In the midst of all the disturbing news from the Middle East, there is some wonderful news from Kiev, Ukraine.
After more than a decade of construction, the Holy Resurrection Cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was consecrated on 18 August 2013. This cathedral has become the main shrine for more than five million Ukrainian Greek Catholics throughout the world.
The festive ceremonies around cathedral’s consecration were also linked to the celebration of 1025th anniversary of the baptism of the Ukrainian people. The event brought to Ukraine’s capital more than 20,000 guests and pilgrims from all over the world. From the CNEWA family, Msgr. John Kozar, CNEWA’s president, and Carl Hétu, national director of CNEWA Canada, attended the ceremonies.
Here is Msgr. Kozar’s impression:
The consecration of the cathedral was a graphic sign to the faithful in Ukraine and beyond that the faith shared in baptism can flourish, even in the worst of times. And the amazing encounter for me was that these brave and courageous people filled with faith do not complain about their great sufferings nor do they look for sympathy. Rather, they celebrate their joy of rising with Christ and proclaiming him to all.
The consecration of the cathedral was an event of high importance because it marked the revival and resurrection of the church that had been forced out of central and eastern parts of Ukraine four centuries ago and was later brutally repressed by the U.S.S.R.’s Communist regime from 1945 to 1989.
In the 20th century, the church produced hundreds of martyrs, 25 of whom were beatified by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Ukraine in 2001. One of them, Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky, is buried in Winnipeg, Canada.
After two decades of independence, Ukraine still remains among the poorest countries in Europe. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which has reestablished its parishes in western Ukraine, now has two main focuses: organization of its communities in central and eastern Ukraine and responding to the enormous social challenges faced by its people by implementing various social development and humanitarian initiatives.
Holy Resurrection Cathedral is functional now but far from finished. Funds are still needed to complete the interior and the surrounding complex, in which many of the church ministries will be based. To learn more about how you can help the Ukrainian church and its many ministries, please click here. To help fund the completion of Holy Resurrection Cathedral, use one of the following links: CNEWA or CNEWA Canada.