Wonderfully, the Greek Catholic Order of Saint Basil in Ukraine is not short of vocations. Currently there are 48 novices in formation at the seminary in Lviv. In all, the Basilian Order has some 340 members in 29 different monasteries. Their novice house is in Kharkhiv, in East Ukraine, and has its own land and livestock around it.
Considering that the Catholic faithful were still being persecuted during Soviet times and were only able to live their faith in secret, this recent expansion seems almost miraculous. The collapse of communism was only 30 years ago, and during communist times, members of the order were trained in Poland and then had to live their vocation underground.
In 2001, during his visit to Ukraine, Pope Saint John Paul II beatified 25 martyrs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who had given their lives in witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and their loyalty to the Church. Among the new Blessed’s were four members of the Basilian Order who had died in the Soviet camps and prisons, including one bishop belonging to the order. Their sacrifice has borne rich fruit, as the wealth of new vocations testifies.
This large number of young novices still in formation poses its own (happy) challenge to the order to provide food and housing. The rector of the seminary of Saint Basil in Lviv has therefore turned to us once again this year for financial help, since prices are rising in Ukraine and the order has to find money to pay for electricity, gas, food, medicines, clothing and all the daily needs of the novices – which also include the salaries of the seminary teaching staff. In addition to the 48 seminarians of the Order of Saint Basil, there are four young Redemptorist novices also undergoing training at the seminary, though not living there, since they continue to live in their own monastery. Altogether, we are helping with $36,000.
Will you join in funding the training of these future priests and monks in Ukraine?
We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.