UGCC primate calls "all the Ukrainian people of God to join pilgrimage to Rome"

   "My great predecessor of blessed memory Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, having arrived in Italy after 18 years in prison and hard labor and being witness to the destruction of churches on his native land, decided to donate to our faithful and bring to the capital of the Christian world, ancient Rome, near the UkrainianCatholic University, a church of God’s Wisdom as a visible sign of the deeply rooted Christian faith of our nation,” Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk said in a message to the clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church about the nationwide pilgrimage to Rome, which is to be held from October 12 to 14, 2012.
   The pilgrimage will take place on the occasion of the blessing of the restored Cathedral of St. Sophia at the feast of the Virgin of Mercy, October 14, 2012.Also, celebrate the 120th anniversary of the patriarch Joseph (Blind).
The pilgrimage will take place on the occasion of the blessing of the restored Cathedral of St. Sophia at the feast of the Protection of the Virgin Mary, October 14, 2012. Also, it will celebrate the 120th anniversary since the birth of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj.
   It should be noted that on September 3, renovation began which is to be completed by the end of September of next year. The religious society for Ukrainian Catholics Hagia Sophia is responsible for coordinating the work.
   According to the leader of the Greek Catholics, “for the realization of these ideas, a lot of money is needed.” “Although we have already collected many donations, it’s not enough to bring St. Sophia to the proper condition to enable it to adequately represent our church in Italy and around the world,” reads the message.
   In addition, the primate stresses that the Wisdom of God Church and the Ukrainian Catholic University gathered all Ukrainians in the diaspora. Synods of bishops, conferences, summer academic and diaconal courses, lectures were held here. Thousands of pilgrims have visited this church since it was consecrated in 1969.
Sviatoslav stresses that St. Sophia was especially symbolic for those faithful of our church, who found themselves outside their homeland after the councils in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv and St. George Cathedral in Lviv.
   “St. Sophia serves many thousands of Ukrainian migrant workers who came to Italy in the last two decades,” said the head of the UGCC.
   In conclusion, the patriarch urged all the eparchies, exarchates, and parishes to send representatives on this pilgrimage and expressed hope in the “generosity of our people.”
   UGCC Information Department


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