Newly established Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Braga, Portugal begins holding Church Services on a regular basis

With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, and in agreement with His Grace Bishop Nestor (Sirotenko) of Korsun, on November 12, 2017, church services on a regular basis were begun in the newly established Ukrainian Orthodox parish which is in the city Braga, northern Portugal. This city is home to a large number of Ukrainians who hail from all over Ukraine, including: western and central, eastern and southern regions.

On this auspicious day, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC DECR) in concelebration with Archpriest Taras Ladetsky, who has been entrusted with the Pastoral care of the newly established parish. During the Liturgy, the believers sang under the direction of UOC DECR co-worker V. V. Gorzov. The Divine Liturgy was conducted in both Church Slavonic and Ukrainian, and a prayer for peace in Ukraine was also offered. A sermon on the subject of gospel reading was delivered by Archpriest Taras Ladetsky.

Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych addressed our compatriots with a homily after the Divine Liturgy. After introducing the parishioners to their new rector Archpriest Taras Ladetsky, Father Mykolay drew attention to the fact that the Orthodox parish is a family in Christ, where people under the guidance of the priest live a spiritual life, regularly confessing and partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. And if spirituality and ecclesiality are at the core of such a community, then the power of the Holy Ghost will be with the community, and will strengthen it, multiply it, reduce human weaknesses and smooth out misunderstandings that sometimes occur among people.

Despite the importance of preserving and nurturing the native Ukrainian language and culture, the need for which is something that is especially self-evident abroad, the Orthodox community, according to Father Mykolay, should not become a club for political, cultural or national interests. The newly established parish should not be limited to being within the confines of the Ukrainian language and culture alone. On the contrary the community, where the overwhelming majority are Ukrainians, should be open to both Orthodox and people from other nationalities including those people who have not yet discovered Christ and who are still seeking a path towards God. It is this approach that will allow believers to fully feel the Church’s unity, which we confess every day, reading the “Creed”, – the priest noted. “The Lord Jesus Christ said: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). “Therefore, may the Lord be with you, sanctify you, perfect you and unite you all” – Father Mykolay wished.

Church services in the newly established parish are to be held every Sunday at the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel at the address: Rua Cardoso Avelino 3, 4700-023 Braga, Capela de Sao Miguel-o-Anjo.

The UOC DECR continues to work on the creation of Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in locations which are relatively densely populated by our compatriots in various countries of the world.

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