Ukraine: UGCC hierarchs call on families to read Holy Scripture every day
On December 12, 2018, the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church appealed to clergy, monastics and lay people with the message “God's Word and Catechism.” The message says that the whole Church is responsible for Christian upbringing of their faithful, but the faithful can also fulfill this mission by sharing faith in the resurrected Christ. Therefore, as the message says, the family is a home church, and the parents are the first educators of the faith.
“Dear parents! You are the first teachers of faith for your children, educate them with an example of your own life and the word of prayer. Proclaim the Gospel, read the Word of God. Start the day with morning prayer, and end with the evening one, encouraging children with the words: “Let's go and pray.” Testify your faith in your own life,” the bishops call on parents. It is very important, the bishops of the UGCC reiterate, to read the Scriptures in the family: “The custom to read the Scriptures every day, at least for a minute, should become a custom of every Christian family. That reading should be the daily food of people,” the document says.
A priest on behalf of the bishop is the main catechist and teacher of faith in the parish. The bishops emphasize that priests are responsible for the quality of catechetical service in the parish: “Create parish Bible circles, encourage the faithful to practice prayerful reading of the Holy Scripture in the church community and family. Carefully, prayerfully prepare your sermons, based on the Word of God, so that it be “vivid and active” in the life of believers. Organize and personally accompany the UGCC Catechism Study Group in the parish so that the reading of this book makes people encounter the risen Christ, nourishes their faith, gives them answers to the problems of the present and inspires them to service,” the Synod appealed to the priests.
Catechists are “reliable aides of priests in catechetical service”. The bishops call on them: “In the name of the Church, awaken, inspire and sustain the fervor to learn the Word of God and the truths of faith, to their lives.”
The parish community, the bishops of the UGCC stressed, must take care of the spiritual and moral development of each of its members. This community should be the inspiration and driver of the catechism and its main venue: “Foster the vocation for consecrated life, priesthood and catechetical ministry, ... take an active part in the community and prayer life of the parish. Testify your faith as an example of life in personal, family, professional and social sectors. Every day, live in faith, prayer and deeds of charity.” (Quelle: www.risu.org.ua, 13. Dezember 2018)