ugcc.org.ua - On November 12, His Beatitude Sviatoslav met with the Ukrainian clergymen, who perform pastorship for the UGCC communities in Austria. The meeting took place in the frames of the official pastoral visit of the Head of the UGCC to Vienna.
To the meeting with His Beatitude Sviatoslav came priests, deacons and seminarians, who reside in Austria and patronize Ukrainian laymen outside their Motherland.
During the introduction, the priests told about the spiritual life of their communities, in particular, of the Ukrainian groups of Greek Catholics in Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Linz, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt.
According the latest data, in Austria there are approximately six thousand Ukrainian Greek Catholics, who at least twice a year attend the Divine Liturgy. Although, as noted Fr. Oleh Kovtun, a minister at the temple of St. Barbara, the exact number of Ukrainians, who live on the territory of Austria, is difficult to ascertain. Especially this refers to the so-called old generation. In the times of occupation of Austria by Russian troops, some of our compatriots were afraid to admit their belonging to the Ukrainian community and, because of fear, had to call themselves Austrians. Therefore today part of their descendants don't consider themselves Ukrainians already. The theme of emigration was continued by Dr. Fr. Taras Shagala, an eparch of the church of St. Barbara in Vienna: "In recent years to Austria almost two thousand students have arrived. There are few migrant workers here because of complicated migration laws. Also, here live Ukrainians who work for big corporations and international concerns".
The Head of the UGCC addressed the priests with the call: "Now in our Church in Austria has an uneasy task - the task of missionarizing. All those people should be searched for, since we even don't know their exact number". His Beatitude Sviatoslav also emphasized the need to restructure the system of the UGCC beyond Ukraine and the need to revive the Church since the new wave of emigration has its own spiritual demands. "If we don't follow our people in an unprecedented way," continued the Head of the UGCC, "we are going to lose them."
In the end, the Father and Head of the UGCC suggested that the priests started the translation of Catechism "Christ is our Pascha" into German. "This can become one more good tool in our hands on the way of enlightening the Ukrainians in Austria," - added His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
Photos given by: Ann Art
Press-service of Ordinariate for Catholics of Byzantine Rite in Austria