2020 was proclaimed the Year of the Bible. This year has six goals: to pray, to translate, to publish, to distribute, to teach, and to motivate people to read the Word of God.

In this newsletter, we are pleased to share with you some of the exciting projects and activities of the UGGC Patriarchal Catechetical Commission, which is the main instrument of the Patriarchal Curia in preaching and spreading the Word of God.

We also encourage you to visit the links in this newsletter for additional catechetical resources in English. 

 

The Patriarchal Catechetical Commission  coordinates the catechetical activity of the UGCC worldwide.

The Commission develops catechetical programs and materials for children, youth, young adults, and adults. It also provides formation for catechists, develops programming for summer Christian camps, and leads the network of the Bible

 Study Apostolate in Ukraine and abroad.
The Commission oversee  the Catechetical and Pedagogical Institute at the Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, which provides training and formation for catechists.

The Synod of Bishops of the UGCC  has  defined the strategic directions for catechetical ministry:

  • the preparation of a unified program of formation for leaders of bible study groups and catechists of the UGCC;
  • the preparation of  a  study-guide for the UGCC Catechism “Christ our Pascha”;
  • and the preparation of new catechetical resource materials for different age groups.

BIBLE STUDY APOSTOLATE 

Since 2001 the Commission has been overseeing the Bible Study Apostolate. The aim of this Apostolate is to help the faithful  know better the Word of God and to spread the practice of the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture in parish communities and families.  Today, some 1,000 communities participate in the prayerful reading of the Sacred Scripture, involving more than 21,000 faithful.

Studying the Word of God often involves choosing good religious literature or an appropriate online resource. Therefore, an important part of our work is the preparation of relevant Bible publications and internet resources.A program of prayerful reading of the Gospel according to Luke is posted on the Commission’s website, and passages of the Gospel with commentaries are regularly posted.  The program for the reading of the Gospel of Luke is also available in English.

This year, in cooperation with the Ukrainian Catholic University’s Department of Biblical Studies, a program for the training of leaders for Bible groups was developed,  with new students enrolling in the program.

TRAINING OF CATECHISTS 

The training of catechists has always been and remains a priority in the Commission’s activities

The Catechetical and Pedagogical Institute of the Ukrainian Catholic University has been providing training for catechists since 1998. As of today, more than 400 students study at the institute in Kyiv, Lviv, Zhovkva, Lutsk, Zaporizhia, and Odesa.

This year, 162 students enrolled in the Institute. This year, for the first time, 28 students enrolled in a long-distance learning program, where students living outside of Ukraine can receive catechist education (London-8, Spain-5, Italy-9, Japan-1, Portugal-1, France-1, Belgium-1, Germany-1, Argentina-1).

An online program has been prepared through the mutual efforts of the members and teaching staff of the Catechetical Commission, the Department of Bible Studies, and the Theological Department of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. An online 3-year program offers an option, in addition to receiving a diploma in the catechism, to receive a minor degree in the following areas: leader of bible study groups; animator of parish youth groups (in partnership with the Patriarchal Youth Commission); teachers of moral theology; family counselors (in partnership with the Patriarchal Commission on Family); media specialists; cantors (in partnership with the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission).

ONGOING FORMATION OF CATECHISTS 

There are 2,416 parishes with active catechetical programs in the UGCC in Ukraine. It is therefore important to provide formation and assistance to the directors of existing and newly opened catechetical schools.

Regular seminars, courses, and master classes are organized by the Commission in order to improve the skills of catechists and provide them with ongoing formation. More than 10 seminars are organized by the Commission every year: Bible seminars, seminars on active catechetical methods, seminars on working with children with special needs, seminars for animators of Christian camps and others.

Special resource materials have been published: International Biblical Commentary (4 volumes);  a Bible for children “God speaks to his children”; Methodical materials for animators of Christian summer camps “Roads of Faith”; Divine Liturgy with the Sacraments of Baptism of adults; and a catechetical manual “Teaching in parables”.

CHILDREN’S SONG CONTEST

The International Contest of Modern Children’s Religious Songs,  called “Song of the Heart,” serves to increase the cultural and spiritual values of the Ukrainian people by promoting modern religious songs. Since 2000, more than 25,000 children from Ukraine have taken part in the competition (it is conducted at the parish, eparchial and patriarchal levels), including participants from “Saturday schools” abroad (Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, and Australia.)