JOURNEY WITH ACN is our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our blog and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world – and various projects we have helped to bring into being together with ACN benefactors.
This week : Ukraine
The priests of the Catholic University in Lviv thank you for your Mass offeringsBy ACN International Adapted by ACN Canada
The tradition of having Holy Mass celebrated for a particular intention, or for the soul of a departed loved one is an ancient and venerable one. The gift, or stipend, which the faithful give the priest in return is in no sense a “payment,” but rather a gesture of loving gratitude, above all towards God who, through the words of consecration uttered by the priest, makes present the saving sacrifice of Christ. The gift of money is a means of supporting the priest – and for priests in many of the poorest countries it is absolutely vital.
Generally, these priests receive no salary, and the ordinary faithful themselves are too poor to help. Hence your Mass stipends are often the sole means of support to be placed in the otherwise empty hands of the priests. They also enable them to go out and help others, including the needy who are always knocking at their door. In many countries the faithful place all their hope and trust in the priest, looking to him for help in every need, including their material needs. They truly look on the priest as a father and shepherd and expect him not only to comfort souls in spiritual need but also to help provide food, medicines, clothing, schooling for their children and vocational training for their young. In countries such as these, all eyes are turned in hope towards the priest.
In Ukraine today, the priests are also coming to realize just what a challenge now confronts them in the upheavals and crises in their own society. The collapse of the previous, corrupt regime, has been followed by months of fighting against the separatist forces in East Ukraine. Violence, injustice, expulsion and even death have been the consequences.
“The Catholic University and its priests are likewise involved in numerous different ways in the work of supporting the soldiers and the refugees. Among other things, the priests visit the wounded in the military hospital in Lviv; they pray and celebrate Holy Mass with them, support their relatives, organize and coordinate the collection of medicines, clothes and articles of hygiene. During this time the social commitment and visible presence of the priests is particularly necessary. But this also demands a tremendous cost of them in terms of time and energy,” wrote Father Bogdan Prakh the Rector of the University, in a letter to ACN .
And the same time he thanks ACN and all the benefactors for helping with your Mass Offering, which help to ease the burden on these priests and give them a little more time and space to breathe.
To donate to this project or to other similar projects, please contact us by phone – e-mail or directly through out website!