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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus