Myroslava Polets, a commission project manager, the main goal of the course is to teach priests to provide professional help and care to all those in need who have suffered as a result of the war.

The first course was primarily attended by priests from the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine, as well as from other dioceses of the UGCC. The priests have the opportunity to share their experiences and testimonies of what they face in parish life.

“We have to be involved in healing people’s pain during the war, and perhaps even take on some of it and empathize with them. I want this pain to become a launching pad for recovery,” said Fr. Oleksandr Bohomaz, a priest of the Donetsk Exarchate.

Oleh Romanchuk, a teacher of the program and director of the Institute of Mental Health UCU, told us what essential skills priests acquire during the course: “When a person in confession says that they have been raped or has symptoms of PTSD after the war, they may not know what is happening to them. But a priest can help them understand this with the hope that there is a path to healing, guide them, and be there for them. Although professional help is essential, pastoral care is no less a source of support. Therefore, providing pastoral care with sensitivity and wisdom is very necessary.”

At the end of the course, all participants will take tests and receive certificates. The program “Healing the Wounds of War” is designed for UGCC priests, but a course is also intended for priests’ wives and monastics.

The UGCC Department for Information

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