Lviv will host the 30th Colloquium of the European Parishes (CEP), which brings together priests and lay people who would like to ensure a more dynamic life of their parishes.
The jubilee CEP will be held from July 27 to August 1, 2019, in Lviv and will be themed “Who will help us to be Christians in modern Europe?”
More than 150 participants from Europe and the same number of representatives from Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes are expected to arrive.
The slogan of the forum is “Can differences bring us together?”
Colloquium discussions will be held about the following issues:
- 1. Pope Francis and His vision of the modern Church (the Roman hierarch is chosen, for he is the Church leader who most valiantly proposes concrete steps for practical Christian life in the current secular environment);
- 2. The parable of the prodigal son (one of the most famous parables found in Luke 15:11-32). The plot of this parable symbolically illustrates the relationship between man and God. The emphasis should be made on the person of the elder brother, who plays the role of a “righteous Christian, which prevents the unchurched to feel at ease in the Church”);
- 3. The dignity of every human being. Who will help us to be Christians in modern Europe? (One of the main challenges for modern Christians is to come out of their temples to meet all people without condemning anyone, offering Christ’s love to everyone.)
Commenting on the choice of Ukraine as the venue for the European parish summit in 2019, President of CEP Fr Antonio Casar said: “So far, the Colloquiums of European Parishes have been held only in Western Europe. Following the collapse of the Communist system, it became possible for the countries of Eastern Europe, including Eastern Catholics from Ukraine, participate in such a religious summit”.
“Life in Eastern Europe is very different from what we have in Western Europe, it is also different in a religious aspect, so it is very important for us to get acquainted not only with the religious life of Ukrainian parishes, but also to see the style of your life, your culture, traditions and customs. It is important for us to draw from you what we do not have and share with you what we have.”
As part of the CEP, “Nation’s Holidays” will be held in Lviv in the evenings, where groups from different countries will be able to present their “national highlights”.
The Colloquium of European Parishes also has a youth dimension. The event in Ukraine will not be an exception. Active parish youth from Europe will arrive in Lviv. Participants of the youth program will have their events mainly in the premises of the Center of the Metropolitan of Sheptytsky of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
The Colloquium of European Parishes dates back to 1961. Every two years, representatives of Catholics from different countries of Europe gather at a Congress at which bishops, priests, theologians and active laity take part to discuss the question: how to be good Christians in the modern world, how to convey faith to the next generations, how to search for new forms of evangelization, how to revive parishes? This movement began in the RCC in 1963, in recent decades it was joined by Greek Catholics of Ukraine, Romania and Hungary. It now includes 35 countries.
Since 2005, the delegation of St. Volodymyr Foundation from Lviv has been taking part in the CEP forums on behalf of the UGCC. It was this Foundation led by Ihor Matushevskiy and Lesya Krypyakevych that assumed the responsibility together with the Presidium of the Colloquium of European Parishes to become a co-organizer of the CEP in Lviv in 2019. The Colloquium takes place in Lviv with the support of the Charity Fund Renovabis.
Responsible for this direction is Margaret Mayer.
“The Ukrainian organizing committee of CEP will do everything to make such a Europe-wide religious meeting in Lviv not only a successful religious and social event but also to bring new emphasis to the traditional meetings of the Colloquium. Metropolitan of the UGCC His Eminence Ihor (Voznyak) gave a blessing to this meeting in Lviv,” Ihor Matushevskiy said.