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

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“We firmly believe that the Church will never fall, will never waiver and will not be destroyed. For this is what Christ taught, by Whom the heavens were established and the earth was founded, and stands firmly as the Holy Spirit says”. (Ps. 32:6) The Antichrist will lure to himself “those who have a weak and feeble mind, will seduce and will tear them away from the living God.”

St. John of Damascus, Oration on the Transfiguration of the Lord