For spiritual renovation - to Stradch

2014-04-08 12:30

Pilgrimage to Stradch became a practical implementation of the ideas of interfaith dialogue, which in the series of lectures “Christian mission in the XXI century and Ukraine” expounded to the students the Pastor of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands Dr. Helen Zorgdrager.

The key event was the Liturgy of the pilgrimage, during which all those who were present had a chance to think over the words of Jesus from the Sunday Gospel “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and My Gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35) and honoured the victims of the Heavenly Hundred. Afterwards, pilgrims went through the Way of the Cross, which was very crowded. Among participants of the walking pace there were elderly people, people with special needs and parents with small children. For everyone the Way of the Cross was a prayer for forgiveness of sins, healing and sacrifice for the remission of punishments of souls in purgatory.

The travel ended with a picnic, where, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, employees of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies shared their impressions of the travel and also exchanged thoughts about Ukrainian and European Christian traditions and rituals.

On this occasion the Teacher of the Master Program in Ecumenical Studies Dr. Helen Zorgdrager said: “In the Netherlands we don’t go through the Way of the Cross as you have it here in Ukraine. We pray in the church, read passages from the Holy Scripture according to each of the stations, and then we walk outdoors and think about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In Ukraine even elderly and infirm people participate in the Way of the Cross, which requires a lot of efforts. Their spirituality and faith are inspiring.”