Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, is in the United States this month, visiting some of the numerous Eparchies (Dioceses) and Eastern Catholic Communities spread throughout the country.

By Vatican News

The first stage of the Cardinal Sandri’s visit began in the city of Chicago, the seat of both a Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy and a Syro-Malabar Diocese. On Friday, the Prefect met with members of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St Nicholas of Chicago, including the Bishop, Venedykt Aleksiychuk. He also visited the Cathedral, as well as the parish of Sts Volodymyr and Olha.

On Sunday, Cardinal Sandri presided at the Holy Qurbana (the “Holy Sacrifice”), the Eucharistic liturgy of the Syriac tradition, as part of his visit to the Syro-Malabar community. The St Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Chicago covers the whole of the United States, and is one of three eparchies of the Syro-Malabar Church outside of India.

The following day, Monday, Cardinal Sandri visited Mundelein Seminary, about 50 km from downtown Chicago, and the University of St Mary of the Lake. Several Eastern Catholic Churches send students to Mundelein to study for ministry. In the afternoon, the Cardinal visited with Syro-Malabar priests and religious who are in the midst of a spiritual retreat.

After his time in Chicago, Cardinal Sandri will travel to Detroit, where he will meet with Bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the United States and Canada. While in Detroit, the Prefect will also visit one of the Maronite parishes in the area.

The final leg of Cardinal Sandri’s visit includes the jubilee celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Eparchy of Parma of the Ruthenians, and the Metropolia of Pittsburgh of the Ruthenians. Cardinal Sandri will also visit the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Saint Josaphat, where he will be welcomed by the local Bishop, and by the new Metropolitan of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians, Archbishop Borys Gudziak.

During his time in Parma and Pittsburg, the Prefect will meet with all the Ruthenian Bishops of the United States, as well as having the opportunity to visit with young people, clergy, and religious of the community.


Teachings of Christ

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Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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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