On November 3-4, 2018, the Third All-Ukrainian Congress of Laity took place in Kyiv at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ and the Exhibition Center on the Left Bank in Kyiv. About 250 participants from all the exarchates and dioceses of the Ukrainian Greeek-Catholic Church in Ukraine came to the Congress.
The Third All-Ukrainian Congress of the Laity was dedicated to the memory of the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. The main theme of the congress was “Vocation of holiness today”.
“The main vision of the Congress,” said the chairman of the UGCC Commission on Laity and the organizer of the Congress Fr. Vasyl Bilash, “was formulated in 2006 His Beatitude of blessed memory Lubomyr Husar who said that the purpose of our Church’s strategy is the holiness of the united people of God.
“We chose two key points,” said the organizer, “holiness and association. Holiness is the goal to which every person is called, but not everyone knows how to reach this holiness. Therefore, obviously, a person may take a wrong path. Therefore, the main purpose of the Congress is to help each person to discover the right path to holiness, and that it is quite real.
The All-Ukrainian Congress of Laity was preceded by congresses in dioceses and exarchates. At these meetings, people discussed the topics, which, as a rule, are not openly discussed: holiness as otherness, as a challenge, a struggle, and eventually – a victory over oneself and over sin…
The congress lasted for two days – November 3 and 4. The work with delegates took place on the first day. Speakers discussed with the laity various topics, in particular: apostolates of the UGCC’s laity today; the documents of the Church and the calling of the faithful to holiness today on the basis of the apostolic teaching “Rejoice and Have Fun”; the formation and apostolates of the laity, the experience of the Catholic Action; the mission of the parish as a community of saints in society, according to the views of the Righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
Also, participants on the first day were looking for a model for the fulfillment of the call to holiness in the modern world. The faithful tried to find answers to the question what holiness means for me in my daily life? What are the difficulties on the way to holiness today? What do I have to do (we have) today on my way to holiness to reach the goal?
On November 4, the Forum Open Doors of the UGCC was held within the framework of the 3rd Congress of the Laity. During the Forum, participants worked within six panels: Formation and apostolates of the laity today; Yes to education: family, school, informal education, church and spiritual support; Church and society: social activities of the UGCC; Socially responsible business; Modern Media and the Church; Socio-political and moral challenges of the present.
The Forum is open to all interested persons and anyone interested can come and listen to the panel discussions.