The Official Start of the Preparation of Ukraine For WYD: How Was It?

EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES05.06.201513:20 On a spring evening, young people who entered Lviv’s Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Krakiwska Street were thinking about Krakow of 2016. They were dreaming about meeting youth from all over the world on Polish streets. They were dreaming to see the Pope of Rome. They were dreaming about presenting the Ukrainian people as a spiritually and culturally rich, young, and open nation.

Do you still know why young people, having such hopes and dreams, went to this exact church on Krakiwska Street? There, on May 27th, the makers of the All-Ukrainian program of the preparation for World Youth Day presented this program to those who would spread it all around Ukraine and unite Ukrainians with one goal  to see the world and show themselves unified in prayer with the Pope and the whole world.

The Church of Transfiguration of the Lord (Lviv)

The seminarians of the Lviv Spiritual Seminary of the Holy Spirit together with the UGCC Youth Commission have gathered the leaders of Lviv’s youth communities to be aware of the task to instruct and prepare their community members, accordingly, to participate in WYD. In doing so, they would truly show themselves there as Ukrainians and Christians.

The seminarians arranged for the possibility of all willing young people to conduct meetings twice a monthbased on the common programavailable for download on the Internet. Sample meeting of this kind have been conducted by seminarians in the Church of the Transfiguration.

At the beginning of the meeting, however, the youth leaders were informed that the Polish organizers of World Youth Day are looking forward to welcoming Ukrainians and were shown a mini-film about how Krakow is preparing for WYD.

Małopolska Province,where the meeting for youthwill be held, turned out to be the fatherland of John Paul II, who has initiated this meeting in 1983. Krakow is the city of a sainted Pope; a city which prepared him for the task of being the“apostle Peter of our time". Here, inMałopolska Province,lived the one who has invented the event which today unites the whole world and the whole of its youth to Christ.

 The Church of St. Wojciech in

After watching it,Brother StepanMyshkovskyy underlined that we should go to WYD not as different communities of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (such asthe Society of Ukrainian Catholic Students "Obnova", or "Ukrainian Youth for Christ", or "Family", whose representatives were present in the meeting), but as a united community with one spirituality and culture. What are the main vocations of such a unity?

§  To be united in order to witness.

§  To break stereotypes and to construct a correct view.

"We always tend to separate", Brother Stepan said. "We can have different heroes or customs. We live according to the principle: ‘this is mine and that is yours; don’t touch what is mine and I will not touch what is yours’. But what is unifying for all of us is relations, Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian spirituality. And it is exactly this that we should show the world. If, within a year, each community follows a course of monthly meetings with a program which is the same for everybody, we will be ready for this task".

And here is the most interesting point: what does such a meeting look like? The DyvenSvit correspondent saw everything with her own eyes (it was meeting №5, and one can find information here).

Young people were asked to sit in a circle and to imagine that they are the richest of businessmen. All of a sudden, in the 21st century,when everyone is accustomed to plasma televisions and Lamborghinis, Christ suddenly arrives to such a meeting and says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven". Boys and girls reflected and started to express their ideas of who, in their opinion, are the blessed and can be the blessed, and who are the poor and are the poor in spirit.

For better work, the seminarians divided the youth into two teams called "Bow-wow" and "Miaow". When all were assembled, the participants from the DyvenSvit joined the "Miaow" team.

First, young people had to tell each other3 facts about themselves in order to get acquainted better.Then one of the participants was assigned a task to imitate the word "holiness" just by gestures andimitations.After this word had been guessed, the participants started other tasks: to write several points on what holiness, poverty, and poorness in spirit are. All of this was written on a board with markers. Furthermore, young people outlined that, to not be poor, one needs to work, pray, be ready for sacrifice, fight laziness, and be positive.

The poor in the spirit seemed to be the most ambiguous concept until the team reached out to some particular personalities who, in their opinion, were rich, poor in the spirit, and saintly at the same time. After depicting the schematic portraits of John Paul II, Saint Nicholas, Metropolitan AndreySheptytsky, and Mother Theresa on the board, in addition to having prepared their presentation for everyone, the young people from the “Miaow” team were playing a game of “Odd one out” while the team “Bow-wow” was finishing the presentation.

Within the presentation, there were some valuable phrases:

One can be poor only here, on Earth.

People who have poverty laid in their head, are poor in reality as well.

The poor in spirit are those who have nothing except for their hope in God.

Being poor is a chance to becoming poor in spirit.

At the end, the youth leaders were shown a video about a man named Grandpa Dobri who has given 40 hectares of his land to the Church, and, now, he is a pauper by whose efforts many churches in Bulgaria have been restored. About his current activity, Grandpa Dobri said, "It is not mendicancy, it is charity".

Bulgarian Grandpa Dobri. Photo

Having received homework to watch, with the whole community, the film about John Paul "Karol: A Man Who Became Pope", boys and girls went home to spread the next day with renewed enthusiasm – an idea of all Ukrainian youth for the common preparation for WYD.


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