The Head of the UGCC paid a pastoral visit to Zaporizhzhia

December 16, 2022, 21:01 24

On Friday, December 16, the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, visited the city of Zaporizhzhia, located several dozen of kilometers away from the southern front line, as part of his pastoral visit to the Donetsk Exarchate of the UGCC. On the morning of this day, the Russians fired 12 rockets at Zaporizhzhia.

The Head of the UGCC paid a pastoral visit to Zaporizhzhia

The Head of the Church began his visit to the Donetsk Exarchate to the sound of explosions with a Liturgy in the Church of St. Volodymyr the Great in Zaporizhzhia. Bishop Stepan Meniok, Exarch of Donetsk, and priests of the Patriarchal Curia and the Donetsk Exarchate concelebrated with him.

Addressing the faithful, the Head of the UGCC said: “Today I have come to testify to everyone that you here in Zaporizhzhia and we here in our native Ukrainian lands are not abandoned. On the contrary, our Church in Ukraine and worldwide is with us. All good people of different Churches, nationalities, and countries who want to share everything they have — are together with us.”

His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked the volunteers, all those who take care of the victims of Russian aggression in Zaporizhzhia, and the Ukrainian military, particularly the air defense forces, thanks to which “we feel protected,” and assured them of prayer.

After the Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav talked with the clergy and laity of the Donetsk Exarchate. Later, together with them, he recorded his daily video message in the church of St. Volodymyr in Zaporizhzhia.

On this day, His Beatitude Sviatoslav visited Caritas-Zaporizhzhia, numbering more than 100 trained and motivated employees, and the areas of activity cover all human needs. During the war, Caritas-Zaporizhia served more than 150,000 people and refugees, 3,000 coming to the town every day when the humanitarian corridors were opened and those who tried to evacuate.

The Head of the Church noted that the whole world knows Zaporizhzhia and the cities in the region today, and millions of people want to help Ukrainians. In this context, the professional service of the Caritas team is vital. Caritas of Ukraine and Caritas-Zaporizhzhia are unique tools connecting millions of good people around the world with needy people who became victims of this war.

The Primate noted that the representatives of various international humanitarian organizations who are coming to Ukraine today, on the one hand, are dismayed at the scale of the humanitarian crisis. But on the other hand, they are impressed by the ability of Ukrainians to help themselves. “You, our Caritas, are saving Ukraine today from the humanitarian disaster the enemy wants to cause at any cost. And today’s massive shelling of Ukraine is proof of that,” added His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The Primate also assured the Caritas workers that he would do everything so that “your hands are not empty.” “Pope Francis personally has deep empathy for Ukrainians,” said the Head of the UGCC, recalling, in particular, the call of the Holy Father to Catholics to celebrate Christmas more moderately and to give the saved money to Ukrainians. — The pope made such an ‘emergency appeal,’ as Caritas professionally calls it… I am confident that your hands will never be empty.”

In the premises of Caritas, the Head of the UGCC spoke with the mothers of the fallen Ukrainian soldiers. He emphasized that it is significant for the relatives of fallen defenders of Ukraine to gather together. “I wanted to come to you today to embrace you all and make you feel that you are not alone in your grief. Your pain is our pain. May the Lord grant the Kingdom of Heaven to your relatives and friends, who are already in the hands of God, and give all of you the courage to live on because life still goes on,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

At a meeting with the local officials, the Head of the UGCC was interested in the humanitarian situation in the city and region and asked about the needs of Zaporozhzhia residents, especially during the severe winter period, as well as how the Church can serve people.

Worth mentioning that within the pastoral visit of the Head of the UGCC to the Donetsk Exarchate, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, despite visiting Zaporizhzhia, will also see Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih, where he will consecrate the Church of St. Nicholas.

The UGCC Department for Information


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