risu.org.ua - The annual meeting of the Bishops of the Catholic Eastern Churches in Europe is taking place this year at Fatima (Portugal), 20-23 October at the invitation of the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, President of the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference.

In this meeting-pilgrimage at the Marian Shrine of Fatima, which in 2017 is celebrating the centenary of the apparitions, the bishops representing 15 Catholic Eastern Churches in Europe, along with bishops representing various episcopal conferences from Western European nations (France, Germany, Portugal, England and Wales and Spain), will examine the challenge of pastoral care of Eastern Catholics in these countries. In effect, since the collapse of the totalitarian regimes in Eastern European countries, a massive flow of Eastern Rite Catholic migrants, therefore belonging predominantly to sui iuris Churches, have started new lives in Western countries. After twenty years, with a fairly constant flow of new migrants and the birth of the second generation among those first arrivals, the welcoming local churches, largely Latin Rite in the Western nations, are faced with new challenges in terms of the preservation of  the cultural and ecclesial identity of these migrants.

At the Marian Shrine, along with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, participants will therefore analyse some issues and challenges linked to this particular migratory phenomenon. The economic situation of the countries of Eastern Europe which leads to migration will be examined with the help of the economist Prof. João Luís César das Neves; the issue of integration will be enriched by the tesimonies of a Romanian family and a teacher working daily with the “children” of migrants; and there will also be an examination of the relationship between the welcoming church and the church of origin.

The meeting, marked by the daily celebration of Mass in various Eastern Rites, testifying to the riches of the different liturgical traditions in the Catholic Church, also envisages a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Nazaré and a prayer of entrustment, in the Shrine at Fatima, presided over by the Secretary of the Vatican dicastery in charge of the Oriental Churches, Slovakian Archbishop Cyril Vasil’.

Participants at the meeting, organised by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), also include Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, attending his first meeting as the new President of CCEE.

The meeting will end on Sunday 23 October with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy presided over by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč, in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity and the procession through the Holy Door of Mercy.


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina