Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,
A sincere welcome to all of you as we commence another year of grace and blessings for all of us at St. Joseph’s. Hopefully, you have received our pastoral letter this week, sharing much “info” that we want you to read most conscientiously… and we thank you for this!
The following is just an excerpt of a special message of Pope Francis sent
to all Ukrainians in the world:
To His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč
“The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Lk 1:49).
With these words, the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, sings of the marvels
that the Lord has done in the history of his people and in her own life. It is this song
of praise and thanksgiving that rises from the ancient lands of the Kyivan Rus’
which celebrates the 1025th anniversary of its Baptism.
To all, I extend my affectionate greeting.
“Dear brothers and sisters, this celebration is a moment of grace for the whole Ukrainian nation and for all people who celebrate this great event, especially our Orthodox brethren. But it also constitutes a call towards a genuine sense of personal responsibility on the part of institutions and persons, following the example of Saint Vladimir, to work for both the material and spiritual common good of the nation.
It is a reminder of the ecumenical responsibility of asking God for the gift of unity among all Christians and the need to be tireless builders for this communion. It is also a reminder to look to the future—marked by God—with confidence and hope; and, finally, it is a call to intensify our labours in evangelization and pastoral action in all their various aspects.
The Church of St. Sophia, which recalls the name of Constantinople’s church,
is a symbol of Kyiv’s Christianity. The “Indestructible” wall, which bears the sublime
mosaic of the Holy Mother of God “Interceding,” reassures us that the Christian faith
is indestructible through the power of the Almighty. Mary, who gave us Christ the
Wisdom of the Father in the Holy Spirit, helps the heirs of the Baptism of Saint
Vladimir to walk in the sign of this divine Wisdom, which exceeds human
intelligence and leads us back to its source, the Ineffable Triune God, through a holy
fear, which is “the beginning of all wisdom.”
I, Pope Francis, impart my blessing to Your Beatitude, the Ukrainian episcopate and the entire holy people of God. Vatican, 29 July 2013.
May the good Lord bless each of you and it is good to pray with you!