Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 13th May, 4pm
To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email email@example.com for details.
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Pope Benedict accords Ecclesiastical Communion to Archbishop Sviatoslav of Kiev Major-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2011 thanks to Zenit.org
Pope Benedict XVI is assuring his prayers for the new head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Pope greeted the major archbishop at the end of the general audience Wednesday.
Archbishop Sviatoslav Schevchuk, 40, was installed last Sunday. He had been the apostolic administrator of the Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio in Argentina.
"I assure you of my constant prayer, so that the Most Holy Trinity will grant an abundance of goods, confirming the beloved Ukrainian nation in peace and concord," the Pope told him.
The Holy Father continued: "Your Beatitude, the Lord has called you to the service and guidance of this noble Church, part of that people that more than a thousand years ago received baptism at Kiev. I am certain that, illumined by the action of the Holy Spirit, you will preside over your Church, guiding her in faith in Jesus Christ according to your own tradition and spirituality, in communion with the See of Peter."
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has suffered for its communion with Rome. Under Soviet rule, the Church was forcibily disbanded and compelled to join the Russian Orthodox Church. But many Catholics continued to live their faith under ground.
Archbishop Schevchuk was elected by the synod of the Church on March 23. As stipulated by the Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches, his appointment requires the recognition of communion with the universal Church granted by the Pope, which was given him March 25.
Representatives of the three Orthodox Churches of Ukraine were at the enthronement service Sunday. The majority of Ukrainians are Orthodox, separated into three Churches, one united to the Russian Orthodox Church, another under the patriarch of Kiev, and a third, the Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Archbishop Schevchuk greeted each of the representatives and has affirmed his hopes that his ministry will further rapprochement between the Churches, such that "the difficult period in our relationship remains in the past."
Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, patriarch of the Greek Catholic Melkite Church, was also at the enthronement liturgy. He noted his belief that his Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church "are both called to carry out a very significant role in ecumenical work, since they are the two biggest Byzantine Rite Churches in full communion with Rome."
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Benedict XVI has officially affirmed communion with the new patriarch of the Maronite Church, who was installed in the office Friday. Bishop Bechara Boutros Rai, 77, succeeds Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, becoming the 77th patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites. Cardinal Sfeir has resigned at age 90. Ten days before the patriarch's installation, Benedict XVI granted "Ecclesiastica Communio."
"It is a motive of pride for your Church to be united from the beginning to the Successor of Peter," wrote the Pope in a letter granting the official recognition of communion, in conformity with the Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches. "Peter was called by Jesus to preserve the unity of his one Church i n truth and in love. Following a beautiful and ancient tradition, Peter's name is added to the patriarch's."
In the letter, the Holy Father said he hoped the new patriarch would be able to have "all the ardor, illumined by wisdom and tempered by prudence, to guide the Maronite Church." He spoke of the glory of St. Marone, who established this Church, as well as the "array of Lebanese saints."
"May the Lord assist you in your ministry as 'Father and Head,'" continued Benedict XVI, "to proclaim the Word that saves, so that it is lived and celebrated with mercy according to the ancient spiritual and liturgical traditions of the Maronite Church! May all the faithful entrusted to you be able to find consolation in your paternal solicitude!"
The Bishop of Rome expressed his prayer that Our Lady would make the patriarch a "messenger of unity," so that Lebanon would "be able to carry out in the East and in all the world her role of solidarity and peace."
The Maronite Church has always been in communion with Rome, even while maintaining its own liturgy and calendar. Their liturgy is celebrated in Arabic, except in ancient songs and ancestral prayers of the Eucharist, for which Aramaic is used. The Church was established by St. Marone, who lived between the 4th and 5th centuries as a hermit on Mount Tauro, an ancient city of northern Syria. Today the Maronite Church has more than 3 million faithful and is present in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, the Holy Land, and in countries of the diaspora, such as Argentina and Australia.
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Friday, 25 March 2011
- Melkite was the name given by the opponents of the Council of Chalcedon (451) to the Byzantine Christians of the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, a name adopted and made official by Arabs from the time of Saint Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem
- Greek (or Roman) since its original language was Greek, which gave way to Syriac and then Arabic; Greek is Rūm in Arabic, because the first members of the Church were subjects of the Roman Empire
- Catholic, due to being in communion with Rome from 1724 onwards.
Benedict XVI granted ecclesial communion to Archbishop Sviatoslav Schevchuk, 40, as the ordinary of the Archeparchy of Kiev, Ukraine, and primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, meeting in Kiev, elected Archbishop Schevchuk on Wednesday as the successor of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, 78, who tendered his resignation for reasons of health in February.
As the Code of Canon Law of the Eastern Churches establishes (Canon 153), the appointment requires the recognition of communion with the universal Church granted by the Pope. Archbishop Schevchuk (Rome has not yet assigned the title of patriarchate to this Church) was the youngest bishop taking part in the synod and is the fourth youngest bishop of the Catholic Church.
He will be the pastor of a Church of five million faithful, the largest of the Catholic Eastern Churches. The Church was united to Rome after the Union of Brest (1596), and it was particularly persecuted for this reason during the Soviet period, when Stalin ordered its dissolution in 1948. The legal persecution and marginalization ended in 1989 when, after the fall of Communism, this Church again received juridical recognition.
Bishop Sviatoslav Schevchuk was born in Styj, near Lviv, in 1970. He entered the seminary in 1983, and was ordained a priest in 1994, at the age of 24. He received a doctorate in moral theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 2009, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in 2010 was named its apostolic administrator. Archbishop Schevchuk will take possession of the See of Kiev on Sunday.
Dear Brother Bishops,
I welcome all of you here today on the occasion of your pilgrimage ad limina apostolorum. I thank His Beatitude Baselios Cleemis for the devoted sentiments which he has addressed to me in your name. Through you, I extend greetings to all the priests, religious and lay faithful of your eparchies, and I wish to assure them of my prayers for their spiritual and material well-being. This time together is a privileged occasion to deepen the bonds of fraternity and communion between the See of Peter and the Syro-Malankara Church, happily promoted to Major Archiepiscopal Church by the Venerable John Paul II in 2005.
The apostolic traditions which you maintain enjoy their full spiritual fruitfulness when they are lived in union with the Church universal. In this sense, you rightly follow in the footsteps of the Servant of God Mar Ivanios, who led your predecessors and their faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church. Like your forefathers, you too are called, within the one household of God, to continue in firm fidelity to that which has been passed down to you.
All Catholic Bishops share a proper concern for faithfulness to Jesus Christ and are desirous of that unity which he willed for his disciples (cf. John 17:11), while preserving their legitimate diversity. So it is that "the Catholic Church wishes the traditions of each particu lar Church or rite to remain whole and entire, and she likewise wishes to adapt her own way of life to the various needs of time and place" ("Orientalium Ecclesiarum," 2). Each generation must confront the challenges to the Church in accordance with its capacities and in harmony with the rest of the Mystical Body of Christ. I encourage you, therefore, to foster an affection among your priests and people for the liturgical and spiritual heritage that has come down to you, while steadfastly building upon your communion with the See of Peter.
The deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles and faithfully transmitted to our times is a precious gift from the Lord. It is that message of salvation which has been revealed in the person of Jesus whose Spirit unites believers of every time and place, giving us fellowship with the Father and with his Son so that our joy may be complete (cf. 1 John 1:1-4). You and your priests are called to promote this fellowship th rough word and sacrament, and to strengthen it by a sound catechesis, so that the Word of Life, Jesus Christ, and the gift of divine life - communion with him - may be known throughout the world (cf. "Verbum Domini," 2).
Due to its ancient roots and distinguished history, Christianity in India has long made its proper contribution to culture and society, and to its religious and spiritual expressions. It is through a determination to live the Gospel, "the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith" (Romans 1:16), that those whom you serve will make a more effective contribution to the entire body of Christ and to Indian society, to the benefit of all. May your people continue to flourish by the preaching of God’s word and by the promotion of a fellowship based on the love of God.
I note the particular challenges to many of your parishes in providing proper pastoral care and mutual support, especially when there is not always a par ish priest at hand. And yet, smaller parishes, bearing in mind the social reality Christians face in the broader cultural context, present their own opportunities for truly fraternal upbuilding and assistance. Small Christian communities have often, as you know, given outstanding witness in the history of the Church. Just as in apostolic times, the Church in our age will surely thrive in the presence of the living Christ, who has promised to be with us always (cf. Matthew 28:20) and to sustain us (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:8).
It is this divine presence which must remain at the centre of your people’s life, faith and witness, and which you their Pastors are called to watch over so that, even if they must live far from their community, they will not live far from Christ. Indeed, it is important to remember that Christian communities are "the proper setting where a personal and communal journey based on the word of God can occur and truly serve as the basis for our spi ritual life" ("Verbum Domini," 72).
One of the ways in which you exercise your role as teachers of the faith to the Christian community is through the catechetical and faith formation programmes taking place under your direction. Since "instruction should be based on holy scripture, tradition, liturgy, and on the teaching authority and life of the Church" ("Christus Dominus," 14), I am pleased to note the variety and number of programmes that you currently employ. Along with the celebration of the sacraments, such programmes will help ensure that those in your care will always be able to give an account of the hope which is theirs in Christ. Indeed, catechesis and spiritual development are among the most important challenges which pastors of souls face, and so I warmly encourage you to persevere along the path you have chosen as you seek to form your people in a deeper knowledge and love of the faith, aided by God’s grace and by your h umble trust in his providence.
With these thoughts, I renew my sentiments of fraternal affection and esteem for you. Invoking the intercession of Saint Thomas the Apostle, India’s great patron, I assure you of my prayers and willingly impart to you and to those entrusted to your care my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
© Copyright 2011 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Pope Benedict addresses Church Delegation from Blugaria and Macedonia on Feast of SS Cyril & Methodius
VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2011 thanks to Zenit.org
Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address today to Gjorge Ivanov, president of Macedonia, whom he received in audience together with a Catholic-Orthodox delegation from the country. The Pope received delegations from both Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to celebrate the feast day -- May 11 in the East and Feb. 14 in the West -- of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the co-patrons of Europe.
Honorable Members of the Government and Distinguished Authorities,
Venerable Brothers Representatives of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church
I am particularly happy to receive you and to address my cordial greeting to each one of you, in particular to the president of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is a motive of joy for us all. These holy brothers sent to the Slav peoples proclaimed the Gospel amid many difficulties, but always sustained by an indestructible trust in the Lord. They were animated by the passion to make the Gospel of Christ known and for that reason they spent themselves in teaching the Christian doctrine, reproducing it in books written in the Slavic language. Without a doubt this was a decisive event for the growth and development of the Slav civilization and culture in general. The testimony and teaching of Sts. Cyril and Methodius are still current both for those who are at the service of the Gospel as well as for those called to govern the destinies of nations.
The life of these men was totally dedicated to apostolic activity, and the divine intuition to make the message of Revelation comprehensible and accessible to the peoples was the reason for unity for different traditions and cultures. In acceptance of God's salvific plan, peoples can rediscover the foundations on which to build civilizations and societies imbued with the spirit of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. There can be no real unity without respect for the dignity of every person and his inalienable rights. Sts. Cyril and Methodius understood well that the Gospel of Christ is able to illumine every ambit and dimension of the human experience, to make it fully human. The Word of God calls constantly to conversion of heart, so that every decision, every choice is purified of egotistical interests; and it is precisely from this permanent conversion to God that it is possible to have a new humanity born.
May your annual pilgrimage to Rome be the occasion to renew the bonds of friendship between your nation and the Catholic Church and, at the same time, to reinforce and promote the commitment for the good of your country. Let us invoke the intercession of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, so that the Lord may give you his peace and bless the peoples of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
And here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address to Tsetska Tsacheva, chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, whom he received in audience together with a Catholic-Orthodox delegation from the country.
Madam President of the Parliament,
Honorable Members of the Government and Distinguished Authorities,
Venerable Brothers of the Orthodox Church and of the Catholic Church,
I wish to address my deferent greeting to the official delegation of Bulgaria -- headed by Mrs. President of the Parliament -- which has come to Rome as customary, in the context of the liturgical feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius. This welcome meeting, which is renewed also this year, gives me the opportunity to reaffirm the spiritual and cultural relevance of these two illustrious and notable pioneers of the evangelization of Europe, whose figures are honored both in the East as well as the West. Thanks to their courageous preaching through the streets of the Continent, they fostered a vast spiritual renewal and laid the basis for an authentic promotion of the liberty and unity of Christian Europe. Cyril and Methodius were "living Gospels" and eloquent signs of the Lord's goodness, that is why their witness reached the men of their time more readily.
To European peoples, who are opening these years to new prospects of cooperation, these two great saints remind that its unity will be firmer if it is based on their common Christian roots. In fact, in Europe's complex history, Christianity represents a central and defining element. The Christian faith has molded the culture of the Old Continent, and is indissolubly intertwined in its history, to the point that the latter would not be comprehensible if it did not make reference to the circumstances that earlier characterized the great period of evangelization, and afterward the long centuries in which Christianity took on an ever more relevant role.
Hence, it is important that Europe grow also in the spiritual dimension, in the wake of its best history. The unity of the Continent, which is progressively maturing in consciences and is also being defined in the political aspect, represents a prospect of great hope. Europeans are called to commit themselves to create conditions of a profound cohesion and an effective collaboration between nations. To build the new Europe on solid bases it is not enough to appeal solely to economic interests, but, rather, it is necessary to begin from authentic values, which have their foundation in the universal moral law inscribed in every man's heart.
It is my heartfelt wish that the moral and cultural legacy of Sts. Cyril and Methodius will always nourish in each one of you the desire to appreciate the spiritual patrimony of your lands and, at the same time, openness and communion in reciprocal respect. May this meeting of ours be the motive for further relations in fraternity and solidarity. May the Lord bless your dear country and all its citizens.
[Translation by ZENIT]
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
On the feast of the Annunciation, just across from the Basilica of the Annunciation, an international, interreligious centre dedicated to Our Lady is set to open. The International Mary of Nazareth Centre will be inaugurated Friday by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal. A place for biblical reflection, the center puts technology at the service of the encounter with Mary and the discovery of the Christian faith.
During the inauguration, the Mary of Nazareth Association, which built the centre, will hand the keys to Father Laurent Fabre, founder of the Chemin Neuf Community, which will manage the centre. At 5 p.m., an ecumenical celebration will bring together representatives of the Churches of the Holy Land. The following day, the centre will open its doors to the public.
Pilgrims will be able to submerge themselves in "a multi-media show, with the aesthetic and pedagogical resources of modern audiovisual techniques, and to review on passing through its four great halls the essential moments of the history of salvation and the Virgin Mary's place in Scripture," explained Olivier Bonnassies, executive director of the Mary of Nazareth Association.
In an area of 4,400 square meters (43,000 square feet), one will be able to visit the Chapel of Adoration, which has a unique view of the Basilica, the biblical gardens in panoramic terraces that dominate the whole of Nazareth, the cafeteria recreated from a hall with arches, and a shop.
A statement from the association noted that during the construction and renovation, a unique archaeological discovery was made: a house from Jesus' time and several cisterns and hiding places excavated from the rock.
The International Mary of Nazareth Center has an ecumenical aim and promotes interreligious dialogue, showing in one of the rooms the way in which the Virgin Mary is perceived by the Eastern Churches, in the Quran and as a Jewish woman.
"This vocation of unity explains why the initiative is supported unanimously by the local Churches of the Holy Land," the association statement reflected. "Bishop Marcuzzo, who is supporting the project, has given his unwavering support to this work of unity, hope and peace."
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Bishop Béchara Raï has been elected as the 77th patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites. He was elected Wednesday, receiving more than two-thirds of the votes of the 39 bishops participating in the Holy Synod. He succeeds Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, 90, who held that post since 1986.
Bishop Raï, 71, has been bishop of Jbeil, Lebanon, since 1990. Previously, he served as an auxiliary bishop of Antioch since 1986. He was ordained a priest in 1967, and from that year until 1975 he was responsible for the Arabic-language edition of Vatican Radio.
Bishop Raï will be inaugurated on March 25 in Bkerke, Lebanon, the see of the Maronite Catholic Church. The majority of Christians in Lebanon are Maronite, approximately 930,000. The Maronite diaspora is far greater in number with nearly 3 million spread around the world.
Monday, 14 March 2011
On Saturday, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will begin a visit of great ecumenical importance to the Russian Orthodox Church. Cardinal Kurt Koch will begin in Moscow the trip that will end on Thursday, and will include visits to significant places of worship of the Russian Orthodox Church. The cardinal, who will be accompanied by Jesuit Father Milan Zust, will also meet the Catholic community and celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of the Mother of God in Moscow.
In an interview on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Koch said that in the first instance it is about "making contact with the Patriarchate of Moscow." He noted that he will have an audience with Patriarch Kirill and meetings with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, who is chairman for the patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations. "For me it is extremely important, after the visit I made in November to Constantinople, to have personal relations," the prelate said. "In fact, in the whole of the dialogue with the Orthodox, the dialogue of love always presupposes the dialogue of truth."
Speaking about the history of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, the cardinal said, "From our part was the strong accentuation of the Papacy, whereas from their part was the strong development of autocephaly; a further development obviously consists in the fact that a very great part of today's Orthodoxy lives in the diaspora in the West." He added, "We must examine together these new developments, so that we can reach the ultimate purpose of this dialogue, namely full ecclesial community."
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Monday, 7 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
- Attend (or participate in) the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and appointed holy days
- Fast during Great Lent and other appointed times
- Observe abstinence on Wednesdays and Fridays
- Confess in the presence of a priest at least once a year
- Receive Holy Communion at least during Paschaltide
- Pay the tithe or tenth
- Abstain from getting married at seasons when it is disallowed.
The synod fathers encourage daily reading of and meditation on the Word of God, especially “lectio divina,” and the creation of a website about the Bible, including Catholic explanations and commentaries which are easily understood by the faithful. We would also like to see the preparation of an introductory booklet to the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, which could offer a simple way to help people read the Bible.
They also encourage eparchies and parishes to introduce and promote Bible studies in which the Word of God is meditated upon and explained in such a way as to answer the questions the people have, and help them to become more familiar with the Scriptures, deepening their spirituality and apostolic and missionary commitment.