On July 31, 2017, syncelli and representatives responsible for social service in UGCC eparchies participated in the workshop held by Caritas Ukraine in the Patriarchal Center in Lviv.
Today, social service in Ukraine requires more and more consistency and coordination, along with unceasing development at a local level. Consequences of military operations, economic challenges and modern social problems bring new challenges which the Church has to find solutions for. Under these conditions, people, who always received support for different reasons (lack of financial security, disability, orphanage, etc.) feel even more vulnerable.
Consequently, individual local initiatives must have both a joint platform and efficient mechanisms for information sharing to better meet needs of the people. One of the types of an efficient service for people in need at a local level is an organized parish ministry, which is also called parochial Caritas. This project was launched to make aware Ukrainian religious leaders and the men of faith of the framework, structure and working practices of Caritas parishes.
During the meeting, eparchial workgroups received the task to collect data on the variety and dynamics of the social service in UGCC parishes. Afterwards, these data will become a basis for drawing up a social service map to choose the most efficient eparchies for further cooperation.
Moreover, the project envisages the issue of a manual for launching and reorganization of charitable activities at the parish to make every parish concerned about needs of its community become a starting point for positive changes in the community life and meet modern people’s needs in the most efficient way. The most important criterion for the provision of Caritas aid is existence of a real need. Neither religious, nor ethnic differences between people shall become an obstacle for the obedience to the God’s commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
First results of the project and teamwork of its participants are anticipated in September-October. Later, the next stage will follow, which foresees training sessions for eparchial communities that will operate at parishes. This represents a major step for the quality changes in the parochial social service and the life of numerous local communities.