On Friday, June 16, 2023, the five-day Soborchyk for the clergy of the Eparchy of Melbourne concluded

June 16, 2023

Soborchyk for the clergy of the Melbourne Eparchy “Hope, to Which the Lord Calls Us” took place from June 12 to June 16, 2023. During this time, representatives of the clergy from the entire Eparchy gathered together to discuss important issues and strengthen spiritual bonds. This event served as a significant opportunity for learning, spiritual growth, and participation in important discussions regarding the contemporary challenges of the Church.

On Friday, June 16, 2023, the five-day Soborchyk for the clergy of the Eparchy of Melbourne concluded

The Soborchyk organized under the guidance of Bishop Mykola Bychok, the Eparch of Melbourne, was intended for discussing relevant topics related to the spiritual life of the parishes and planning for future projects. At the beginning of the Synod the fathers discussed the positive and negative experiences of the decisions made during the last Soborchyk in 2022 and the post-synodal implementation the resolutions. Participants shared reports based on the ‘Vibrant Parish’ program and also addressed issues related to worship, transitioning to the New Calendar, and supporting believers in the modern world. The discussions also encompassed contemporary challenges faced by the Church, including the role of the Church in society, co-operation with other denominations, the importance of supporting the congregation in difficult times, and safeguarding standards. The clergy set a goal for the next three years to determine the priority areas for implementing the Pastoral Plan 2030 “Hope, to Which the Lord Calls Us”: closeness to the poor, marginalized, refugees, and victims of war; healing the “wounds of war”; and Christian family. In particular, during one of the sessions, Sister Sevastiana Karvatska (OSBM), the head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Commission on Health Pastoral Care, shared her knowledge and experience of post-traumatic pastoral care during times of war, in order to help priests find new paths in addressing this challenge.

The participants of the Soborchyk also discussed important issues of inter-parish co-operation during the war in Ukraine. A decision was made to organize charitable actions and social projects aimed at providing assistance and spiritual comfort to those in need. One of the main outcomes of the Soborchyk was a unanimous agreement on the implementation of modern technologies in spiritual practice and interaction with the faithful. In particular, the possibility of using social media and internet resources to promote faith and facilitate communication with believers was discussed.

In addition to academic discussions, the Soborchyk also provided an opportunity for the priests of the Melbourne Eparchy to spend time together in prayer. The morning and evening services, including the joint Liturgy and Vespers, helped to realize the profound spiritual significance of unity and shared ministry.

Summing up the Soborchyk, Bishop Mykola Bychok, the Bishop of the Eparchy of Melbourne, expressed his gratitude to all participants for their involvement and fruitful work. He also emphasized the importance of further cooperation and the pursuit of unity among the entire clergy for the strengthening of faith and the spread of the Gospel.

After the conclusion of the Soborchyk, the participants returned to their parishes with new ideas and strengthened faith. The Soborchyk “Hope, to Which the Lord Calls Us” became an important step towards improving spiritual life and furthering the mission of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the Eparchy of Melbourne.

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